Many people expect Moscow to be drab and gray, but in fact, the massive red walls of the Kremlin and the gilded domes of the churches make it seem surprisingly colorful and exotic. Situated on the banks of the Moskva River, Moscow is the seventh-largest city in the world. It is frequently cited as having the greatest number of billionaires. Moscow has had an extraordinarily violent history. In 1571, it was sacked by Crimean Tatars and burned to the ground. In 1812, a fire started by Napoleon’s troops destroyed three-quarters of the city. And during the Battle of Moscow in 1941, a million Nazi soldiers supported by 14,000 artillery pieces were driven off by the defenders. Moscow is home to the State Tretyakov Gallery’s treasure trove of Russian art, and the famed Bolshoi Ballet.