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 surprisingly colorful and exotic. Situated on the banks of the Moskva River, Moscow is among the largest cities in the world, and it is frequently cited as having the greatest number of billionaires. Moscow has had an extraordinarily violent history, and in 1571, it was sacked by Crimean Tatars and burned to the ground. In 1812, at the time of Napoleon’s invasion, a fire 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.