Moskva river (in Moscow pronunciation since the 19th century – “Moskvareka”) – is a middle river in Central Russia, in the Moscow region, Moscow and, for a short distance, in the Smolensk region, the left tributary of the Oka (Volga basin).
The length within the Moscow region is 473 km, traditionally also mentioned is 502 km, the basin area is 17,600 km². The river begins on the slope of the Smolensk-Moscow Upland and flows into the Oka on the territory of Kolomna.
The total drop from source to mouth is 155.5 m. The largest tributaries are Ruza (left), Pakhra (right) and Istra (left). The waters of the river are widely used for water supply of the city of Moscow.
The river freezes in November-December, opens at the end of March-April. Due to the discharge of warm waters within the city of Moscow, the water temperature in the center in winter is 6 °C higher than in the outskirts, and ice formation is unstable.
The main waterway of the city of Moscow, the length within the city is 80 km. The width of the river inside the city varies from 120 to 200 m, from the narrowest part near the Kremlin to the widest near Sparrow Hills. It is generally accepted that the speed of the river flow is 0.5 m/s, but in practice the speed of the flow is completely dependent on the waterworks, reaching 0.1–0.2 m/s with closed gates, and 1.5–2 m/s with open gates.
The depth in areas above Moscow is up to 3 m, below Moscow it reaches 6 m, in some places (above the Perervinsky hydroelectric complex) up to 14 meters.
Of the 11 hydroelectric facilities built on the river, only four have hydroelectric power plants: Mozhayskaya, Rublevskaya, Karamyshevskaya and Perervinskaya, while six more mini-hydroelectric power plants have been built along the river basin: Verkhne-Ruzskaya, Ruzskaya, Istrinskaya, Ozerninskaya, Gorbovskaya (closed in 2002) and Senezhskaya stations. The total capacity in the basin exceeds 15 MW, and the generation is 40 million kWh per year.
There are more than 50 bridges across the Moscow River, of which more than 20 are within the boundaries of the city of Moscow. Within the city, the banks are reinforced with reinforced concrete walls and blocks, lined with granite.
There is no clearness with the source of the river. It is generally accepted that Moscow originates in the Starkovsky swamp on the slope of the Smolensk-Moscow Upland near the Starkovo tract, Mozhaisk district, Moscow region. This swamp on the border of the Smolensk and Moscow regions is sometimes called the “Moskvoretskaya puddle”, and the locals call a small stream starting in its northern part the Moskva River. The beginning of the stream, on the territory of the Mozhaisk district of the Moscow region, is marked by a chapel erected in 2004. At 16 km from the source, Moscow crosses the border of the Smolensk region after passing through Lake Mikhalevskoye, which some experts consider the beginning of the river (pointing out that the stream flowing into the lake is the Konoplyanka River).
On the Moscow River there are cities: Mozhaisk, Zvenigorod, Krasnogorsk, Moscow, Dzerzhinsky, Lytkarino, Zhukovsky, Bronnitsy, Voskresensk, Kolomna.
Among the most famous villages on the banks of the river are Kolomenskoye (now a museum on the territory of Moscow), Ostrov, Ubory, Besedy, Sofyino.
On the banks of the Moskva River there are several monasteries – Luzhetsky, Savvino-Storozhevsky, Novodevichy, Andreevsky, Novospassky, Danilov, Simonov, Nikolo-Perervinsky, Nikolo-Ugreshsky, Novo-Solovki Marchugovskaya Hermitage, Bobrenev, Staro-Golutvin; once also destroyed Alekseevsky (on the site of the current Cathedral of Christ the Savior).
The Moskva River is navigable for 210 km from its mouth to the Rublyovskaya dam. Navigation usually lasts from mid-April to mid-November. The Southern River Port and the Southern River Station are located on the river, and the Northern River Port and the Northern River Station are located on the Khimki Reservoir (technically not on the Moscow River). The Western River Port also functioned earlier.
There are several beaches on the river within the city of Moscow. The most famous beaches are in Strogino, Serebryany Bor, Trinity-Lykov, Rublev. All of them are located in the northwestern part of the city. There are no beaches in the central and southeastern parts due to high water pollution. The swimming season usually opens in early-mid June, ends on average in mid-August, but in warm weather it can last until the beginning and even the middle of September (as it was, for example, in 2007 and 2018). The temperature of the river water in July is about 22 °C.