"Discovering the Moscow Countryside" is a fascinating voyage into the history, architecture, people, and archaeology of the country that surrounds Moscow. The towns and villages dotted around this wooded landscape are rich in associations. Wave after wave of invaders--Tatars, Poles, French, and Germans--sought to conquer Russia through these lands. Now, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of the beautiful monasteries and little ruined country churches are coming back to life. This is also the land of the dacha--that special haven to which all city dwellers, at the first melting of the snow, escape: whether it be to a wooden mansion or a tiny room lost in the woods. This book is a practical guide for the tourist keen to explore this fascinating area of Russia, as well as for the curious armchair traveler.