The Moscow Region is located in the central part of Russia. It is named after the city of Moscow which is located in the centre of the region. However Moscow is not part of the region (Moscow is a Federal city, just like St Petersburg). There are 80 cities in the region. The most populated cities are Balashikha, Khimki, Kolomna and Podolsk. The largest rivers in the region are the Volga, Oka and Moskva. Forty percent of the region is covered with forest.
The suburban train (elektrichka) is the cheapest and often the quickest way of travelling around the region. It is also possible to travel by coach but there is always the risk of getting caught in traffic in or out of Moscow. In general, apart from the notorious traffic jams around Moscow, the transport system in the Moscow Region works well and usually according to schedule (which you can find in the transport sections for each city).
The oldest city in the region is Volokolamsk, which was founded in 1135. Several famous battles were fought in the Moscow Region, including the Battle of Borodino against Napoleon and various battles as part of the Defence of Moscow during the Second World War. As a result three cities in the Moscow Region have been awarded the title City of Military Glory: Dmitrov, Naro-Fominsk and Volokolamsk. The spiritual centre of Russia - the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra - is located in Sergiev Posad in the Moscow Region, the lavra is now protected as a UNESCO site.