It has become habitual to compare Moscow with St. Petersburg, its rival and the former (1712–1918) capital of Russia. While St. Petersburg has absorbed western European influences, Moscow is viewed as a traditional Russian city. Unlike its rival, Moscow has a well-defined city center marked by the Kremlin. Other characteristics of Moscow are its physical layout in radial spokes and rings that have been extended over time, its hodgepodge of architectural styles, and its historical buildings that were mainly built by Russian architects. Moscow’s buildings were predominantly wooden until the 1920s, when brick and stone came into use. Moscow can be an overwhelming experience for visitors, there's just so much to see in this vast and vibrant city, from the truly sublime to the ever-so-slightly ridiculous.