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    Balakhna

Balakhna is a Russian town, the administrative center of the Balakhna District in the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

The city is located in sandy Balakhna lowland, on the right bank of the Volga River (Cheboksary reservoir), 34 km to the north of Nizhny Novgorod. It has a railway station.

The town with the population of 50 422 people (as of 2013) takes the area of 71 sq km.

History of Balakhna

Ibalakhna has been known since 1474. According to a legend, after the defeat of Veliky Novgorod by Ivan III in 1478, the Novgorodians with some salt extraction skills were resettled to Balakhna and started development of local salt-mines.

The etymology of the towns name is not clear; they associate it with the dialect meaning of Balakhna as

a widely open gate, a widely open mouth that is figuratively understood as the river mouth.

In 1535 Balakhna was attacked by Kazan Tatars, but withstood and was not seized. Afterwards the grand duchess Elena Vasilyevna (Glinskaya) disposed to make an earthen town on Balakhna near Salt.

A fortress was built on the bank of River Volga in 1536 to protect Nizhny Novgorod from the Tatars. Among the trading and residential quarters surrounding the fortress there were the Intercession Monastery and the Nativity Monastery towering.

In the second half of the 16th 18th centuries Balakhna was a considerable center for salt-works and grain trade. From the mid 17th century it was a shipbuilding center. In the late 17th century its dwellers built Volga barges, ships for the Azov campaign, etc. The year 1845 saw the beginning of river steamships construction there.

In 1708 Balakhna was attributed to the Kazan Province. From 1719 it belonged to the Nizhny Novgorod Province.

In 1856 in the district town of Balakhna of the Nizhny Novgorod Province had 12 churches, 683 houses, and 65 shops.

In 1993 the industrial township of Pravdinsk was integrated into Balakhna.

Architecture and Sights

Inside the Intercession (Pokrovsky) Monastery there have remained the St. Nicholas Church built in 1552 in honor of the victory over the Kazan khanate and Pokrovsky Church built in 1648.

In the area of the Nativity Monastery there is the Nativity Church of 1675.

The churches kept intact are the Spassky St. Savior Church (1668) with a belltower of 1702, Kosmodemyanskaya Church (1742), Znamensky (1748), Troitsky (1748), Sretensky (1807), etc.

The residential houses of the mid 18th - 19th centuries have remained.

In the vicinities of Balakhna archeologists unearthed a site of an ancient settlement of hunting-and-fishing tribes of the so-called Balakhna Neolithic culture: half-dugouts with remains of hearths, silicon arrowheads, darts, and suchlike.



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Balakhna
  (Nizhny Novgorod Region)

Cities of the region

    Nizhny Novgorod
    Gorodets
    Sarov
    Arzamas
    Dzerzhinsk
    Bor
    Kstovo
    Pavlovo
    Vyksa
    Zavolzhye
    Bogorodsk
    Kulebaki


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