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Solikamsk is a typical small Russian city proud of its history and ancient architecture. The city was founded in 1430 due to exploitation of rich salt-mines on the shores of the Usolka river. Salt production was a main branch of its economy. Solikamsk is reckoned among 116 protected cities of Russia for its remarkable architecture. It numbers 25 architectural monuments, most of them were built in XVII-XVIII centuries.

The Museum of Regional Ethnography of Solikamsk, one of largest in Perm region, contains more than 20,000 exhibits. The Museum features wonderful expositions dedicated to the history of the region, its geography and culture.

An amazing mixture of centuries fascinates and astonishes visitors of the city. The city preserved its ancient look: ancient cathedrals, unpretentious churches, and bell towers. The major attractions of the town are the Trinity Cathedral erected from 1674 to 1697, the Epiphany Church, part of architectural ensemble in the center of Solikamsk built in the 17th century, the Bell Tower, erected in 1731, and Voevodsky House, the first stone civil building in Solikamsk.

The city is rich in history and architecture monuments, having a unique ensemble of churches of the 17th -18th centuries.

In 1731 Grigory Demidov created a remarkable botanical garden in Krasnoe Village not far from Solikamsk, and in the late 1760s A.F.Turchaninov planted the second botanical garden in his estate.

Not far from the city centre one can find the famous Lyudmilinskaya Salt Mine, which is over a hundred years old: it is located to the north-east of the city centre, on the bank of Usolka River.

Food salt has never been taken from Lyudmilinskaya Salt Mine, since the brine extracted there is unsuitable for food. Nevertheless, the mine has all the reasons to be considered one of the main symbols of Solikamsk (along with the Cathedral Bell Tower, Trinity Cathedral and Ust-Borovsk Salt Factory).

City History

Solikamsk got its life and the name due to salt. The city sprang up at the salt-mines organised by Count Baranov-Turov (or, as another version states, by the merchants Kalinnikovs from Vologda) who was later nick-named Salty, because he discovered salt brine wells near Kama River. About the year 1430 brine-lifting pipes and salterns were fixed up on the bank of Usolka River. Originally the city was called in chronicles of 1506 Usolye on Kamsky, later Usolye Kamsky, and from the 17th century Salt Kamsky.

Constructions of saltworks pipes, towers over them, chests for brine storage, salterns, and barns were the first constructions of the new settlement. In 1472 the lands in upper parts of Kama together with Perm the Great joined the Moscow State. The favourable geographical position and rich stocks of salt sources attracted merchants to Solikamsk. The number of salt works kept growing, and so did the city.

In 1573 Solikamsk received the status of a town and became the centre of the Solikamsk District. In 1579, during the first census of Perm the Great, Solikamsk was a fortified town with suburbs. It numbered 190 households, 16 salt works, and 27 benches were. The city repeatedly suffered forays of nomad tribes and fires, but was every time restored. According to the Chronicles of the 1620s Solikamsk had 16 smithies, which basically served salt-works, and the 1630s saw discovery of copper deposits near the city and the following Pyskorsk Copper-Smelting Factory.

In the 17th century Solikamsk, being a large trans-shipment point on the way to Siberia, became an important economic and administrative centre. Artemiy Babinovs opening of a direct road to the riverheads of Tura and foundation of Verkhturye Town (1597) played a big role in that.

By the late 17th - early 18th centuries Solikamsk became the largest saltern of Russia. At that time Salt Kamsky provided more than half of all the salt production sold in this country.

At the end of the 17th century Salt Kamsky reached the heyday of its commercial and industrial development, playing the leading part in life of the Urals and being the transit trading, customs, military-administrative and religious centre.

Soon, however, the city lost its significance as a trading centre and the main centre of Russian salt production: the changes were caused by the acceleration of deposit salt mining by open method in the Volga Region.

In due course the borders of Solikamsk were considerably extended; in 1959 the town of Borovsk, located 6 km to the north of the centre, near Borovaya River, was made part of Solikamsk.

With the development of potash industry in the city, the modern residential district Klestovka grew up in the valley of Klestovka River.




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