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    Belgorod

The city was first mentioned as a Russian settlement in 1237. Yet, the official date of its foundation is considered 1593. This year the city was ramparted to protect the state from frequent Tatars attacks.

The city was founded in the place called Belgorodye meaning White City. The name of the city reflects the color of the ground in the region. Belgorod is situated in the center of the Chalk Southern region.

Starting from the 18th century the city becomes an important industrial and cultural center. Belgorod becomes the center of the Belgorod region in 1954.

During the Great Patriotic War the city saw vehement battles with the Nazi army in the course of the famous Kursk battle in 1943.

Presently, Belgorod is a pleasant-looking town with numerous attractions and buildings of blue and rose hues. The Intercession Church (1711), the Cathedral of the Virgin of Smolensk (1737-1764), the Polish Church (19th century), and the Transfiguration Cathedral (1813) with blue and golden domes define the image of Belgorod.

City History

Archeologists date the first site of ancient settlement on the territory of modern Belgorod to the 10th century (the year 995, to be more exact).

The city was founded by the decree of Tsar Feodor Ioannovicha of the 11th of September 1596 as a boundary fortress. Since 1658 Belgorod was the chief town of the Belgorod line a 800-kilometre defensive line protecting the Moscow kingdom from attacks of the Crimean Tatars. In the early 18th century, after joining of Ukraine and construction of Ukrainian defensive line, the strategic value of Belgorod considerably decreased. In 1785, soon after the conquest of Crimea, the city was excluded from the list of operating fortresses.

In 1727-1779 the city was the centre of the Belgorod Province, which included the cities of Oryol and Kharkov. After abolition of the province Belgorod became a district city of the Kursk Province.

In the 19th century the main industries were chalstone production, wool-washing, and wax processing. Belgorod candles enjoyed great popularity. Till the mid 19th century Belgorod was one of the main trade centres of lard and spirits, the so-called gorilka in particular.

On October, 26th (on November, 8th) 1917 the Soviet power was established in the city, and on April, 10th, 1918 Belgorod was occupied by the German armies. Following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk the line of demarcation passed to the north of the city, and so Belgorod was included in of the Ukrainian Power of Hetman Skoropadsky. On December, 20th, 1918, after the overthrow of Skoropadsky it was occupied by the Red Army and became a part of the RSFSR.

During the Great Patriotic War bloody fights took place in vicinities of Belgorod. The city was twice occupied by the Germans: from October, 24th, till February, 9th, 1943 and from March, 18th till August, 5th, 1943. By the end of the war the city was dramatically destroyed, with just a few buildings remaining.

In honour of iberating of Belgorod and Oryol from the German armies a grand salute was given in Moscow on August, 5th, 1943. Since then Belgorod has been called the city of the first salute, and the 5th of August is celebrated as the City Day.

In 1954 the city became an administrative centre of the Belgorod Region. Since then the city started its rapid development as a regional centre. It can be said that the city was rebuilt anew.

Today Belgorod is a city with a well-developed infrastructure, and the scientific, cultural, economic and spiritual centre of Central Black Earth Region and Russia. The city totals 576 streets, parkways and boulevards, with the overall length of about 460 km. It is also a large transportation hub of Russia.

Belgorod repeatedly ranked first in refards of cleanliness and comfort among the cities of Russia with the population from 100 to 500 thousand people. Every year the city population increases considerably due to new-comers from the north of the country.

The city boasts over 70 history and culture monuments that are under protection of the state. All of them represent historical, scientific and cultural value.



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