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    Stary Oskol

The small provincial town of Stary Oskol is located 186km to the northeast of Belgorod. The history of the city starts from a small defense fortress called Ustoublinsky ostrog founded here in 1571. In 1593 Oskol Fortress was built to protect southern borders of the Russian State. Since that date the settlement has the official status of a town.

The citys name comes from the name of the Oskol river, on the banks of which it was founded. The Oskol river means the river of Osses (Osses is a tribe of Iran speaking Alans). In 1655 the city got the name of Stary Oskol (Old Oskol), as another city was renamed to Novy Oskol (New Oskol).

At present, Stary Oskol may be divided into two parts: a modern one and a historical center of the city. The center of Stary Oskol houses a great number of ancient buildings that still preserve their original look.

In the 19th century the town was an important commercial center with a number of fairs. Till present days locals preserve the tradition of regular trade fairs and public festivals and holidays. Regardless modern high-rise buildings, old mansions and narrow streets still define the image of the city.




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