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Maykop, which in local Adyg language means valley of apple trees was founded on may 17, 1857. That was the day, when a Russian fortress was laid down on the right bank of the river Belaya. Later the fortress was surrounded by a graff and high wall. Between 1858 and 1863 the fortress was a key position for conquering Cherkessia (Adygea). In 1864 territories, which now belong to modern Adygea, became the part of the Russian Empire.

When the Caucasian war ended, Northern Caucasus faced a large amount of migrants, who wanted to live here. In 1870 Maykop was a peaceful settlement, which gained city status in 1878. That was when development of the area begun. In the end of the 19th century the town had 121 stone house and 5340 wooden houses, 5 Orthodox churches, a synagogue, a school, three-grade municipal college, 2 primary schools for boys and one for girls, 2 private schools, 2 pharmacies, 112 plants and other industrial enterprises, etc. Cattle breeding and tobacco farming were also popular. First All-Russian population census listed 34.2 thousand citizens in the town of Maykop in 1897.

In 1991 academician Ivan Gubkin discovered oil deposits near the town, and it boosted Maykops economy. Oil was produced and processed by foreign, mostly English, enterprises.

In March 1920 Soviet regime came to Kuban, when Cossacks and White Guards were defeated. On 27 July 1922 the territories got a new name: Cherkess (Adyg) autonomous region. The name changed twice during a short period of time and finally became Adyg autonomous region in 1928. Krasnodar was the centre of autonomy until1936, when the title went to Maykop. Formation of autonomous region had good effect on cultural development of local people, especially when writing system and printing were created for local Adyg language, and national theatre began flourishing. In 1931 no illiterate people remained in the region. In 1939 the city sheltered 56 thousand inhabitants.

During the Great Patriotic War Maykop was invaded by fascist troops for six months (August 1942 January 1943). Despite great damage done to the city, Maykop was totally reconstructed in five years.

Modern Maykop has two faces. First on is the face of an industrial city, with machine, iron, wood, machine-tool works and etc. Railway connects the city to the world. The other face is culture: Maykop is the cultural capital of the region Adygea State University, the theatre and national museum are located in the city. The museum, open in 1925, displays over 70 thousands exhibits, including a great collection of arts and crafts.

Maykop outskirts attract many tourists with fantastic nature and numerous sights. South of the city is famous by its balneary with healing mineral waters, coming from local springs. Famous Russian biologist Nikolay Vavilov used to live and work here. Caucasus State Reserve Park starts in the upper course of the river Belaya, and its major part belongs to Adygea. Today Maykop hosts over 160 thousand citizens.




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