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Voronezh (Russian: Воро́неж) is a large city in southwestern Russia, not far from Ukraine. It is located on the Voronezh River, twelve kilometers away from the spot where the Voronezh River empties into the Don. Voronezh is the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is an important railway junction (with lines to Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Kiev), as well as the center of Federal Route M4 "Kavkaz" (MoscowRostov-on-Don). Geographical location 51°43′N 39°16′E. Population: 848,752 (2002 Census); 660,000 (1970); 447,000 (1959); 344,000 (1939); 120,000 (1926). The city is divided into six administrative districts: Kominternovsky, Leninsky, Levoberezhny, Sovetsky, Tsentralny, and Zheleznodorozhny.


[edit] History

The Voronezh River was first mentioned in Hypatian Codex of 1177; the town was founded in 1585 by Tsar Feodor I as a fortress protecting the Russian state from the raids of Crimean and Nogay Tatars. However, settlements had been present here since the Stone Age.
View of Voronezh in the 18th century.

In the 17th century, Voronezh became a considerable commercial and handicrafts centre. In 1648, an antifeudal insurrection took place in Voronezh. In 1695–1696 Tsar Peter the Great built a dockyard in Voronezh, where Azov fleet was under construction for the Azov campaign. During his reign Voronezh became the largest city in southern Russia and the administrative centre of the large southern region. Since 1711 Voronezh had been a centre of Azov province, since 1725 - Voronezh province, since 1779 - Voronezh namestnichestvo, since 1824 - Voronezh province. In the 18th–19th centuries Voronezh was a centre of the chernozem agricultural region. Manufacturing industry (mills, tallow-melting, butter-making, soap, leather and other works) as well as bread, cattle, suet, and the hair trade developed in the town. In XIX century a railway connected Voronezh with Rostov-on-Don (1868) and Moscow (1871).

Today Voronezh is the economical, industrial, cultural and scientific center of the so-called Black Earth Region. In the city there are 7 theaters, 12 cinemas, 19 higher schools; it is also home to Voronezh State University. The city's large student population includes many foreigners as foreign students in Russia usually take one year of Russian language in Voronezh before moving on to universities elsewhere. This has led in the past to tension between foreign students and the indigenous population.

Image:Voronezh SmolenskCathedral.jpg
Smolensk Cathedral in Voronezh, 19th century

As an industrial centre, Voronezh was integral to the Soviet aircraft construction industry, including the so-called Concordski Tupolev Tu-144.

In 1991-2000, the city high in unemployment became a part of the Communist-voting region known as Russia's Red Belt.

Many famous people were born in Voronezh and not far from it. Among them poets and writers Platonov, Bunin, Koltsov, Nikitin, Marshak, Troepolskii; painters Kramskoi, Ge, Kuprin, the physicist Cherenkov; gymnasts Davydova, Tkachyov; the anarchist Voline, etc.

The Russian poet Osip Mandelstam was exiled to Voronezh after his arrest in 1934 and wrote a series of poems there collected under the title "Voronezh Notebooks".

The famous Russian punk band Sektor Gaza was founded in Voronezh.

Around Voronezh there are a lot of kurgans and other interesting archaeological objects.

Nearby Novovoronezh ("New Voronezh") serves nuclear power plants.

Chertovitskoye airport is nearby, at Latitude/Longitude: 51.81,39.23

On October 9 1989, an official news agency in the Soviet Union reported the landing of a UFO in Voronezh.

[edit] Further reading

Charlotte Hobson's book, "Black Earth City", is an accessible and insightful account of life in Voronezh in the early 1990s. She wrote the book after spending a year in Voronezh as a foreign student in 1991-1992.

Nadezhda Mandelstam's Hope Against Hope, the first volume of her memoirs concerning the dreadful fate of her husband, the poet Osip Mandelstam, provides many details about life and hardship in Voronezh in the 1930s under Stalinist rule.

[edit] Twin Cities

[edit] External links

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cs:Voroněž de:Woronesch et:Voronež eo:Voroneĵ fr:Voronej ko:보로네시 it:Voronež lv:Voroņeža (pilsēta) lt:Voronežas nl:Voronezj ja:ヴォロネジ pl:Woroneż pt:Voronezh ru:Воронеж sl:Voronež fi:Voronež


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