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Cheboksary

Mosque Church of St. TatianaChuvash Drama TheatreThe Chuvash National Museum

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Chuvash Republic

Federal District: The Privolzhsky Federal District

Area: 233 km2
Population: 456 054 persons.


Description

Cheboksary is the capital city of the Chuvash Republic, Russia, "city of churches", Russian landmark where church bells were founded from time immemorial.

Founded in 1469. It was bestowed town status in 1781.

Population: 456,054 (2010 Census).

The area of the city: 233 km².

History

The first record dates back to 1469. From 1552 it was a part of Muscovy. In 1670-1671 the citizens of Cheboksary took an active part in S. Razin's Revolt. From 1771 it was a district city of Kazan Governorate.

Cheboksary was first mentioned in written sources in 1469, when Russian soldiers passed here on their way to the Khanate of Kazan. The campaigners "stayed overnight in Cheboksary, and from Cheboksary went all day and all night long, and came to Kazan". However, the area had been populated considerably earlier than the first record was made. According to archaeological excavations, in XIII-XIV centuries there existed a Bulgarian-Chuvash settlement. It was located on the right bank of the Volga where two rivers - Cheboksarka and Kaybolka - fell flowing into it. It was a difficult time for the native population that found itself between two states at war - Rus and Khanate of Kazan. From time to time either Tatars raided Russian lands or Moscow marched against Kazan.

In 1552, after the troops of Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan, the settlement was seceded to Muscovy. Following the czar's degree, in 1555 a fortress, a watch post in the fort system that covered Rus from the east were founded here. The power of Moscow was established in the captive lands. The new fortress was called Cheboksary. Double walls, towers and an entrance, a deep ditch and a high earth rampart turned it into a reliable defence for the inhabitants against foreign enemies. The roads and vessels riding the Volga were kept watch on from the garrison. The local peasants supplied the soldiers with food. Soon the area near the fortress was densely peopled and a trading quarter appeared there.

Since the early years of its existence, the fortress of Cheboksary was not only destined for fighting against nomads. The garrison was assigned penal functions for "suppression of the non-content" and tax collection. There were many rebels. In the beginning of the XVII century Cheboksary was twice taken by insurgents. After the massacre of voivodes they shared the treasury that had been kept in the fortress, and destroyed debt instruments and land consolidation acts that handed the lands over to the new owners, noblemen and monasteries. Till the end of XVII century the imperial government had to have a large garrison in Cheboksary and in case of "the conquered Tatars revolt they could mobilize forced and pacify them" according to a German traveller Adam Olearius who visited Cheboksary in the beginning of the century. In 1670-1671 the citizens of Cheboksary and peasants from the neighbourhoods took an active part in S. Razin's Revolt. Even after the defeat of Razin's troops near Simbirsk the fight didn't stop. The mansions were burning everywhere, the voivode of Cheboksary escaped from the fortress to Kazan. It was a cruel massacre of the rebels made by the penal regiments that put an end to the revolt.

In the XVII century the military significance of Cheboksary lessened. The fortress destroyed by fire was never restored, and a part of the soldiers were turned into aerarians. Gradually, Cheboksary became a commercial city. It is interesting to know that by the mid-XVIII century the male population of Cheboksary outnumbered that of Vyatka, Ryazan, Bryansk, and Voronezh and took the 41st place among 202 cities of Russia. Handicrafts were represented by tanners, bell-founders, brickmakers, furriers, shoemakers, and watchmakers. Tallow-boilery, malting, and soap enterprises that manufactured consumables both for export and import began to be established in Cheboksary. In the city there was opened a salt division that stocked a great amount of salt to be transported to the interior of Siberia. The merchant class grew. Among them were even merchants who owned rooms in the shopping arcade. The poorest social groups became bargemen, fishermen or served the townsman rich people.

In 1781 Cheboksary received the status of a city of the Kazan Governorate. By the end of the century the population of the city was more than four thousand people. More than 14 plants, more than 40 craft producers and nearly the same quantity of trade stores functioned in the city. The face of the city changed. Stone buildings of the Treasury, Magistrate, Pub, and the 10 churches put a prosperous face on the city.

The middle of the XVIII century was the period of the uppermost development for Cheboksary. Later the city couldn't compete with such trade centres as Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan. The bell-founders of Vyatka were more enterprising and lucky in trade. Earlier the bells made in Cheboksary were well-known in London and Paris but later Vyatka made Cheboksary cut down the production of bells and pass over to production of jingle-bells for stage troikas.

In the beginning of the XIX century Cheboksary went through a dead season. During the century the increase of urban population was less than 1,000 people, and population of 400 cities of the Russian Empire was greater than that of Cheboksary. Industrial development was no success either. There was only a saw-mill and a few small plants in the city. Handicraftsmen and craftsmen were still occupied by traditional crafts though some new specialities appeared: locksmiths, turners, carpenter and house painters. In the beginning of the XX century there were five thousand people living in Cheboksary, 800 houses among which only 33 were made of stone, 90 stores and a shop, 3 colleges, 2 hospitals, a bank, and a little public library. The city was famous for its temples. By the XX century 25 churches and 4 monasteries most of which were constructed in the XVI - first half of the XVII century had been preserved. It was only the abundance of churches - various in architecture, with glorious bells and ancient monuments - that proved its prosperity of the past.

Today Cheboksary is a unique city where the past and the present are equally interesting, where one can see unique and one-of-a-kind museums and memorials, where two cultures - Russian and Chuvash - have closely intertwined throughout the centuries and supplement each other.

Industry

The major industries of Cheboksary are machine-building, electrical engineering, and food industries.

Transport

There is a highway Nizhny Novgorod - Cheboksary - Ulyanovsk, and a highway going to Kazan and Yoshkar-Ola through the dam of Cheboksary hydro-electric power station.

Two federal highways pass through Cheboksary: М7 Volga М7 and А119 Vyatka А119.

Due to the well-developed roadnet Cheboksary has a stable connection with all the administrative regions of Chuvashia. Nearly 85 % of the cargo and passenger turnover is performed by means of motor vehicles.

Regular railway service function between Cheboksary and Moscow. A deluxe train "Chuvashia" runs from Kazansky Rail Terminal in Moscow to Cheboksary. Regular trains also run to Saint Petersburg, and in summer - to Adler and Novorossiysk.

There are regularly scheduled flights from Cheboksary to Moscow made from the Cheboksary Airport. The city transportation is performed by trolleybuses, buses, minibus taxis, and taxis.

Sights

• Vvedensky cathedral

• Archangel Michael Church

• Ensemble of the Holy Trinity Monastery

• Voskresenskaya Church

• Uspenskaya Church

• Ensemble of Spaso-Preobrazhensky Convent

• St. Tatiana Temple

• Cheboksary Botanical Garden - specially protected natural sites of federal importance

• Chuvash National Museum

• Chuvash National Art Museum

Famous People

• Maria Vorobyova-Stebelskaya (1892—1984) — Russian artist and author of memoirs

• Pavel Grigoryev-Savushkin (1916—1990) — painter, graphic artist, illustrator

• Andrei Gunin (b. 1965) — medical scientist, Doctor of Medicine, professor

• Vyacheslav Zalensky (1875—1923) — Russian botanist and plant physiologist

• Svyatoslav Fedorov (1927—2000) — famous Russian ophthalmologist

• Vasily Chapaev (1887—1919) — Civil War hero, born in the village of Budaika (now within the city)

• Ivan Yashin (1919—1966) — Hero of the Soviet Union, Party organizer of a squadron, captain

Emergency Phones

112 or 911 are common emergency telephone numbers that can be dialled from any mobile phone in order to reach emergency services even if the SIM-card isn't functioning.

Acquisition Sources for Regional Tourist Opportunities

Ministry of the Chuvash Republic for Physical Education, Sport and Tourism:

Cheboksary, Presidentsky Blv., 17, tel.: (8352) 62-4999, fax: (8352) 62-4999, (8352) 62-3993, (8352) 62-5486

sport@cap.ru.

Tourism information centre in Chuvashia:

Cheboksary, Privokzalnaya St., 17, tel.: (8352) 57-0426

www.volgatourism.com