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Description of Barnaul
Barnaul is a city in Russia (since 1771), the
administrative center of the Altai Territory (since 1937) and the
urban district of the same name. It is located in the south of
Western Siberia at the confluence of the river Barnaulka in the Ob.
It was founded in 1730 as a settlement at the silver smelting
plant Akinfy Demidov. Large industrial, cultural, medical and
educational center of Siberia. The area of the city is 321 km ², the
population is about 630 thousand people, this is the 20th largest
population in Russia. The area of the urban district is 939.5 km²,
its population, together with the surrounding settlements, is
History of Barnaul
The area around the city has been inhabited by
modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans, for hundreds of
thousands of years. They settled here to take advantage of the
confluence of the rivers, used for transportation and fishing. In
the late BC millennia, the locality was a centre of activity for
Scythian and various Turkic peoples.
1730 is considered Barnaul's official establishment date, its first
mention dates back to 1724. It was granted city status in 1771.
Chosen for its proximity to the mineral-rich Altai Mountains and its
location on a major river, it was founded by the wealthy Demidov
family. The Demidovs wanted to develop the copper in the mountains,
and soon found substantial deposits of silver as well. In 1747, the
Demidovs' factories were taken over by the Crown. Barnaul became the
center of silver production of the entire Russian Empire.
1914, Barnaul was the site of the largest draft riot in Russia
during World War I. There were more than 100 casualties from the
fighting. Street fighting also took place between anti-Communist
White Russians and Reds during the Russian Civil War in 1918.
Maria Stepanovna (née Zudilova) (1912-1996) was born and lived
as a child in this city. She later became the mother of American
actresses Natalie Wood (born Natalia Zakharenko) and Lana Wood (born
Lana Gurdin). Her father Stepan was killed in the 1918 street
fighting between the Whites and Reds following the Revolution.
Afterward her mother took Maria and her siblings as refugees to
Harbin, China. Maria married a Russian there, and they had a
daughter Olga together. Maria eventually immigrated with Olga to the
United States, where she married another Russian immigrant, from
Vladivostok, and had two daughters with him.
World War II
Over half of the light ammunition used by the Soviet Union in World
War II is estimated to have been manufactured in Barnaul.