Ermak Travel Guide

 

 

Barnaul

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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 691,000 people.

 

 

 

History of Barnaul

Ancient history
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.

Russian Empire
While 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.

In 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.

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips