Cheboksary (Chuvash. Shupashkar) - a city in
Russia, the capital of the Chuvash Republic. The city is the
administrative, cultural and industrial center of the republic. Most
of the city is located on the right bank of the Volga River, 650 km
east of Moscow. The city of Cheboksary is located on the Volga
Upland of the central part of the East European Plain. Most of the
city is located on the high right bank of the Volga River, cutting
the territory into two unequal parts. The area on the left bank is
occupied mainly by pine forest and is used as a recreational zone.
The satellite city of Novocheboksarsk is located 20 km to the east.
History of Cheboksary
Cheboksary was first mentioned in written sources in 1469, when
Russian soldiers passed here on their way to the Khanate of Kazan.
According to archaeological excavations, however, the area had been
populated considerably earlier. The site hosted a Bulgarian city of
Veda Suvar, which appeared after Mongols defeated major Volga
Bulgarian cities in the 13th century. During Khanate period the town
is believed by some to have had a Turkic (probably, Tatar) name
Çabaqsar and that the current Russian and English names originate
from it. However, in maps by European travelers it was marked as
Cibocar (Pizzigano, 1367), Veda-Suar (Fra Mauro, 1459). Shupashcar,
the Chuvash name literally means the "fortress of the Chuvash".
In 1555, the Russians built a fortress and established a
settlement here. In 1625, there were 458 soldiers quartered in
Cheboksary, and in 1646 there were 661 males living in the
settlement. At the end of the 17th century, Cheboksary was regarded
as a major commercial city of the Volga region, and in 1781 it was
granted town status within Kazan Governorate. In the beginning of
the 19th century the population was about 5500, the town had a
sawmill and several small manufactures.
Cheboksary also was
noted for its twenty-five churches and four monasteries, and
Cheboksary bells were known in London and Paris.
In the 16th
and the first half of the 17th century the Vvedensky cathedral, four
monasteries and eighth churches had been built, in the 18th century
the stone buildings of treasury and archive, magistracy, court, and
ten churches. In 1880, here were counted 783 houses (33 of them from
stone), 91 stores, 3 schools, 2 hospitals, and a bank.
beginning of the 20th century, 5,100 people lived in Cheboksary. In
1965, the population was 163,000.