Ermak Travel Guide

 

Khabarovsk

Khabarovsk

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of Khabarovsk

Khabarovsk is a city (since 1880) in Russia, the center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia and the Khabarovsk Territory. One of the largest political, educational and cultural centers of the Far East of Russia. Population - 618 150 people. (2018). The area of ​​the city is 386 km².

Located in the center of the intersection of international rail and air transport routes on the right bank of the Amur Canal and the Amur River in the Middle Amur Lowland, near the border with China (the ship from the river station to the nearest Chinese village of Fuyuan is about 65 km).

The distance to Moscow in a straight line (by air) is approximately 6,100 km, by rail - 8,533 km. The city has two airports, a railway station, four railway stations, a highway junction, a river port.

It was founded on May 31 (old style) in 1858 as the military post of Khabarovka by the Governor-General of Eastern Siberia Nikolai Muravyov, named after the 17th century Russian explorer Erofei Khabarov. The First Builder - the commander of the 13th Siberian Linear Battalion, Captain Yakov Dyachenko.

 

 

 

History of Khabarovsk

Chinese early dynasties
The tribe of the Tungusic peoples are the indigenous people of the region. Later the city was named "Boli"(伯力 in Chinese) and was controlled by ancient miners of China. Located at the crossing of Heilong River(Amur) and Usuli River(Ussuri), traditional tribes of different nations with different cultures and styles shows the diversity of the settlers. Beiwei dynasty and Nanbeichao had claimed to own this region. In Tang Dynasty (618-907), Boli was the capital of Heishui (a region in Tang Dynasty. Heishui, literally means Black Water, was the ancient name of Heilong River, which is also called Amur by Russians), known as Heishuiduhufu(黑水都护府, government of Heishui). The Liao dynasty and Jin dynasty (Two states governed by the Khitan people and the Jurchen people of Northeast Asia, respectively) took sovereignty of Boli before Mongols captured the city. Ming and Qing took control of the city effectively. Before 1860, this was a typical Chinese city, with more than 50% Han residents.

17th-century Russian explorers
In the mid-17th century, the Amur Valley became the scene of hostilities between the Russian Cossacks, trying to expand into the region and to collect tribute from the natives, and the rising Manchu Qing Dynasty, intent on securing the region for itself.

Khabarov's Achansk
The Russian explorers and raiders of the 1650s set up a number of more or less fortified camps (ostrogs) on the Amur; most of them were in use for only a few months, and later destroyed. It is usually thought that the first such camp in the general area of today's Khabarovsk was the fortified winter camp named Achansk (Ачанск) or Achansky gorodok (Ачанский городок), built by the Cossacks of Yerofey Khabarov in September 1651 after they had sailed to the area from the upper Amur. The fort was named after the local tribe whom Khabarov's people called "Achans". Already on October 8 the fort was unsuccessfully attacked by joint forces of Achans and Duchers (who had good reasons to hate the Cossacks, due to their rather heavy-handed tribute-extraction tactics), while many Russians were away fishing. In late November, Khabarov's people undertook a three-day campaign against the local chief Zhakshur (Жакшур) (whose name is also known in a more Russian version, Zaksor (Заксор)), collecting a large amount of tribute and announcing that the locals were now subjects of the Russian Czar. Similar campaign was waged later in winter against the Ducher chief Nechiga (Нечига), farther away from Achansk.

On March 24 (or 26), 1652, Fort Achansk was attacked by Manchu cavalry, led by Ninguta's commander Haise, reinforced by Ducher auxiliaries, but the Cossacks stood their ground in a day-long battle and even managed to seize the attackers' supply train. Once the ice on the Amur broke in the spring of 1652, Khabarov's people destroyed their fort and sailed away.

The exact location of Khabarov's Achansk has long been a subject for the debate among Russian historians and geographers. A number of locations, both upstream and downstream of today's Khabarovsk, have been proposed since Richard Maack, one of the first Russian scholars to visit the region, identified Achansk in 1859 with the ruins on Cape Kyrma, which is located on the southern (Chinese) shore of the Amur, upstream of Khabarovsk. The most widely accepted point of view is probably that of Boris Polevoy, who believed that Khabarov's Achansk was located in the Nanai village later known as Odzhal-Bolon (Russian: Оджал-Болонь), located on the left bank of the Amur, closer to Amursk than to Khabarovsk. One of his arguments was that both Khabarov's Achan (sometimes also spelled by the explorer as Otshchan, Отщан), and Wuzhala (乌扎拉) of the Chinese records of the 1652 engagement are based on the name of the Nanai clan "Odzhal" (Оджал), corresponding to the 20th-century name of the village as well. (The name of the clan was also written as "Uzala", as in the name of its best known member, Dersu Uzala).

Polevoy's view appeared to gain wide support among the Russian geographer community; petitioned by the Amur Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, the Russian Government renamed the village of Odzhal to Achan in 1977, to celebrate its connection with Khabarov's raid.

As to the Cape Kyrma ruins, thought by Maack to be the remains of Achansk, B.P. Polevoy identified them as the remains of another ostrog - namely, Kosogorsky Ostrog, where Onufriy Stepanov stayed a few years later.

 

Qing Empire
After the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689), the area became an uncontested part of the Qing Empire for the next century and a half. Modern historical maps of the Qing period published in China mark the site of future Khabarovsk as Bólì (Chinese: 伯力). All of the middle and lower Amur region was nominally part of the Jilin Province, run first out of Ninguta and later out of Jilin City.

French Jesuits who sailed along the Ussury and the Amur in 1709 prepared the first more or less precise map of the region. According to them, the indigenous Nanai people were living on the Ussury and on the Amur down to the mouth of the Dondon River (i.e., in the region including the site of the future Khabarovsk). These people were known to the Chinese as Yupi Dazi ("Fish skin Tartars").

From Khabarovka to Khabarovsk
In 1858, the area was ceded to Russia under the Treaty of Aigun. The Russians founded the military outpost of Khabarovka (Хаба́ровка), named after Yerofey Khabarov. The post later became an important industrial center for the region. Town status was granted in 1880; in 1893, it was given its present name.

In 1894, a department of Russian Geographical Society was formed in Khabarovsk and to found libraries, theatres and museums in the city. Since then, Khabarovsk's cultural life has flourished. Much of the local indigenous history has been well preserved in the Regional Lore Museum and Natural History Museum and in places like near the Nanai settlement of Sikachi-Alyan, where cliff drawings from more than 13,000 years ago can be found. The Khabarovsk Art Museum exhibits a rare collection of old Russian icons.

In 1916, the Khabarovsk Bridge across the Amur was completed, allowing Trans-Siberian trains to cross the river without using ferries (or temporary rail tracks over the frozen river in winter).

 

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

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