Kozmodemyansk, Russia

Kozmodemyansk is a city (since 1781) in the Republic of Mari El of the Russian Federation. The center of the Gornomariysky region, which is not part of.



Founded in 1583 as the Kozmodemyansky prison. The name is associated with the fact that the place for the future fortification was chosen on the day when the Orthodox Church commemorates the memory of the Martyrs Cosmas and Damian (in the common parlance of Kozma and Demyan). Since 1781 - the county town of Kozmodemyansk. Before the founding of the prison, in its place was the Chuvash village of Chikmehola - "border town" (Chuvash chike - "border", khola, distorted hula - "city"). In everyday life, the population of the Gornomariysk region still calls Kozmodemyansk the word "khala", the inhabitants of the city use the name "Kuzma".

The city is located on the high right bank of the Volga (Cheboksary reservoir), 104 km south-west of Yoshkar-Ola. The ferry crossing connects the city with the left-bank part of the republic. It is the main cultural center of the mountain Mari.



The date of the foundation of the first settlement, which arose on the site of the modern city of Kozmodemyansk even before the construction of the fort, is unknown.

Kozmodemyansk was founded as a fortress in 1583. Its foundation is associated with the defeat of the Kazan Khanate by Ivan the Terrible in October 1552 and the annexation of the Middle Volga region, including the Mari Territory, to the Russian state. There is the following legend about the origin of the name of the city: Ivan the Terrible, returning after the conquest of Kazan up the Volga, on November 1, 1552, on the Day of the Holy Unmercenaries Kozma and Damian, stopped for the night where the city of Kozmodemyansk is now located. He liked the locality, and he ordered to establish a fortress here in the name of these saints. The first settlers were archers and odnodvorets, later they were joined by the newly baptized. Later, people from Sviyazhsk and the Nizhny Novgorod province were transferred and resettled here.

Ostrog was located in the upland part. On the southern side, a natural fence was a deep ravine, from which an earthen rampart stretched along the edge of the mountain in a northeastern direction. From the Treasury in a straight line to the marketplace and r. A moat ran along the Volga to the place where the chapel was built in 1698. A wooden wall probably existed near the moat. The Trinity Church is currently located in the area where the prison is located. Three versts from the city there is a high earthen embankment. Tradition says that there was an archers' outpost here.

Under the name of the city, Kozmodemyansk was first mentioned in the acts of 1609.

In 1648, foot archers were transferred from Kozmodemyansk to the Simbirsk line, where they founded the Streletskaya Sloboda (now the village of Bazarny Uren).

On December 18, 1708, when Russia was divided into eight provinces, the city of Kozmodemyansk was assigned to the Kazan province, and in 1718 it was appointed the district town of the Kazan governorship. On October 18, 1781, the coat of arms of the city of Kozmodemyansk was approved: in a red field there is a golden bow, three arrows of the same metal are placed on it.

The first residential buildings appeared in the area of ​​the fortress. From here the city grew towards the east, along the low-lying bank of the river. Volga. Two parts of the city were formed: upland, insignificant in size, called Zagorodnaya Sloboda, and low-lying - large. In 1775, there were 464 courtyards in Kozmodemyansk. The city consisted of small wooden houses covered with pancakes. The streets were randomly arranged, with many lanes. After the fire on May 26, 1833, when 418 houses burned down, the city began to be built up according to the plan, which was approved by the highest on March 1, 1835.

There were five educational institutions in the city in the 19th century: the city three-class school (1791), the women's school (1862), the Cheremis women's school of the Brotherhood of St. Guria at the monastery (1876), two male parish schools (1885 and 1888). At the city three-year school there was a meteorological station, opened on July 1, 1886.

In addition to educational institutions, a city public bank (1875) and a public library (1882) functioned in the city.

In 1861, the first inpatient hospital in the Mari Territory was opened.

In 1886, the zemstvo bought a large stone two-story building, rebuilt in 1867-1868 as a hospital. In 1887, a bacteriological laboratory was established under her.

The abundance of forest dachas and convenient waterways in the second half of the 19th century led to the development of the timber industry. The timber was sold during the forest fair, which is considered the second largest in Russia after Arkhangelsk. During this period, the carving with which merchants and timber merchants decorated their houses became the hallmark of the city.


In 1889, there were 5167 inhabitants in Kozmodemyansk. The main occupation of the population is trade, handicrafts, trades, including fishing. The local handicraft industry was practically not developed. Three factories functioned in the vicinity of the city: a beer-mead brewery and two sawmills.

In the 19th century, seven Orthodox churches operated in the city, including the Epiphany (1734), Trinity (1733), Tikhvin (1827), Smolensk Cathedral (1872). In addition, there was an Old Believer chapel.

In 1917, Soviet power was established in the city.

In 1918 the people's house was opened, in 1919 - an art school, in 1923 - the theater "Blue Blouse" was organized. There was a pedagogical school and an agricultural technical school. In 1919, a museum was opened in the Smolensk Cathedral. A.V. Grigoriev, which houses an art gallery, composed of paintings by Russian artists of the Volga-Kama traveling exhibition.

In 1936, a repair and construction group began to function. In 1965 it was reorganized into DCS, later - into SMU-15, its current name is OJSC "Proizvodstvennik"

After the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. in the upland part of Kozmodemyansk there were quarters of five-storey buildings and factory buildings, the Palace of Culture named after Y. Eshpaya, Akpars cinema. Wooden houses have been preserved in the lower part of the city.

In 1953 a motor transport company was founded.

In 1983, an exposition of the open-air museum of local lore was located in the upper part of the city. Today, about 70 buildings and other objects are concentrated on the territory of the 6 hectare museum, and the number of exhibits reflecting the culture and life of the mountain Mari is approaching 7.5 thousand.

In 1991, one of the first gymnasiums in the Republic of Mari El was opened. The preschool educational institution "Fairy Tale" is functioning. Young talents of the children's art school are permanent diploma winners of republican competitions.

In 2001, Kozmodemyansk, participating in the Small Towns of Russia program, won the Soros Grant.

On August 19, 2019 Kozmodemyansk was included in the list of single-industry municipalities. Kozmodemyansk became a "monotown".