Astrakhan


Astrakhan

Infobox Russian city
EnglishName=Astrakhan
RussianName=Астрахань
Skyline=Astrakhan panoramaofcenter.jpg
Skyline

LatDeg=46
LatMin=21
LatSec
LonDeg=48
LonMin=03
LonSec
Locator

LocatorMap



CityDay=


FederalSubject=Astrakhan Oblast
MunStatus=Urban okrug
InJurisdictionOf=
AdmCtrOf=
LeaderType=City Head
LeaderName=Sergey Bozhenov
Legislature=City Duma
Charter=Charter of Astrakhan
Area_km2= 500
AreaRank
Population=502800
PopulationRank=
FoundationDate=1558
Event1=Town status
Event1Date=1717
Event2=
Event2Date=
PostalCode=414000..414057
DialingCode=8512

Astrakhan ( _ru. А́страхань; _tt. Ästerxan; Persian: حاجی‌ترخان "Haji-Tarkhan") is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea. Population: 502,800 (2004 est.); 504,501 (2002 Census); 509,210 (1989 Census).

Medieval history

Astrakhan' is situated in the Volga Delta, rich in sturgeon and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria and the Golden Horde. Astrakhan' itself was first mentioned by travellers in the early 13th century as Xacitarxan. Tamerlane burnt it to the ground in 1395. From 1459 to 1556, Xacitarxan was the capital of Astrakhan Khanate. The ruins of this medieval settlement were found by archaeologists 12 km upstream from the modern-day city.

In 1556, the khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible, who had a new fortress, or kremlin, built on a steep hill overlooking the Volga. In 1569, Astrakhan' was besieged by the Ottoman army, which had to retreat in disarray. A year later, the Sultan renounced his claims to Astrakhan, thus opening the entire Volga River to Russian traffic. In the 17th century, the city was developed as a Russian gate to the Orient. Many merchants from Armenia, Persia, India and Khiva settled in the downtown, giving it a multinational and variegated character.

Modern history

For seventeen months in 1670–1671 Astrakhan' was held by Stenka Razin and his Cossacks. Early in the following century, Peter the Great constructed a shipyard here and made Astrakhan the base for his hostilities against Persia, and later in the same century Catherine II accorded the city important industrial privileges.

The city rebelled against the tsar once again in 1705, when it was held by the Cossacks under Kondraty Bulavin. A Kalmuck khan laid an abortive siege to the kremlin several years prior to that.

In 1711, it became a capital of a guberniya, whose first governors included Artemy Petrovich Volynsky and Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev. Six years later, Astrakhan served as a base for the first Russian venture into Central Asia. In 1702, 1718, and 1767, it suffered severely from fires; in 1719 it was plundered by the Persians; and in 1830 the cholera swept away a large number of its people.

Astrakhan's kremlin was built from the 1580s to the 1620s from bricks pillaged at the site of Sarai Berke. Its two impressive cathedrals were consecrated in 1700 and 1710, respectively. Built by masters from Yaroslavl, they retain many traditional features of Russian church architecture, while their exterior decoration is definitely baroque.

In the autumn of 1942, the region to the west of Astrakhan became one of the easternmost points in the Soviet Union reached by the invading German Wehrmacht, during Case Blue, the offensive which led to the Battle of Stalingrad. Light armoured forces of German Army Group A made brief scouting missions as close as 100 km to the city before withdrawing.In the same period, the Luftwaffe flew several air raids on the oil terminals and harbour installations of the city.

Education

Astrakhan has five institutions of higher education. Most prominent prominent among these are Astrakhan State Technical University and Astrakhan State University.

Notable people

*Boris Kustodiev, a Russian painter
*Joseph Deniker, French naturalist and anthropologist.
*Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, father of Aleksandr Ulyanov and Vladimir Lenin.
*Vasily Kirillovich Trediakovsky, Russian poet.
*Rinat Dasaev, Soviet football goalkeeper.
*Marziyya Davudova, Azerbaijani actress.
*Velimir Khlebnikov, a Russian Futurist poet.

ister cities

*flagicon|Belarus Brest, Belarus
*flagicon|India Ahmedabad, India

External links

* [http://www.love-astrakhan.narod.ru/ Modern foto of Astrakhan, history, maps.]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=46.360435,48.055229&spn=0.114569,0.234180&t=k&hl=en Satellite picture by Google Maps]
* [http://www.astrakhan.name/ Website of modern Astrakhan ]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • ASTRAKHAN — ASTRAKHAN, Volga port, capital of Astrakhan district, Russia. The Jewish Statute of 1804 (see russia ) included the province (gubernia) of Astrakhan in the pale of settlement . However, in 1825 Jewish settlement in this government was prohibited …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ASTRAKHAN — ASTRAKHA S’étendant sur les deux rives du bras principal de la Volga, à une centaine de kilomètres de la mer Caspienne, Astrakhan, chef lieu de la région administrative de la Fédération de Russie du même nom, comptait déjà 113 000 habitants en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Astrakhan — As tra*khan , a. Of or pertaining to Astrakhan in Russia or its products; made of an Astrakhan skin. n. The skin of stillborn or young lambs of that region, the curled wool of which resembles fur. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • astrakhan — cloth or astrakhan wool of the type originally clipped from sheep native to Astrakhan on the Caspian in the delta of the Volga …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • astrakhan — ► NOUN ▪ the dark curly fleece of young karakul lambs from central Asia. ORIGIN named after the city of Astrakhan in Russia …   English terms dictionary

  • astrakhan — [as′trə kən] n. 1. a loosely curled fur, a kind of karakul, made from the pelt of very young lambs originally bred near Astrakhan 2. a wool fabric with a pile cut and curled to look like this …   English World dictionary

  • Astrakhan — Astrakhan, so v.w. Astrachan …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Astrakhan — [as′trə kan΄; ] Russ [ äs΄trə khän′y ] city & port in SW Russia, on the Volga River delta near the Caspian Sea: pop. 512,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Astrakhan — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Astrakan. Astrakhan Астрахань …   Wikipédia en Français

  • astrakhan — /as treuh keuhn, kan /, n. 1. a fur of young lambs, with lustrous, closely curled wool, from Astrakhan. 2. Also called astrakhan cloth. a fabric with curled pile resembling astrakhan fur. Also, astrachan. [1760 70] * * * City (pop., 2001 est.:… …   Universalium


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