Voronezh city and the
occupy the territory in the Central European part of Russia. It locates
on Srednerusskaya Elevation on the both banks of the Voronezh River,
twelve kilometers away from where it flows into the river Don which
provides navigable path to the Azov and the Black Seas. Voronezh is
situated 587 km from Moscow to the south-west and borders upon Ukraine.
The region belongs to the Central Federal District.
The historic centre remaining its
modern administrative and business core is situated on the right bank
of the Voronezh Reservoir while the left bank is an industrial area.
Human settlement on the site is
attested since the Paleolithic age. In 1879 near village Kostenki an
early man site was discovered. Later there were opened up and explored
more than 26 sites of the Stone Age. Now it is the richest
concentration of cultural property sites of Paleolithic age in Russia
and well-known among European scientists.
The first reference to Voronezh
from 1177 when the settlement was mentioned in the chronicles. There
were numerous records of the word “Voronezh” related to descriptions of
Mongol-Tatar invasion. Nevertheless, the official documents state the
year when the fortified town of Voronezh was built at the southern
borders of Russia as 1585. Its designation was straightforward – guard
the Russian lands against the nomadic raids from the South.
Less than half a century
was to play a crucial role in developing of new Russia during the reign
of one of the greatest Russian tsars – Emperor Peter the Great.
Following defeat at the hands of the Turks at Azov, he decreed that
Russia must have a navy. The tsar looking for a suitable place for
construction of a future navy upon the Don found out not far from
Voronezh primeval 450-year-old oak forest. Moreover the town was an
ideal position because of the river Don and the abundance of wood and
iron ore available in the local area. In November 1696 Boyars' Council
enforced a decree issued by Peter the Great - "Construction of Russian
navy in Voronezh". It was 7 years before the foundation of St.
Petersburg when in Voronezh the first ever built navy in Russia under
the personal control of the Great Russian reformer, was launched and
set sail to the Black sea. Uspenskaya church, where the first legendary
ships "Principium" and "The Apostle Peter" were christened, still
stands on the banks of Voronezh reservoir.
Owing to the Voronezh Admiralty
Voronezh became for a short time the largest city of Southern Russia
and the economic centre of a large and fertile region. Under the rule
of Peter the Great Voronezh became an economic centre of Russia and
evolved into an important national, military and trade town. On the
19th of November 1698 Peter I started construction of a unique ship
"Predestinatsia" and managed the work himself for a few weeks. In
spring 1699 Voronezh became the most important political centre of
Russia. Here embassies of Germany, Denmark and some other states stayed
for a while. The region prospered as the navy grew and supporting
industries were established. The city took on a cosmopolitan air as the
influence of the influx of foreign craftsmen and stay of the top
officials of the Emperor court. European styles of dress and
architecture changed to make Voronezh far from an average Russian city.
Prosperous shipbuilding led to
establishment of numerous manufactures which gave start to Voronezh as
one of the strategic industrial centre. 1741 can be regarded as the
year of first scientific visit of European researchers. Their mission
was to study biodiversity of Voronezh region. During the reign of
Catherine the Great and later in the 19th century, the town continued
developing as an industrial and cultural centre of the region. In 1801
the first professional theatre was established. Now it is Koltsov State
Drama Theatre. Besides the oldest drama theatre there are 4 city
From the beginning of the
an industry-oriented approach has been adopted in Voronezh. Today the
city is a large administrative, industrial, scientific and cultural
centre of Russia. About 1 million people live within the bounds of the
city on an area of 600 square kilometers.
There are more than 150
enterprises. The most developed sectors are machine-building,
metal-working, power engineering (the most technically advanced
Novovoronezh atomic power station is located in Voronezh region), food,
chemical and petrochemical industries, agricultural products
manufacturing and processing, construction materials producing
industry, timber and woodworking industries and ferrous metallurgy.
Voronezh Aircraft Production
Association is one of the largest aircraft production plants in Russia.
It produces passenger jets, recently having the honour of refurbishing
the Presidential plane. The Design Bureau of Chemical Automatics is one
of the world leaders in development of liquid rocket engines,
participant of all Russian man-space flight programmes.
Powerful industrial potential and
reputable scientific base provided conditions for successful
development of education. At the present time, in terms of student
number per 10 thousand people, Voronezh region exceeds medium Russian
index. Voronezh is a university city – the city of science. It
possesses the developed network of higher professional education
represented by 40 institutions of higher education. The city's large
student population includes many foreigners as overseas students.
The first higher education
establishment - Agricultural Institute - was opened in 1913, and in
1918 the Voronezh State University was created as a part of the Yuryev
(Derpt) University which had been evacuated from the Baltic Area. At
present Voronezh University is one of the biggest educational and
scientific centers of the Russian Federation. The VSU offers academic
programmes at all levels: from vocational training to post-doctoral
studies, including bachelor, master, graduate and post-graduate
courses. It teaches students in 50 specialist, 28 bachelor and 108
master degree programmes. More than 20,000 students are taught by 1,300
academic staff, including 261 professors. Scientific researches in
Voronezh region are conducted by about 56 scientific institutions,
among them scientific research centers, design offices, etc. Researches
are conducted in 25 basic fields of science, and significant results
are achieved. Scientific schools in the field of mathematics,
solid-state physics, quantum electronics, nuclear physics, physical
chemistry, biology, ecology, geophysics, machine building,
IT-technologies, automation, archeology, linguistics, etc. are created.
research is of the most
priority for Voronezh region.
In 1927 the Voronezh State
Biosphere Reserve was established. According to climate conditions its
territory is defined as forest-steppe though some indicators show that
it is very close to forest zone. One of its peculiarities is the fact
that soil, vegetative cover as well as wildlife represent mostly nature
of the north than typical forest-steppe. The Reserve’s forests are of
natural origin. There are numerous objects of historic and cultural
value. First of all, Tolshevskiy Savoir-Transfiguration convent
originated since the beginning of XVII century, and hillforts of IX-XI
centuries. This reserve is the first forest nursery for beaver in the
world. Later the local beavers were distributed in European and other
Another Voronezh regional reserve
Khoper State Reserve – was set up in 1935 and its main objective was to
conserve and rehabilitate an endemic – Russian desman. Its territory
lies on the border of feather-grass steppe and grassland steppe. On the
left beach terrace of the river Khoper more than 50 small and large
lakes as well as wetlands are located, the latter are of the northern
There are a lot of really unique
in Voronezh region. Among them Belaya Gorka (White Hill) can be
mentioned. It is a special artesian spring of mineral water. Volchiy
Log (Wolf Narrow) is one of the rare places where on a very short
distance different species from Siberia, Kazakhstan and Mediterranean
Voronezh State University
research in the famous reserve "Galichya Gora" located on the right
bank of the river Don. The first explorations of the reserve are dated
from 1882 when there were found many rocky and rock-steppe kinds of
plants in Central Russia. Much attention is paid to the relic plants
problem and looking for the territories with plants, those are typical
of the Alps. Its herbariums and collections of vertebrate animals are
the biggest in the region. Now it is also a nursery of rapacious birds
where researchers work on restoration of mostly forgotten Russian
falcon hunting traditions.