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Founded on the River Kungurka in 1648, the settlement was burnt down by the Bashkir raiders in 1662. In 1663 it was transferred to its present-day location and rebuilt as a fortress. The hydronym probably appeared under the influence of the considerable development of karst phenomena (like the famous Ice Cave) in the area.

In this case the name can be related to the Turkic ungur, meaning cave, gorge, or ravine and the Mongolian hunhur, i.e. big ravine, or cavity. Yet, there are some other versions as well.

In 1774 the town withstood the siege of the troops of Emelyan Pugachov, a pretender to the Russian throne who led a great Cossack rebellion during the reign of Catherine II. (...)

In the early 18th century leather and foot-wear industry was initiated here with the building of leather processing factory in 1724. By the mid 18th century Kungur became one of the largest population aggregates of the Urals. From 1759 Perm Factory Administration was located here.

In 1781 Kungur became the chief town of the Perm vicariate (Perm province from 1796). By the late 18th century it was an important point of transit trade (including bread) on the Siberian high road and the centre of leather industry of the Perm province. In the 19th century local merchants became the largest tea dealers in the country. By the end of the 19th century Kungur was a significant industrial and cultural centre.

Today Kungur is famous for its arts and crafts and in particular selenite stone cutting; the Kungur Art Lyceum evolved from a stone cutting art school founded in 1936 for development of handicrafts of the Urals.




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