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    Izhevsk

The whole history of Izhevsk is inseparably linked with industry and commercial production. The city is founded in 1760 by the owner of Goroblagodatskie works Count Shuvalov. The history of the working city begins when the dam of the ironworks is built being one of the largest construction of the 18th century, the dam is 571 m long, 8.5 m high (from water level) and 46.6 m thick in its upper part. Enourmous man-made pool stretches in front of the dam, and the works is built near it first wooden houses, saw-mills and warehouses. The village is called Izhevsky works and is part of the Kazanskaya Guberniya (Kazan region). The second birth is the city is 1807, when third largest Russian armory is founded in the village, reaching its planned production capacity of 25 thousand silicon rifles and 5 thousand broadswords in 1830. Since that time and till nowadays citys main industry is defense industry.

The settlement near the works grows fast, since many peasants are recruited and become workers. When 1820 begins, the village boasts 9 streets in its upland part and 6 streets over the river. Izhevsks architecture is typical for works-cities of the Urals the dam, the pool, factory buildings and residential areas. First citys architect is S. Dudin, who builds main building of the armory in 1815 and Alexandro-Nevsky cathedral in 1823 and the building of the Arsenal in 1828. Izhevsks population grows rapidly 22.8 thousand citizens dwell in the town in 1863, however it is still called settlement near plant.

Strictly regulated life of plant workers suddenly becomes broken by unexpected freedom claimed by Alexander II, whose reform getting rid of serfdom launches in 1867, six years later than serfdom was abolished. Izhevsk people never wanted such freedom, since tens of years they were fulfilling orders. The panic strikes the city. Population, which was used to everyday hard work, is now free to do whatever they want. Some start their own business, and some turn to beggars. Sixties of the 19th century see appearing of private commercial production, among which we can find hunting rifle plants and business enterprises. Such enterprises are likely to appear around large plants, which belonged to the state.

In 1873 the city launches steel industry, and following year first steam engine starts operating. Since 1881 new industry appears at the plant steel rolling, and the plant provides steel and semi-products to many enterprises around the country. In 1887 towns population reaches 41 thousand people. The city flourishes in the nineties of the 19th century, when bank for workers, two gymnasiums, a circus, several clubs, a theatre and various religious institutions make the life of city dwellers easier and more interesting. The beginning of the 20th century initiates rapid growth of industry, and in 1916 Izhevsk obtains its own railway, connecting the town with other settlements.

Socialist Revolution of 1917 brings communist power to Izhevsk, however, communists appear to be unskillful managers, thus causing displeasure of citys population.

On February 21, 1918, the Izhevsky Zavod settlement is officially conferred status of the city. From 1921 Izhevsk is administrative centre of the Udmurt autonomous region, and becomes the capital of the Udmurt Soviet Social Republic in 1934. Before the Great Patriotic War starts, Izhevsk rapidly develops, opening more and more plants and factories. During the war the city does its best to supply weapons to the front. After the USSR wins the war, Izhevsk generates new industrial giants. More and more residential areas appear in the city population continues its growth.

Modern Izhevsk combines old architecture with up-to-date technologies. The city is connected with other Russian cities via air, train and motorways. The city educates its dwellers in 4 higher educational institutions and over 100 schools. Izhevsk is a boiling pot of nationalities it shelters nearly 100 nations.



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