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Salekhard is a Russian city, the administrative center of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. It is the only city in the world that is situated in the Polar Circle. Salekhard is a small city of oil and gas industry workers and the capital of the richest region of Russia.

The city stands on the right coast of River Polui not far from its confluence into River Ob, 2436 km away from Moscow.

History of Salekhard

The stockade town was founded here by Russian Cossacks and named Obdorsky Fortress in 1595. The fortress became the most northern one in Siberia.

In 1635 the town was named Obdorsky Outpost and got its first permanent residents.

In 1807 the fortifications were taken down. Obdorsk became a village and till the end of 1923 remained the center of Obdorsky Volost of Berezovsky District, the Tobolsk Province.

On November, 3rd, 1923 Obdorsk became the center of Obdorsky District of the Ural Region.

On December, 10th, 1930 it became the center of the Yamal (Nenets) National Area.

On June, 20th, 1933 Obdorsk was transformed into the district settlement Salekhard (the name derived from Nenets Sale-Khard meaning settlement on a cape). On November, 27th, 1938 it was transformed into the city of Salekhard.

In 1990 Salrkhard was included into the List of Historical Cities of the Russian Federation.

Both in tsarist and Soviet periods Obdorsk was a popular exile place. In 1894-1902 the leader of the Dukhobortsy religious sect Peter Verigin lived there in exile. After the October Revolution new authorities began to exile there orthodox bishops, among them Archpriest Procopius (Titov) and Bishop Ambrose (Polyansky).

Sightseeing in Salekhard:

It is worth visiting I.S.Shemanovsky Yamalo-Nenets Area Museum Exhibition Centre. The museum history goes back to Storehouse of Collections on Ethnography of Foreigners of the Tobolsk North created on the initiative of the Orthodox missionary Ivan Semenovich Shemanovsky (Abbot Irenarchus) in 1906.

In the vicinities of Salekhard there are several monuments which have become the citys symbols emphasizing the uniqueness of its geographical position: these are the Polar Circle Monument and a gigantic monument to a mammoth set up near the ferry of Salekhard.

Among diverse sights of Salekhard there is Obdorsky stockade town, a wooden church, ancient merchant buildings, an obelisk to soldiers perished in the Great Patriotic War, bronze figures of Cossacks-trailblazers, the unique Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral (1894) constructed without piles in the conditions of permafrost, etc.

The automobile bridge Fakel (Torch) over River Shaitanka can also be called one of the sights of Salekhard - this magnificent bridge reminding of a flaring torch is the symbol of the major gas capital city of Russia and has no analogues in the world.

In the area of Salekhard there is the well-known Ust-Polujsky site of ancient settlement, which appeared more than two thousand years ago, and is one of the oldest and most well-known monuments in world archeology.

One of the cultural attractions of Salekhard is the International Ice Sculptures Festival Polar Rhapsody.

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