"Siberian town" Barnaul by Klod5
Barnaul Travel Guide: 32 reviews and 56 photos
Barnaul is important industrial centre. There are more than 100 industrial enterprises in the city with 120 thousand people employed there. They produce diesels, metal-cutting lathes, forge presses, steam boilers, tyres, synthetic fibres, technical carbon, boring machines, cotton cloth, furniture, footwear, faceted diamonds.
Barnaul is easily accessible. It is linked by air, railways, cars and river boats with other parts of Russia and local places.
The city has five theatres, a Philharmonic Society, three museums, twelve Palaces and Houses of Culture, ten musical and art schools, thirty the municipal libraries with a total of 1200000 books. There is a Palace of Sports, Sport Complex "Ob", stadiums, sportshalls, swimming pools and a hippodrome at the disposal of our sportsmen.
After Peter the Great's reforms, Russia made a great stride forward, rushed its way to the world arena and established itself as an important power in Europe. It was at this time that Barnaul - one of the oldest cities in West Siberia - emerged.
Rich copper deposits discovered at the foothills of the Altai mountains and the construction of the first copper-smelting works in Kolyvan preceded its appearance. Later, in 1730 the people of Akinfy Demidov, the factory-owner from the Urals, who were busy prospecting for a suitable site for a new and larger metal-works, selected the one in the mouth of the Barnaulka River. This choice proved to be a success. The place was close to water (the metal-works at that time depended on it immensely as it put machinery into operation) and to forest to get the necessary charcoal for copper-smelting. And though the future work site was rather far away from the essential raw material (copper) and its delivery was rather toilsome and costly, the choice had to be accepted as rivers and forests in the mine vicinity were very scarce.
But copper was not the only thing that attracted Akinfy Demidov. The explorers of the Altai foothills supposed that silver might also be present in that area and numerous silver ornaments from the Altai ancient barrows prompted that idea. At that time Russia did not possess rich deposits of silver.
A thin stream of this metal flowed to the state treasury only from the Nerchinsk factories. That is why when silver ore was discovered in the Altai, in Zmeinaya (Snake) mountain region, the fate of Demidov's mines and metalworks was predetermined. On May 1st, 1747, they were taken over by the crown in a special decree of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna to become the major silver centre of Russia.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries 90 per cent of Russian silver - 1000 poods (16.5 tons) annually - was produced in the Altai. The Barnaul silver-smelting works with 13 of its furnaces was considered to be the largest one, the silver production amounted there to 450 poods (7.4 tons) a year. No wonder the small works settlement kept growing and in 1771 it acquired the status of a mining town that was one of the largest in Siberia. The name "mining town" was not haphazard - all the aspects of the town's life were focused on mining production. Russian history records only two mining towns - Ekaterinburg and Barnaul.
The latter was not noted for its size alone. In the 18th century it became a centre of the advanced scientific thought and cultural life in Siberia. In 1753 a Junior Mining School attached to the works was opened in the town.
In 1779 it was followed by a Senior Mining School similar to the one in St. Petersburg. The best graduates of the School could continue their education in the capital. To meet the demands of the mining experts a unique scientific and technological library started functioning in Barnaul in 1764. In the early 19th century the number of its books in various European languages came to 7000.
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Legend: 1 - Hotel Rus, 24h internet cafe, bar 2 - Hotel Tsentralnaya 3 - Hotel Altay 4 - Hotel Barnaul 5 - "Pilot" Night... more travel advice
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