There are so many settlements in the vast expanses of Russia. Tiny villages and godforsaken villages coexist with small old towns and bustling metropolises. Regardless of their size, each of them is unique in its history, architecture and character of local residents. Today I would like to talk about the largest cities in Russia in terms of occupied area, included in the top 10.
Omsk (566 sq. Km)
The Siberian millionaire took the last line in the list of the largest cities in Russia by area. Founded at the beginning of the 18th century as a Cossack fortress on the eastern borders of the young Russian Empire, at various times it performed important state functions. After the October Revolution of 1917, the city of Omsk briefly acquired the unofficial status of the White Guard capital; during the Great Patriotic War, factories from the occupied territories were evacuated to the banks of the Irtysh.
Today it is one of the most important centers of industry and culture. The leadership of the Siberian Cossacks is also based here. The heart of the historical part of Omsk is considered to be the Orthodox Cathedral, consecrated in the name of the Assumption of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Kazan (588 sq. Km)
The second place from the end was given to the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. The first settlement on the territory of modern Kazan appeared more than a thousand years ago. For 500 years before the annexation to Russia, these lands were part of the powerful Golden Horde Khanate. Starting from the reign of John IV the Terrible, the city began to actively develop, adopting the capital's novelties. In just 3 centuries, it acquired its own printing house, manufactories and a regular theater. The 19th century was marked by the opening of the country's third university, gasification, electrification, the appearance of a tram line, telegraph and telephone communications.
Once set, the high bar is maintained to this day. Modern Kazan is a metropolis that continues the economic, cultural, scientific and religious traditions of its predecessors. International music festivals, world-class sports competitions, interesting tourist routes attract many foreign guests. The Kremlin, which is today under the personal patronage of UNESCO, was and remains a real city treasure.
Voronezh (596 sq. Km)
Voronezh is in eighth place in the ranking of the largest Russian cities by area. With the light hand of Emperor Peter I, 300 years ago, the provincial town suddenly became the cradle of the country's regular navy. On the Don, a grandiose construction of the first military ships began. Later, the townspeople immortalized this significant event by erecting a monument to the daring autocrat in one of the squares.
Voronezh today is numerous universities, architectural monuments, theaters, museums and of course the famous reservoir, the largest in Central Russia. The size of the artificial reservoir is about 70 square kilometers, the average depth reaches 3 meters.
Orsk (621 sq. Km)
The 7th number of the top is from Orenburg region. Orsk became a city quite late, only in the middle of the 19th century. In the old days, the surrounding areas constituted one of the sections of a large caravan route along which Asian merchants transported furs and ore. Having passed under the patronage of the Russian Empire, a lively trading settlement served as a basing point for government troops, then as a border fortress, or as a village for the Orenburg Cossacks. At different times such famous personalities as astronomer H. Euler, poet T. Shevchenko, geographer A. Humboldt have visited here.
The geographical features of the area give Orsk a peculiar charm. The Ural Mountains slope down to the Ural River of the same name, dividing residential quarters into the so-called European and Asian parts. The city-forming function belongs to the industrial sector. The bulk of jobs are in mechanical engineering, oil refining and geological exploration. Orsk land keeps dozens of archeological monuments: burial mounds and sites of ancient people.
Tyumen (698 sq. Km)
The capital of Western Siberia is on the sixth position in the list of the largest cities in Russia. Tyumen belongs to the honorary title of the first Russian city founded beyond the Ural ridge. According to historical legend, in 1586, a squadron under the leadership of Ataman Yermak Timofeevich landed on the banks of the Tura. For wintering and protection from possible attacks of nomads, a wooden prison was laid by the Cossacks.
The total number of Tyumen residents has not yet reached a million, but is confidently striving for this indicator. There are 4 universities in the city and the only school in the country that graduates military engineers. Not so long ago, a symphony orchestra was created on the basis of the local philharmonic society.
Ufa (707 sq. Km)
The five leaders are opened by the city of Ufa. The capital of Bashkortostan is considered one of the greenest and most spacious millionaires in the country. One Ufa resident has up to 700 m² of territory, and parks, squares and green recreation areas have long become the hallmark of the metropolis.
Ufa rightfully bears the title of one of the main Russian industrial centers. Various areas of energy and instrumentation are flourishing here, oil, gas, gypsum and asbestos are mined and refined. It is also an important transport junction for federal pipelines, railways and highways, river and air routes. In 2015, the hospitable land of Ufa hosted several international political summits.
Perm (799 sq. Km)
The land was first explored by ancient people back in the Stone Age. In the history of the Russian state, the birth of Perm was accomplished by the will of Peter the Great. The autocrat's associates V. Tatishchev and V. de Gennin founded the 1st copper smelter on Kama, where high quality copper ores were mined and processed. Over time, the factory settlement was overgrown with population, enlarged and turned into a large provincial center.
During the Great Patriotic War, all industry, without exception, was transferred to the front lines. The Permians sheltered the main stream of the evacuated population and took an active part in the formation of fresh military units. For exceptional services during the Great War, Perm was awarded the title of “City of Labor Valor”.
Perm land is not only about minerals and heavy metallurgy. It is also the birthplace of the first university in the Urals, a choreographic school, over a dozen museums, an opera house and luxurious classicist monuments of urban planning of the 19th century.
Volgograd (859 sq. Km)
Volgograd opens the top three. The city of military glory and courage was renamed three times in 4 centuries of its existence. At first he was called Tsaritsyn, then Stalingrad. Like most ancient settlements, initially the fortress on the left bank of the Volga served as a staging post on the way of the Varangian and Arab merchant ships. After the Mongol invasion, the northernmost branch of the Great Silk Road ran here.
Life in the Volga region has never been calm. Here and there peasant riots and civil strife broke out. Only by the middle of the 19th century did the situation stabilize, which contributed to a powerful leap in the development of Tsaritsyn. Industrialization gradually began, which lasted a whole century. The steppes penetrated the threads of the railways, factory buildings grew, schools, colleges and institutes were opened.
The symbol of the city of Volgograd – the legendary sculpture of the Motherland on the Mamayev Kurgan – is known far beyond the borders of Russia. Thousands of people from all over the world come here to pay tribute to the resilience of the Soviet soldier.
Saint Petersburg (1439 sq. Km)
The second place in the ranking of the largest cities of the Russian Federation in terms of area went to St. Petersburg. “Northern Palmyra” is the beloved child of the indefatigable genius of Peter, praised by poets, artists and musicians. In the past, it was repeatedly rebuilt after terrible floods, and in the twentieth century, like a phoenix from the ashes, revived after the horrors of the blockade.
St. Petersburg is called the cultural capital of Russia. Its unique imperial architecture, palace and garden-park ensembles, theater and museum traditions, winds from the Gulf of Finland, the very atmosphere of streets and canals are so attractive for true connoisseurs of beauty that they make travelers come back here again and again.
Moscow (2561 sq. Km)
Moscow is naturally the largest city in Russia in terms of area. In addition to the vast territory occupied, according to official estimates, more than 12 million inhabitants live in the capital of the Russian Federation, which is comparable to the population in a small European state. It makes no sense to describe Moscow, because its centuries-old history is known to every Russian.