History of the city

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Krasnoyarsk is one of the oldest Siberian cities. The detachment of Cossacks led by Andrei Dubensky founded it in 1628 as a military stockaded town. Originally the settlement was named as “Krasniy Yar”, which means “Beautiful shore”. Krasnoyarsk received status of the city in 1690, when Siberia was finally added to Russia. In 1822 there was the  tsar's decree to create Yenisei province, and Krasnoyarsk became the centre of it.
In XVIII century Krasnoyarsk changed from military stockaded town to average Siberian city. The turning point for the city history was the construction of the great Siberian Railway in 1895. This railway connected Krasnoyarsk with the central part of Russia.
After that, there were the constructions of railway terminal and the famous bridge over the Yenisei. So, Krasnoyarsk became the major traffic centre of Siberia. In XIX century the city became the place for Decembrists exile. It was time to found educational and cultural institutions, to publish own newspaper. Thanks to this the city received the status of cultural capital of Siberia.

Today, after almost four centuries from the foundation, Krasnoyarsk is the major industrial, transport, scientific, cultural and sporting center of the East Siberia and the capital of the second largest region of Russia. There are 150 large- and medium enterprises functioning in the city. Moreover, for years Krasnoyarsk has been recognized as one of the most comfortable city in Russia.

The Krasnoyarsk history started in 1623, when Yenisei voivode Yakov Ignatievich Khripunov sent boyar’s son Andrey Anufrievich Dubenskoy to choose the place for new stockaded town to secure Yeniseysk against Kirghiz raids. For building of new stockaded town Dubenskoy chose the place in four-days of ride by horses from Yeniseysk, near the north line of the Kirghiz nomads' camp at the high plane promontory between river Kacha outfall and Yenisey, which left bank – of red marl-  rise up steeply and form picturesque ridge. This hole, chosen for stockaded town, was named the Red Dubenskoy, quite probably not because of the precipitous bank colour but for the beauty of this place. In 1627, when the building plan was approved in Tobolsk and Moscow, the 303 men led by Andrei Anufrievich Dubenskoy had been equipped for campaign. With great difficulties the expedition reached the place and began to build the stockaded town in the middle of summer 1628. It is necessary to note that local residents were very peaceful to Cossacks and even helped in construction. So there is the information that «prince of the near Tyulkina land - Tatush» met Russians with peace and gave them horses. At the end of July 1628 Kirghiz tested the patience of the new erected stockaded town and its defenders. The attack was successfully repulsed as the other further assaults on Siberian stronghold. At times the stockaded town had been under a siege for months, but never been seized by enemies.

Cossacks were the first and the only inhabitants of the “new Kacha Ostrog”. That was the previous name of Krasnoyarsk. At the beginning of XVIII century the garrison consisted of 850 people, the 80% of which were military men. As the all Russian Cossacks in XVII —XVIII centuries, they were soldiers, officials and workmen simultaneously.

In 1690 Krasnoyarsk received status of the city. Krasnoyarsk lost the strategically importance of the military outpost after the Yenisei Kirghiz defeat, the departure of some of their princes to the Tien-Shan foothills, after the Abakan and Sayan stockaded towns building and the signing of the Peace Treaty at Kyahta with Manchuria in 1728. But in spite of peace time the city did not develop.

In 1782 the Yenisei province, established at times of Peter the First, was liquidated. This province covered almost the whole Krai. Territory of the Krasnoyarsk Uezd entered three regions ruled by governor-general: Tobolskoe, Kolyvanskoe and Irkutskoe. Krasnoyarsk was subordinated to Tobolsk, but anyway it preserved its previous administrative significance. Since 1804 Krasnoyarsk was subordinated to Tomsk, which became the principal city of a province.

The transformation of Krasnoyarsk from the big frontier stronghold to a usual small Siberian town had an impact on all spheres of its life. At the last quarter of the century the city appearance had no reminder about fighting past. In 1773 the awful fire, which left only 30 houses untouched, destroyed all fortifications.

The city life had changed, when in 1822 tsar's decree to establish Yenisei Province was issued. Krasnoyarsk was chosen to be its center, it was not a big city, but it had the most advantageous economic-geographic position. At this time there were functioning telegraphic station, primary school, men’s and women’s gymnasiums, teacher’s seminary and handicraft specialized school. Merchants, craftsmen and owners of goldmines went to Krasnoyarsk, the first stone buildings appeared, the park was laid out, the printing establishment was opened and the first Krasnoyarsk newspaper “Yenisei province record” was published.
Another important date for Krasnoyarsk is December 6, 1895. It was time when the first train opened the traffic on the Trans-Siberian Railway.  The end of construction of this railway significantly facilitated development of the city.

In 1934 Krasnoyarsk became an administrative center of the Krai with rapid development of industry. At the beginning of 1941 there were 38824 people working at city enterprises. The industrial power of Krasnoyarsk had been increasing during war period and it became the major industrial center of East Siberia, outrun Irkutsk.

The new page of city history was the development of hydropower resources of Angara and Yenisei, which began at post-war period. At the time of industrial rise both electrical power industry and related enterprises like ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, pulp-and-paper industry, medical and chemical industries were created here. Krasnoyarsk became the major center of academic science, higher and specialized secondary education. Today there are 47 research and planning organizations, 12 state institutions of higher education and 35 technical secondary schools in the city. Krasnoyarsk is the cultural center of the region. There are Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Dramatic theatre, Theatre of Musical Comedy, Theatre for Young Audience, Puppet Theatre, Picture Gallery, Local History Museum, Surikov Museum, Symphony Orchestra, Organ Hall in the city. And it is necessary to note famous Mikhail Godenko’ Siberian folk dance group.

Today Krasnoyarsk is the city with population of almost million people, the geographical center of the country and the biggest main traffic center of Siberia. There are tens thousand enterprises, organizations and institutions in the city. The fourteenth city by the number of inhabitants, Krasnoyarsk is the administrative center of one of the biggest federal regions in Russia – the Krasnoyarsk Territory, which area is about 2339,7 thousand square kilometers or 13.6 % of all country’s territory.