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Vladivostok & Primorye

Introduction to Vladivostok AND pRIMORYE

    In 1889 Vladivostok was proclaimed a Fortress. In 1891 the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad had been started for linking Vladivostok – the most remote city of Russia and at the same time the most important Russia’s port in the Pacific Ocean area – with the European part of the country. This is the one of the world's longest railroads (9288 km from Vladivostok to Moscow). By 1917 Vladivostok had become a scientific, cultural, and industrial center, the largest in the Far East and Eastern Siberia. During 1920-1922 years more than 600 representatives of the Moscow and St. Petersburg creative intelligentsia who established here conservatories, theaters and several symphony orchestras here were living in Vladivostok.
  The 1950-1980s were the ages of active developing of the fisheries industry. Being a military port Vladivostok produced a large volume of military goods at the same time. From 1958 to 1991, only Soviet citizens were allowed to live or even visit Vladivostok (even so, Soviet citizens had to obtain official permission to enter the city). In 1992, for the first time in 70 years, Vladivostok has become officially opened for foreigners. 
Today, there are 12 consulates, hundreds of representative offices of foreign firms and a lot of joint venture enterprises in Vladivostok. The city attracts more and more tourists every year.
   Vladivostok is a capital of Primorsky region with a population of about 700,000. It is the big European city closest to the Asian and Pacific  countries. Vladivostok’s historical center is quite unusual, cause no building  repeats another’s architectural design: you can find classical, Gothic, modern  and oriental styles in one place. Vladivostok is a special for its  atmosphere  and beautiful nature – wherever you are you can enjoy sea  views and  mountain scene. The twenty islands that are considered to be a  part of the  city are almost not populated and if you wish to feel yourself  like  Robinson  Crusoe, you can travel to one of them and have picnic or  enjoy diving there.
The area of the present Vladivostok city was inhabited by ancient peoples Ancient kingdoms of Mohe, Goguryeo, Balhae, the Khitans and the Jurchens were located here. On July 2, 1860 the military ship “Manchur”, under the command of Captain-Lieutenant Alexey  Shefner, arrived in the Golden Horn Bay (they called it like that as the Bay resembled one in Byzantine Empire) and established an outpost. In 1862 the outpost officially became a port Vladivostok. For attracting of foreign traders, there was established a Free Port Status, so the first settlers began arriving and first foreigners started visiting Vladivostok. In 1878, 40% of over 4,000 residents of Vladivostok were foreigners. It was reflected in the names of city streets, such as Koreyskaya (Korean), Pekinskaya (Peking), Kitayskaya (Chinese), etc. Most Chinese and Japanese residents had trade business here, while most Koreans were involved in the agriculture sector.
     Ussuriisk is a city located in 125 km from Vladivostok with a population of about 200,000 people. First information about a settlement on a place where Ussurisk city is located now refers to the 12 century, the time when here was located Bohai kingdom. Ussuriisk appeared on map as Nikolskoe village in 1866 and became a city in 1898. After the Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905 it became one of the most important commercial and economic centers of the Russian Far East. In 1957 the city's name was changed to Ussuriysk after the nearby Ussuri river. The city is very green of poplars, elms, and jasmine, that have been transplanted here from taiga forest. 
      The city's industry is represented nowadays by 28 enterprises, including 12 of the food industry, 2 of light industry, 6 of metal industry, and 4 of construction industry. Ussuriisk has been always specialized in the production of consumer goods. That is why at present time it has a better situation than other large cities of Primorsky region. It is famous for its largest enterprises of light industry. One of them - Ussuriisky Balsam was given diplomas of the first and the second degrees at Russian competition of alcohol products.
Animal husbandry and agriculture are also well-developed in Ussuriisky District. Soybeans, buckwheat, wheat, barley, potatoes, and vegetables are grown here. Manufacture of furs is also developed in this District. For example, Oktyabrsky JSC supplies mink fur-skins to the Russian market and abroad.
     There are some sightseeing spots worth seeing by all means. The Ussuriysk Drama Theater of the Far East Military District was founded in 1937 and it is one of the two theaters of the Russian Army (another is the Central Theater of the Russian Army in Moscow). The theater maintains the military- patriotic tendency and realistic style. The downtown including Lenina, Chicherina, Krasnoznamyonnaya, and Ageyeva Streets has the historic value as its buildings were built in 1880-1920 years. The Intercession Church at Chicherina St. was built in 1914 and it is the only religious building which has been kept without any reconstruction since 1917 and used for its original purpose. On the central square there is a monument to the Red Guards and partisans, who died in the battles at Ussuriisk in June 1918. A monument to Lenin is on the Railway Station Square is a part of Russian history as well. But the most interesting sightseeing spot is a stone turtle of Jurchens period located in Central park.
     Khasan is a village in Khasansky District of Primorsky region in Russia. Khasan is the only Russian settlement on the border with 2 governments - China and North Korea. It lies near Lake Khasan and the Tumen River. It is the link between Russia and North Korea, having a rail bridge over the Tumen River. There is the North Korean station in Tumangang Workers' District, Sonbong, directly across the river. Nowadays, the Railroad Departments of Russia and North and South Korea are discussing the opening of a Trans-Korean Railroad that will be connected with the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
Here took the place the famous battle of Khasan Lake (July-August of 1938 known as part of Soviet-Japanese Border Wars). During the excursion you will have an opportunity to hear many stories about this battle and a feat, accomplished by Heroes of Khasan, which ends with Soviet victory.
    Nakhodka is a port city with a population of about 148,826 people. In fact the population has fallen down after opening Vladivostok to foreigners and foreign shipping, and Nakhodka became the primary deep water port in the Russian Far East. The city's economy is based mostly around the port and port-related activity such as fish processing and canning. Nakhodka Bay, around which the city is located, was discovered in 1859 by the Russian corvette "Amerika", that was searching for a shelter in the bay during a storm. Hence, Nakhodka got the name, which in Russian means "a lucky find". Before 1950 Nakhodka was a tiny fishing village, but the situation has changed when Soviet authorities decided to close Vladivostok to foreign shipping (because it was decided that the Soviet Pacific Fleet should be based there). Nakhodka was growing quickly. Many of the buildings dated from the 1950s, when Japanese prisoners of war were used as force-labors to build housing for the incoming port workers. The period of city's growth was apparently in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was the only Far Eastern port opened to foreigners. It served as the Eastern terminus for the passenger portion of the Trans-Siberian railway. Nowadays it is a large fishing and trading port in Far-East region.


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