Arzamas is a city in Russia, located in the center of the right-bank part of Nizhegorodskaya oblast. It is situated in the hilly area on the high right bank of the Tesha River (the tributary of the Oka River), about 112 km south of Nizhny Novgorod and 410 km from Moscow. The city is an important railway hub.
The population of Arzamas is about 104,800 (2015), the area - 42 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 83147, the postal codes - 607220-607233.
There are several versions of Arzamas name derivation, in their stems they all have words of Erzya language.
According to traditional legend, the name is derived from the names of two brothers Arzay and Masay who met Ivan the Terrible with gifts and were the first to adopt Orthodox faith in the Tsar’s presence.
It was founded as a town-fortress by the order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1552, when he was on his expedition to Kazan. But the official foundation date is 1578. The fortress was built on the place of an ancient Erzya settlement. It played an important role in defending the south-eastern boundaries of the Russian State. This fact is reflected in the present coat of arms of the city.
More Historical Facts…
In 1719, Arzamas was the main town of the province which was a part of Nizhegorodskaya gubernia. The population was almost 7,000 in 1737, a bit smaller than in Nizhny Novgorod. From the 17th century, it became an important transit point on the way from Moscow to the south-eastern parts of Russia.
In the 18th century, a dozen of important trade ways crossed Arzamas. It was the time of rapid growth of the town - population grew, trade increased, industry developed. This period is known as “the golden age” of Arzamas which began in the mid 18th century and lasted for almost one century.
By the early 19th century, the town had a number of churches (36 churches and other related buildings). The Church of the Resurrection (Voskresenskaya), built in memory of the victory of the Patriotic War of 1812, became the main sight of Arzamas. This cathedral is preserved till nowadays, it dominates the historical center of the city.
In 1901, Maxim Gorky lived in exile in Arzamas. On January 6, 1954, Arzamaskaya oblast was separated from Gorkovskaya oblast, but 3 years later, in April 1957, it was abolished.
On June 4, 1988, when the cargo train approached the station “Arzamas-1”, 3 cars with 118 tons of industrial explosives blew up. 250 meters of the railways were destroyed as well as the railway station, station buildings and nearest houses. 160 industrial sites were in the area destroyed by this explosion which also destroyed 954 houses, 180 of them could not be reconstructed.
Arzamas streets views
Arzamas coat of arms
The description of Arzamas coat of arms says: “Two rafters on the golden field, one red and the other green.”
According to the most common version, this coat of arms reflects the historical merit of the city. The image of rafters placed above one another is a military battle, which ended with the victory of one of the opponents (the one that is placed above).
The rafter meaning the winner is red - the color of the heraldic shield of Moscow, the rafter meaning the loser is green - the color of Islam (Kazan Khanate).
The idea of creating the coat of arms for Arzamas belongs to the era of Peter I. The coat of arms was drawn approximately between the years 1725-1727, during the reign of Empress Catherine I and was originally intended to be placed on the flags of the Arzamas Regiment.
For the first time, as the coat of arms of Arzamas, it was approved by the decree of Catherine II on August 16, 1781. In 1993, the city administration approved this emblem as the official symbol of Arzamas.
Arzamas features and sights
Arzamas has long architectural, city-building and historical past. It is included in the list of Russian cities of great historical and cultural importance. Its location on the tourist routes to Sarov-Diveevo and Boldin directions makes it attractive to tourists. Arzamas City Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of July.
The climate is temperate continental. Winter (the period with daily average temperature below 0 degrees Celsius) lasts on average from the middle of November to the end of March. The average temperature in January - minus 6.5 degrees C, in July - plus 19.2 degrees C.
There are 18 large and 36 small plants: machine-building, radio- and gadget-building, food industry. The industrial sector prevails in local economics, it makes about 73%.
Present day city is one of the most interesting cultural centers in Nizhegorodskaya oblast. There are 3 museums (historical, A.P.Gaidar memorial, M.Gorki memorial), drama theater, A.P.Gaidar Recreation Park, sports museum at the stadium “Znamya,” private museum “World of Ancient.”
There is a unique nature corner - the arboretum where almost 100 types of trees and bushes are grown, they represent the flora of Europe, Asia, America and Australia.
The architectural monuments are the main places of interest. At the end of the 19th - early 20th centuries, there were 36 churches and 4 monasteries in the city.
Resurrection (Voskresensky) and Transfiguration cathedrals, magistrate, Gostiny Ryad remind of the Golden Age of Arzamas (1775-1850).