Barnaul is a city in Russia, an administrative center of Altai krai. Barnaul is located in the south of Western Siberia where the river Barnaulka flows into the Ob.
The city is a big industrial, cultural and educational center of Siberia: nine state institutions of higher education, five theaters, museums, architectural monuments of the 18th-20th centuries.
Barnaul population is 681,000 (2012), land area - 322 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 3852; the postal codes are 656000-656099.
Archaeological research witnesses that first settlements on the territory of modern Barnaul existed in the Stone Age. 63 archaeological monuments are preserved till nowadays.
These are sites of ancient settlements, burial mounds of ancient times till the Middle Ages most of them are located on the left bank of the Ob - in Nagorny part of Barnaul, in settlements Mohnatushka, Kazyonnaya Zaimka, Gonba and Nauchny Gorodok. During Horde epoch before Russians migrated to Siberia, there was an ancient town-fortress Abaksha.
Officially it is considered the city of Barnaul was founded in 1730, when the owner of mines Akinfiy Demidov brought to Altai 200 peasants for constructing metallurgical works. But the documents found prove only 1739, when Demidov began constructing copper- and silver-melting works which promoted the settlement growing around them.
In 1749, the mountainous district office was transferred from Kolyvan to Barnaul plant. In 1766, Russian inventor Ivan Polzunov built the first steam machine on the bank of the river Barnaulka, and, in 1771, Barnaul received the status of a “mining city”. Due to this status the city kept growing in spite of being so far from the capital.
By 1835, over 9,000 people lived in the city which was built after architectural model of Saint-Petersburg. In 1764, a technical library was opened, in 1786 - a theater, and in 1827 - the first printing house. P.K.Frolov founds a museum of local study - one of the first in Siberia.
Abolition of serfdom and exhaustion of natural resources entailed the end of Barnaul plant in 1883. The city became a big trade center, other industries came into being: leather-dressing, candle-making, beer brewing, fur-coat making, timber and others.
On May 2, 1917, a heavy fire broke out in Barnaul. 40 quarters burnt - city architecture heavily suffered, a lot of buildings were destroyed, especially wooden ones. Revolution prevented from restoring the historical center of the city: from December 7th, 1917, till December 11th, 1919, the power in the city changed several times, taken either by the Bolsheviks or by the White Army.
In 1920s-1940s, Barnaul development was determined by industrialization and collectivization. People from small villages moved to Barnaul, the city itself received the status of agricultural and industrial region.
In 1937, Altai krai was formed and Barnaul became its administrative center. During the Second World War, the city hosted about 100 industrial plants from Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa, Kharkov and other cities occupied by fascists.
These plants became the industrial basis of the city. According to some data, about a half of cartridges used by the Red Army during the War were produced at the machine-tool constructing plant in Barnaul.
Postwar period was a boom of city construction. Within this time the territory of Barnaul increased over 2 times. Due to the USSR split and changing political and economical situation in the country the largest industrial plants of the city were at the edge of bankruptcy.
Barnaul being preferably an industrial center turned to other branches of economy such as: trade, services, construction and food industries.
Barnaul is located in forest-steppe part of West-Siberian lowland, in the north-eastern part of Priobsky plateau, in the upper Ob on its left bank, where the river Barnaulka flows into the Ob.
From the north and south Barnaul rounds the Ob river-bed, in the south-west there is a forest. The distance to Moscow is 3419 km. The nearest large city is Novosibirsk (193 km).
Frosty, moderate severe winters with little snow and warm summers are typical for the climate of the city.
Barnaul is a big transportation juncture, it is located on the branch of federal highway M52 “Chuysky trakt” Novosibirsk - Mongolia, here another highway starts - A349 Barnaul - Rubtsovsk - Kazakhstan.
Two branches of West-Siberian railway cross the city: South-Siberian and Tukestan-Siberian railways. The train station of the city is the connecting point with many regions of Russia and closest foreign countries.
An international airport of Barnaul is located 17 km to the west of the city. On the Ob there is a river port.
Originally Barnaul was constructed after Saint-Petersburg model which greatly determined the outlook of the central part of the city.
There are over 20 monuments of architecture and history of the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries built in the style of classicism in the city: a unique silver-melting plant, Demidov square - an example of administrative squares, Petropavlovskaya line. One of the remaining churches of Barnaul is Pokrovsky cathedral.
In 1930s, the buildings were mostly of constructionism style. The buildings of 1930s-1950s on Leninsky Prospect - the main street of the city - are also rather interesting. Leninsky Prospect is one of favorite places among citizens, its boulevard part stretches from Leo Tolstoy Street till October Square.
In Nagorny park there are restored graves of famous citizens and historical personalities of Altai region and Barnaul. 7-meters high white letters “BARNAUL” are installed there, they can easily be seen by people coming to the city by Noviy (New) bridge. Many people say that in style these letters resemble the sign “HOLLYWOOD” on Hollywood hills.