Belgorod is a city in the south of European Russia, an administrative center and capital of Belgorod oblast.
The city stands on the banks of the Seversky Donets River, about 700 km south of Moscow and 40 km from Ukrainian border.
Belgorod population is 384,400 (2015), land area - 153.1 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 4722, the postal codes - 308000-309000.
In Russian “Belgorod” means “a white town” (this area was rich in limestone). It is a cultural, economic, scientific, and transport center of the region. The City Day is celebrated on August 5.
Belgorod is one of the cleanest and well-planned cities in Russia.
Belgorod climate is temperate continental, with hot, dry summers and cool winters. The average temperature in January is -6.1 degrees Celsius, in July - +21.8 degrees C.
There are several educational centers: Belgorod State University, Belgorod Technological University, Belgorod Agricultural Academy and Belgorod Financial Academy.
Several major railways and highways of international importance connecting Moscow with the southern regions of Russia and Ukraine run through Belgorod, including the federal highway M2 “Crimea” and the railway Moscow - Kharkiv - Sevastopol.
Belgorod Airport (IATA: EGO, ICAO: UUOB) offers flights to Krasnodar, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Norilsk, Saint Petersburg, Sochi and a couple of other cities.
The city has more than 30 hotels of different categories, the largest hotels are “Amaks Congress Hotel”, “Belgorod”, “Europe Park-Hotel”.
In the center of Belgorod
Old and new apartment houses in Belgorod
The first time a settlement on the present Belgorod territory was mentioned in 1237. The village was completely destroyed during Batu Khan’s invasion in the Russian land. It was founded again in 1596 (the official foundation date of Belgorod) by order of Tsar Feodor I Ioannovich.
It was a fortress on the southern border of Russia defending the country from the Crimean Tatars’ raids. Later, the border of Russia moved to the south and the fortress lost its military importance. The area became the part of Kursk guberniya of the Russian Empire.
Belgorod was captured by the German army in October, 1941, and was finally liberated by the Soviet army in August, 1943. In honor of the liberation of Orel and Belgorod, a salute was fired in Moscow on August 5, 1943. It was the first salute since the beginning of the war and that’s why Belgorod is also known as the city of the first salute, and August 5th is celebrated as the Day of the City.
Belgorod was heavily damaged during numerous battles. It was completely rebuilt after the war.
Belgorod was the first city in Russia that received the status of “City of Military Glory”.
In 1954, it became the administrative center of the newly formed Belgorod region.
Today, Belgorod is a city with a strong construction industry, enterprises of power mechanical engineering, metalworking and electronics, developed social and cultural infrastructure.
Belgorod was repeatedly recognized as the cleanest city in Russia (among the cities with population of 100-500 thousand people).
Belgorod residential house
The cultural environment of Belgorod is greatly influenced by such cultural institutions as:
- The State Academic Drama Theater of M.S.Schepkin (Sobornaya Square, 1),
- The State Puppet Theater (Nekrasov Street, 5b/8),
- “Two Monkeys” theater - clowning, drama, stand up (Magistralnaya Street, 1),
- Belgorod State Philharmonic Society (Belogorsky Polk Street, 56a),
- Culture and Art Institute,
- Music School and others.
Belgorod has a number of museums. The largest of them are:
- Belgorod State Museum of Local History - one of the oldest cultural institutions in the region opened in 1924 (Popov Street, 2a),
- The Museum-Diorama “The Battle of Kursk. Belgorod direction ” - the most visited museum in the city devoted to Prokhorovka tank battle (Popov Street, 2),
- Belgorod State Art Museum (Pobeda Street, 77),
- Belgorod State Museum of Folk Culture (Michurin Street, 43),
- Belgorod Literary Museum located in the house of the merchant Selivanov, an architectural monument of the 18th century (Preobrazhenskaya Street, 38).
Belgorod Zoo (Bohdan Khmelnytsky Avenue, 16a) with a total area of 3.3 hectares has more than 200 animals of 78 species.
The largest cultural events are:
- International Festival of Puppet Theaters “Belgorod Fun”,
- National Theater Festival “Actors of Russia - to M.S.Shepkin”,
- Cultural exchanges of cities and districts of the oblast as parts of cultural relay-race,
- International competitions of violinists, guitarists and folk instruments players,
- Chorus Festivals named after S.A.Degtyaryov and G.Ya.Lomakin and others.