Biysk is a city in Russia located in the south-eastern part of Altai krai, on the Biya River, not far from the place where it flows into the Katun River. It is a large industrial and scientific center of southern Siberia, the second most populous city in the region.
The population of Biysk is about 204,000 (2015), the area - 291.7 sq.km.
The phone code - +7 3854, the postal codes - 659300-659391.
In 1709, Peter I, the first Emperor of Russia, signed a decree on the construction of the fortress on the Ob River. So called Bikatunsky stockaded town was built between the Biya and the Katun rivers. The fortress was built to defend the south-eastern boundaries of the Russian Empire as well as trade ways to China and Mongolia.
In 1710, the wooden fortress was destroyed by Dzhungars and, in 1718, it was reconstructed in a new place - 20 km up the Biya, on its right bank. The new location didn’t correspond to its old name and, in 1732, Bikatunsky stockaded town was renamed into Biysky. It was a part of Biysko-Kuznetskaya line and played an important part in joining the population of Altai region to Russia in 1756.
In 1804, Tomsk gubernia was formed as well as Biysk uyezd of Barnaul district. Since that time Biysk became a town and on March 12, 1804, its coat-of-arms was adopted. The fortress was abolished in 1846, and Biysk was transformed from the military to trade and industrial town.
During the Second World War, a number of large industrial plants were evacuated to Biysk. Besides, 23 hospitals were located in the city, over 200,000 wounded soldiers were cured there. 26456 local residents were called to the front, 9772 of them died and never returned.
Communal Bridge over the Biya River
Biysk is located in the area of dry sharply-continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. The average January temperature is -18.9 degrees Celsius, July - +20 degrees C.
The distance to Barnaul is 163 km, to Novosibirsk - 356 km, to Moscow - about 3,700 km, to the boundary with Mongolia - 617 km.
Biysk is an important transportation hub of the region. On the Biya River, the river port is located which provides cargo delivery to the north-west including an access to the Arctic Ocean. There are a lot of highways, Chuysky highway connects Russia and Mongolia.
Since 1915, Biysk is linked with Trans-Siberian Railway. It is planned to link Biysk with Gorno-Altaisky Railway.
There is an airport in the city which can accept 3rd class airplanes (AN-24, Yak-40, helicopters). Since 2009, the airport is not working.
Several scientific and industrial institutions are located in Biysk. They carry out research related to military technologies, chemicals for rockets.
In the city, there is the Institute of Chemical and Energetic Technologies of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On November 21, 2005, the city was granted the status of scientific city (“naukograd” in Russian).
Palace of Culture in Biysk
Biysk old railway station (demolished in 2009)
Biysk places of interest
Biysk has more than 200 monuments of history, culture, and architecture. Most of the monuments can be found in the historic center of the city (Tolstoy and Sovetskaya streets). This is a great area for walks and excursions.
The Museum of Local Lore (Sovetskaya Street, 42), founded in 1920, and named after V.V.Bianki, is one of the largest and oldest museums in the Altai region.
The Monument to Peter I. In 2010, Biysk received an equestrian monument to Peter I, the founder of the city. Today, in Russia, there are two “The Bronze Horseman” monuments - one in St. Petersburg and the other one in Biysk.
The Cannons of Biysk Fortress (between the building on Sovetskaya Street, 15, and the stadium “Avangard”). These two old cannons are a favorite place to take pictures.
Assumption Cathedral (Sovetskaya Street, 13). Before the Soviet power, there were 17 churches, 8 chapels, and 2 monasteries in Biysk. Today, the city has 4 churches. The Cathedral of the Assumption was the only church of the city, where services were held in the Soviet era.
The Museum of Chui Tract is the only museum in Russia dedicated to the road (Sovetskaya Street, 42). Biysk is the beginning of the road connecting Siberia and Mongolia - the main traffic artery of Altai. The museum has a lot of interesting exhibits from different times, an ancient wooden wheel is one of the most popular exhibits. There is a belief that if you rub any nail-head of the wheel, your trip will be safe.
The Birthplace of the Ob River (Odintsovsky Posad village). The Ob River is the longest river in Russia (5410 km with tributaries). It is formed by the confluence of the mountain rivers Biya and Katun. The rivers have different colors, they flow without mixing for a long time. In Altai, there are a lot of legends about this wonderful place.
Church of Alexander Nevsky on the Ob River (Odintsovsky Posad village). A magnificent example of modern Orthodox architecture, its domes decorate the shores of the just born Ob River.
The city is the gateway to Gorny (Mountainous) Altai, the extreme point in Russia where all the mountainous tourist routes begin. Over 2 million tourists come here every year to go to the world famous Teletskoye Lake, Mountain Belukha, Chemal and Belokudrikha resorts, Ukok Plateau, etc.
Some interesting facts about Biysk:
Biysk was the place to observe two total solar eclipses with an interval of only two years - March 29, 2006 and August 1, 2008. Normally, such a phenomenon is observed in the same place about once every 300 years.
The city has one of the only three Lenin monuments in Russia with Lenin wearing a Siberian fur cap.
About 300 km to the south of Biysk, there is an air corridor for launching rockets into the orbit from “Baikonur” cosmodrome. When it is not cloudy, one can see rockets very well.
“Soyuz” rocket can be seen 6 minutes after the launch, “Proton” - 9 minutes after the launch. They can be watched about a minute and a half. The moment when the second stage is separating is seen very well. In 1960s-1970s, these events, seen by casual observers, caused a lot of rumors.