Dzerzhinsk (also spelled Dzershinsk) is the second largest city of Nizhegorodskaya oblast of Russia located about 30 km to the west of Nizhny Novgorod. The city was named after Soviet revolutionary leader Feliks Dzerzhinsky in 1929.
Dzerzhinsk population is about 250,000 (2012), land area - 422 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 8313; postal codes - 606000-606039.
The village of Rastyapino was first mentioned in chronicles in 1606 due to the fact that it became owned by Dudin monastery. Rapid construction on the territory of present Dzerzhinsk began in 1862 after a railway station Chyornoye was opened. Inhabited houses stretched along the railway.
In the early 20th century, the settlement grew due to nearby construction of chemical plants and thus, it turned into the settlement “new Rastyapino” to distinguish it from the “old Rastyapino” located nearer to the Oka bank (at present it is the settlement Dachny).
In 1929, the pine tree forest was cut a little to the north of the railway station and construction of a town began (central square was founded). Due to this fact the settlement Rastyapino was renamed into the settlement of Dzerzhinsk. In 1930, the settlement became a town.
Dzerzhinsk turned into a large industrial center of Russia and became the second largest city in Nizhegorodskaya oblast both in population and its economic importance. Some types of product produced in Dzerzhinsk are unique for Russia.
Dzerzhinsk street scenery
The economics of Dzerzhinsk is based on the industry presented by 46 large and smaller plants. About 36,000 people work at the plants, it makes 33% of all the people working in the industry of the city.
Processing industries prevail (77%), among them chemical industry (61%), production of plastic and rubber items (13%). Food industry of the city is rapidly developing.
One can come to other cities from Dzerzhinsk by Gorkovsky railway or federal highway M7 “Volga”. There is a river port in the city, 20 km to the east there is an international airport.
In October 2006, scientists from Blacksmith Institute (USA) included Dzerzhinsk into the list of ten most polluted cities in the world. The Ecology Committee of State Duma of the Russian Federation shares the opinion that Dzerzhinsk is among ten most unfavorable territories of Russia from environmental point of view.
On the left bank of the Oka River, near Dzerzhinsk below Dudenyovsky boat-yard there is a unique architectural construction - 128 m high open-work steel tower designed by V.G.Shukhov.
There is a museum of local study, N.Rubtsov museum and other museums in the city. In the museum of local study there are exhibits telling the visitors about the history and current life of the city. At A.S.Pushkin library there is a poet N.Rubtsov literary museum which researches little known Nizhegorodsky period of the poet’s life.
Theater life in Dzerzhinsk is active: at present there are over 40 performances for children and grown-ups. Theater companies of Dzerzhinsk are participants and winners of regional, Russian and international festivals.