Kursk is a city in Russia, the capital of Kursk oblast. It is situated in the western part of central Russia, 530 kilometers south of Moscow. Kursk is one of the cultural and religious center of the country with a large industrial complex, a number of scientific and educational centers. The city is also an important highway and railway hub.
Kursk population is about 435,000 (2015), the land area - 191 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 4712; the postal codes - 305000-305099.
Kursk is an ancient Russian town. According to recent excavations, the Kursk fortress of the principality of Kiev was founded around 982-984, and was located in the area of the Red Square of the present city.
The official year of foundation of Kursk is 1032. This date is based on an ancient church document “The Life of Theodosius Pechersky”, created by the monk-chronicler Nestor in the 11th century. In this chronicle, Kursk is described as a large trade town with a significant number of residents.
Since the end of the 11th century, the fortress of Kursk was one of the most powerful outposts on the border of Kievan Rus. In 1185, Prince Vsevolod Kursky sent his troops against Polovtsy; this unsuccessful campaign of the Russian princes is described in the famous literary work “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign”.
In 1223, people from Kursk participated in the Battle of the Kalka River - the battle between the united Russian-Polovtsian army and the Mongolian army, the Mongols won a complete victory. This was the first Mongol invasion in Russia. In 1238, Kursk was completely destroyed by the Mongols.
More Historical Facts…
From 1362 to the end of the 15th century, Kursk was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the 16th-17th centuries, Kursk was an important defensive point of the Moscow State (the town became its part in 1508). Numerous raids of Crimean Tatars and Nogai led to the desolation of the town.
However, a century later, Kursk emerged again in a new place; the date of re-founding of Kursk is 1586. In 1596, a new fortress was built. In 1616, the garrison of the fortress was more than 1,300 people. In 1678, the population was about 2,800. The town developed thanks to its advantageous geographical position (the shortest route from Moscow to the Crimea, the road to Kiev).
In 1785, there were 7,590 residents in Kursk. Since 1797, it was the center of the province of Kursk. In the 18th century, it became a major trading town, and finally lost its borderline significance.
After the great fire that devastated Kursk in 1781, it received a new master plan. According to the plan, the central position was given to a shopping arcade erected on the central square (known as the Red Square today). In 1768, a stone Elias Church was built. In 1778, Sergiev Kazan Cathedral in the Baroque style was constructed. In 1778, the Trinity Sergius Cathedral with rich interior was built. In 1780, the first school was opened in the town. In 1808, the men’s gymnasium was organized. The women’s gymnasium was opened in 1870.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Kursk was not only a commercial, but also an industrial center. In 1846, the town had 70 factories. In memory of the events of 1812 (the war against Napoleon), Znamensky Cathedral was opened in 1826. Since the end of 1868, Kursk became a railway junction. At the end of the 19th century, Kursk was an important center of food industry (milling and sugar). In 1903, a museum of local lore was opened.
In Soviet times, Kursk became a major railroad junction of the south-western Russia. The city was badly damaged during the Second World War. The Battle of Kursk (July 5, 1943 - August 23 1943), was one of the key land battles of the Second World War. Prokhorovka village, located near the city, is supposed to be the place of the largest tank battle in history between the German and the Russian tank armies.
By 1950, Kursk city was completely rebuilt after the devastation caused by the fighting. In 2012, the city celebrated its 980th anniversary
Movie theater named after Schepkin in Kursk
The ancient land of Kursk is one of the spiritual centers of Orthodox Russia. The most renowned Russian monks and mystics Feodosiy Pechersky, Iosaf Belgorodsky, Serafim Sarovsky prayed here.
The City Day is celebrated in September. The climate is temperate continental. The average temperature in January is minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 21 degrees Celsius.
Kursk is a major industrial center: electrical engineering, instrument-making and machine tools, machinery and equipment for agriculture, food and processing industry, production of commercial equipment, chemical fibers, rubber products, furniture, pharmaceutical production. About 30% of the industrial potential of the Kursk region is concentrated in the city.
Kursk has an international airport “Vostochny” located 7 km to the east of the city center (scheduled flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg).
Two important railway lines pass through Kursk: Moscow - Kharkov (Ukraine) and Voronezh - Kiev (Ukraine).
Kursk roads have access to the federal highway M2 “Crimea”, as well as the highway A144 (Kursk - Voronezh - Saratov) and P199 (Kursk - the Ukrainian border).
Public transportation is carried out mini-buses, buses, trolley buses, and trams.
MiG-19 jet fighter monument (dismantled in 2008)
Shopping mall Pushkinsky in Kursk
Today, there are dozens of Orthodox churches in Kursk. Znamensky Cathedral, located in the center of the city, is one of the largest churches in Russia.
- Kursk State Regional Museum of Local Lore (Lunacharsky Street, 6),
- Kursk Regional Museum of Archaeology (Pioneers Street, 6),
- Kursk Nightingale, a museum dedicated to the symbol of the region (Nikitskaya Street, 74),
- Museum of Road Transport (Eremin Street, 1),
- Museum of the Battle of Kursk (Sonin Street, 4),
- Zoological Museum of Kursk State University (Radishchev Street, 33, room #94),
- Literary Museum (Sadovaya Street, 21),
- Planetarium (Sonin Street, 4),
- Space Museum (Deyneka Street, 18),
- Picture gallery of A.A. Deyneka, the famous native of Kursk (Radishchev Street, 85),
- Exhibition Hall of the Art Fund (Krasnaya (Red) Square, 2/4),
- Gallery of Modern Art (Katya Zelenko Street, 6a).
More Places of Interest…
- Kursk State Drama Theater named after A.S. Pushkin (Lenin Street, 26),
- Kursk Puppet Theater (Radishchev Street, 2),
- Theater of Young Spectator “Rovesnik” (Perekalskiy Street, 1),
- Kursk State Philharmonic (Perekalskiy Street, 1),
- Kursk State Circus (Aleksandra Nevskogo Street, 4).
Kursk is rich in architectural monuments. The most outstanding are as follows:
- the private residence of the merchant Khloponin (the mid-18th century),
- Kazansky Church (1778),
- the building of the former Nobility Assembly (the end of the 19th century),
- the building of the former gymnasium for boys,
- the building of Kursk hospital #1 (“Denisyev house”, the 18th century),
- The chambers of the hetman Mazepa (the 18th century).