Novokuznetsk (also spelled Novokuzneck) is the largest city of Kemerovo oblast (region) of Russia. It is the largest city after Tolyatti that doesn’t have the status of administrative center of the region.
Main industries of Novokuznetsk are as follows: ferrous metallurgy, coal mining, non-ferrous metallurgy, power engineering, machine-building and metal-working. The environmental situation is unfavorable in the city. Especially serious is air pollution caused first of all by a lot of metallurgical plants and mines.
Novokuznetsk has the population of about 620,000 (2012).
The phone code is +7 3843; the postal codes - 654000-654245.
Novokuznetsk is one of the oldest cities in Siberia. It was founded approximately in 1617-1618s. From 1620 till the end of the 18th century, the stockaded town was located on the right bank of the Tom River.
Present Novokuznetsk was formed on July, 3rd, 1931, on the basis of the settlement of Sad-gorod (from 1929) near the metallurgical plant. In March 1932, it included Kuznetsk and was renamed into Stalinsk in May 1932. In 1930s, industrialization turned the city into an important coal-mining and industrial center.
Kuznetsky metallurgical plant was begun to be constructed in 1929. In 1931, it was put into operation, in 1941, 2 evacuated plants were also put into operation: Novokuznetsky aluminum plant and Kuznetsky iron-alloys plant.
Kuznetsky metallurgical plant produced military product, several tank armies were produced from the plant steel. Later, in 1961, the West-Siberian metallurgical plant was constructed.
According to census of 1989, the population of the city was 599,900. By 1998, the city was in decline. The crisis of 1998 lowed ruble rate and coal mining and ferrous metallurgy became profitable again. The economic growth of 2000s caused rapid construction in the city.
Among the pre-revolutionary stone buildings of Novokuznetsk are: the Transfiguration church (1792-1835), Kuznetsk fortress with barracks and vodka producing plant.
Novokuznetsk museum of local study is the first museum in the area where flora and fauna are exposed, lectures on history, ethnography and archaeology are held as well as on revolution and civil war, on modern Novokuznetsk. In the museum there is a unique exhibit - a part of the cross erected in Kuznetsk in 1717.
Novokuznetsk art museum was opened in 1961 and was the first art museum in Kemerovo oblast. Novokuznetsk F.M.Dostoyevsky literary museum possesses a large library, a collection of photographs, playbills, theater programs connected with the writer’s works. A small manuscript collection was collected.
Memorial museum of Kuznetsk metallurgists’ glory possesses over 2,500 exhibits, among them as follows: photos, original documents and awards, soldiers’ belongings, equipment, letters, shell-splinters, trophies and samples of military product.
Historical and architectural museum “Kuznetsk fortress” exhibits Kuznetsk at the end of the 19th - early 20th centuries. Excursions are held round the old fortress. Besides, in the city there is also the history museum of Siberian State University, the Roerichs’ family museum, academician I.P.Bardin museum of science and technology, the information center on natural resources and environment protection in Kemerovskaya region.
Among the other cultural institutions one can visit jazz club “Helicon”, Novokuznetsk State circus and Novokuznetsk planetarium.