Ryazan city, Russia

The capital city of Ryazan oblast.

Ryazan - Overview

Ryazan is a fairly large city in Russia located on the high right bank of the Oka River, about 180 km south-east of Moscow, the administrative center of Ryazan Oblast, a major scientific, military, and industrial center.

The population of Ryazan is about 539,000 (2020), the area - 224 sq. km.

The phone code - +7 4912, the postal codes - 390000-390048.

Ryazan city flag

Ryazan city flag

Ryazan city coat of arms

Ryazan city coat of arms

Ryazan city map, Russia

Ryazan city map of Russia

History of Ryazan

Foundation of today’s Ryazan

The first settlements arose on the territory of today’s Ryazan as early as the Middle Paleolithic era (from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago). Near the city, in the village of Dubrovichi, archaeologists discovered a flint ax made more than 80 thousand years ago - the most ancient material monument found in the Ryazan region.

Slavic tribes, in this case the Vyatichi, came to the Oka around the 6th century AD. Already in the 7th-8th centuries, a whole network of settlements was founded around the future Ryazan. These people were mainly engaged in arable farming.

Until the middle of the 10th century, the Vyatichi, like several other East Slavic tribal unions, were politically dependent on the Khazar Khaganate (650-969). The Old Russian state played the decisive role in its decline. In 964, Prince Svyatoslav freed the last Slavic tribe of the Vyatichi dependent on the Khazars. The Ryazan and Murom lands were included into the Old Russian state.

The presence of several large settlements on this territory led to the need to create a single military center. In 1095, the town of Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky was founded on a high hill at the confluence of the Trubezh and Lybid rivers.

More Historical Facts…

Ryazan in the 12th-17th centuries

At the beginning of the 12th century, the Ryazan lands separated into an independent Murom-Ryazan principality. It was a time of rivalry between its two largest towns - Ryazan and Murom - for the right to be the capital of the new principality.

As a result, Ryazan, which was located about 50 km down the Oka River from Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky, won, since it was here that the princely court was taking place, the episcopal see was located, feudal unions were concluded, from here the princely troops went on military campaigns. Moreover, Ryazan was well fortified. Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky by this time was one of the fortified outposts of the principality, surrounded by a network of guard posts.

In the winter of 1237, a large Mongol army (tens of thousands of people) approached the walls of Ryazan. This was one of the first episodes of the Mongol invasion of Rus and the western campaign of the Mongols. The town was captured after several days of siege.

The main military forces of the principality were defeated earlier in the battle on the Voronezh River. Ryazan with a population of up to 8 thousand people was completely destroyed. It was never able to recover and soon the few surviving residents left it. Today, this place is known as Old Ryazan. The capital of the principality was moved to Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky.

By the 14th century, Pereyaslavl was finally formed as the capital of the principality. The heart of the town was the fortress (kremlin) with wooden walls and twelve towers. At the beginning of the 15th century, the construction of the Ryazan Kremlin with stone buildings began. In 1611, during the Time of Troubles, Ryazan initiated the convening of the first people’s militia to free Moscow from the Poles. The Ryazan nobleman Prokopiy Lyapunov was elected its head.

Ryazan in the 18th-19th centuries

In 1778, with the formation of the Ryazan Governorship, Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky received the name Ryazan and its own coat of arms depicting the figure of the Prince with a sword in his hand. In 1780, the regular plan of Ryazan was approved.

The ensemble of the Ryazan Kremlin with the beautiful Assumption Cathedral (1693-1699) remained the center of the town. In 1787, an opera and drama theater, one of the oldest in Russia, was opened in Ryazan. By the end of the 18th century, about 8 thousand people lived in Ryazan.

In 1837, a large fire destroyed a lot of wooden buildings. The construction of new stone buildings began, including artillery barracks (the building of the hospital on Pervomaisky Avenue). In 1860, about 21.6 thousand people lived in Ryazan. In 1863, a railway line connected Ryazan with Moscow. Ryazan became a major railway hub. By 1897, the population of the city was 46 thousand people.

Ryazan in the 20th century

In 1913, the city power plant was put into operation. In December 1915, the first female teacher’s institute in the Russian Empire was founded in Ryazan. In 1930, after the liquidation of the Ryazan Governorate, Ryazan became a district center of Moscow Oblast. In 1937, it became the administrative center of the newly formed Ryazan Oblast. In 1939, its population was about 95,000.

In the fall of 1941, during the Second World War, the front line reached the Ryazan region. Ryazan was of great strategic importance, as highways connecting Moscow with the central and eastern regions of the country passed through it. German troops were stopped 30 kilometers from the city.

The rapid development of Ryazan began immediately after the war. The city turned into a large industrial, scientific, and military center of the European part of Russia, home to giant factories that occupied entire urban districts: the Ryazan oil refinery (the largest in Europe), “Ryazselmash” (the only manufacturer of potato harvesting equipment in the USSR), the calculating and analytical machine plant, the heavy forging and pressing equipment plant, the chemical fiber plant, etc.

Several large universities were opened in Ryazan - a medical university, a radio engineering academy, an agricultural institute, and an institute of culture. The military potential of the city was finally formed. Ryazan becomes the main training center for the Soviet Airborne Forces. The city was surrounded by numerous training centers and military training grounds.

Greening became one of the city’s fundamental development strategies. Ryazan was surrounded by green rings of forests and parks. Large parks were laid out in every district of the city. Ryazan was repeatedly declared the winner in greening among the cities of the Soviet Union. By 1987, the city’s population exceeded half a million people.

During the years of Soviet power, the population of Ryazan grew more than fivefold. The city participated in the state program for providing housing to builders of the North - a lot of workers of enterprises located beyond the Arctic Circle subsequently received apartments and registration in the city. Some decline in growth was observed in the 1990s, coinciding with the general demographic decline in Russia. In 1995, Ryazan celebrated its 900th anniversary.

Streets of Ryazan

Architecture of Ryazan

Architecture of Ryazan

Author: Zapletkin Pavel

Modern architecture in Ryazan

Modern architecture in Ryazan

Author: Mikhail Maksimov

On the street in Ryazan

On the street in Ryazan

Author: Sytnikov Vitaliy


Ryazan - Features

Ryazan, one of the oldest cities in Central Russia, is located in the center of the East European Plain, in the northwestern part of Ryazan Oblast. It is included in the so-called inner ring of large cities located 150-200 km from Moscow.

About 50 km downstream of the Oka River there is a historical and landscape museum-reserve Old Ryazan - the old capital of the Great Ryazan principality. The present city (initially known as Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky) was renamed in its honor in 1778.

The climate of the city is moderately continental. Summer in Ryazan is warm, winter is moderately cold. The average temperature in July is plus 19.2 degrees Celsius, in February - minus 7.9 degrees Celsius.

The coat of arms and flag of Ryazan represent the image of the Prince holding a silver sword in his right hand, and a silver scabbard in his left. The sword raised to the chest symbolizes defense. The Prince is a collective image of the defender of the Motherland and has nothing to do with a specific person. The City Day of Ryazan is celebrated on the first Saturday in August.

The favorable economic and geographical position of Ryazan on the navigable Oka River, proximity to Moscow predetermined the significant development of the city. Ryazan is crossed by the M5 Ural Highway, railway lines to the south and to the center of Russia. The leading local industries are tool making, machine tool building, power engineering, petrochemistry, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, building materials industry, woodworking, food and flour-and-cereal industries.

Main Attractions of Ryazan

Ryazan Kremlin - the oldest part of Ryazan, a historical and architectural open-air museum-reserve, an architectural monument of federal importance. The construction of stone fortifications in Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky (today’s Ryazan) began in the 15th century. The main structures built in the 17th century have survived to this day. In total, the Ryazan Kremlin ensemble includes 18 monuments of history and culture of the 11th-19th centuries. You can reach it by any public transport that goes to Sobornaya Square.

Assumption Cathedral (1663-1699) - the main dominant of the Ryazan Kremlin built in the Naryshkin Baroque style. The stylized image of this cathedral is one of the symbols of Ryazan. The Assumption Cathedral and its bell tower are built in such a way that they can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. For a long time, they served as a visual reference point when navigating on the Oka River. Inside there is a magnificent 27-meter iconostasis, consisting of 7 tiers and decorated with stone carvings - a real masterpiece of decorative art.

Nativity of Christ Cathedral - the first stone building on the territory of the Ryazan Kremlin and one of the oldest buildings in Ryazan Oblast. The cathedral was founded by the Grand Prince Oleg Ryazansky on the territory of his court at the end of the 14th century. In the 14th-15th centuries, five Ryazan princes and three princesses were buried in the Nativity of Christ Cathedral. As a result of numerous reconstructions, the current architectural appearance of this cathedral combines elements of baroque and classicism.

Palace of Prince Oleg - the largest civil building on the territory of the Ryazan Kremlin, which was built in stages over the 17th-19th centuries. Until the 16th century, a princely court with bishops chambers was located here. Today, the premises of the palace house the exposition “From Rus to Russia”, as well as exhibitions “Old Ryazan” and “The Legend of Evpatiy Kolovrat”.

Soborny (Cathedral) Park - a public garden located near the Ryazan Kremlin, where residents and visitors of the city like to stroll in the shade of trees. The most convenient way to get to Soborny Park is from Sobornaya Square, through the front entrance with columns. The main alley of this park leads to the Ryazan Kremlin and the Ryazan Embankment. There are several interesting sights here: the Church of the Savior on Yar, Ilyinsky Cathedral, the monument to Sergei Yesenin, the chapel of the 900th anniversary of Ryazan. It is a place where you can buy Ryazan souvenirs, ride horses.

Ryazan Art Museum named after Ivan Pozhalostin - one of the oldest art museums in Russia. The collection includes about 12,000 works of Russian and Western European art of the late 15th-20th centuries: paintings, graphics, sculptures, decorative and applied art, folk art. The collection of Western European art includes paintings by Italian, Dutch, French artists, porcelain from Germany, France, and England.

The collection of Russian art includes Old Russian icons and sculptures, Russian paintings, sculptures and graphics of the 18th-20th centuries, including works by local artists, porcelain, glass, and furniture. A significant section of the collection is the folk art of the Ryazan land: costumes, weaving, embroidery, lace, ceramics, clay toys. Svobody Street, 57.

Museum of the History of the Airborne Forces - the first and largest official museum on this subject. On both sides of the entrance, on the pedestals, you can see combat vehicles, artillery and airborne self-propelled guns. The basis of the exposition is made up of banners of airborne divisions and brigades that participated in the Second World War, examples of Russian and foreign small arms, parachutes, military equipment. Margelova Square, 1. The historical and memorial hall of military equipment and weapons of the Airborne Forces, a branch of this museum, is located at Voyennykh Avtomobilistov Street, 12.

Memorial Museum-Estate of Academician Ivan Pavlov - one of the most famous sights of Ryazan located in its center. The complex consists of picturesque wooden buildings, among which there is a two-storey house of the early 20th century, where the world famous physiologist Ivan Pavlov, the first Russian Nobel Prize winner, lived. Inside, the historic interior was recreated with Pavlov’s personal belongings. Pavlova Street, 25.

Summer Club of the Noble Assembly (1905) - a beautiful wooden house decorated with skillful carvings, the main decoration of the Ryazan City Park. Until 1917, the local aristocracy met here to chat, discuss current events, or just relax on pleasant summer evenings. Today, it houses the center of folk art. Uritskogo Street, 72.

Sculpture “Mushrooms with Eyes” - an interesting sculpture dedicated to the famous Ryazan proverb about mushrooms - “In Ryazan, mushrooms have eyes.” Allegedly, because of this, it is difficult to gather mushrooms in the surrounding forests. The art object depicts a whole family: a father mushroom and his two sons surrounded by forest dwellers. It was installed on the territory of the Lower City Garden in 2013. Lenina Street, 26.

Long-range aviation museum at the Dyagilevo air base. The exposition of this thematic museum and exhibition complex brings together a large number of objects related to the history of the development and use of military aviation of the USSR and Russia: combat aircraft, examples of weapons and equipment, uniforms, equipment, personal belongings and awards of pilots, documents, maps, photographs, etc. It is located about 11 km west of Ryazan. A visit to this museum is possible only as part of an excursion group (5+ people) and by prior arrangement. The tour takes two hours and you can take pictures for free.

Sergei Yesenin Museum-Reserve in Konstantinovo. This museum complex located about 40 km from Ryazan is devoted to one of the most well-known Russian poets of the 20th century. The main building is the wooden house of the poet’s parents, where his personal belongings and old photographs of the family are kept. In the 1980s, a whole ensemble of museum buildings was formed in Konstantinovo, which included the estate of L. I. Kashina with an adjoining park, a village school building, the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, and other objects.

Starozhilovsky Stud Farm. It was founded by order of Baron von Dervies in the 1890s. The stud farm building constructed in the Gothic style by the architect Fyodor Shekhtel is of particular interest. Unfortunately, during the Second World War, during the evacuation across the Oka, all the horses died. Today, about 300 horses are kept here. The stud farm is located about 55 km south of Ryazan in the village of Starozhilovo.

Ryazan city of Russia photos

Sights of Ryazan

Monument to Ryazan firefighters (GAZ-AA)

Monument to Ryazan firefighters (GAZ-AA)

Author: Kiyanovsky Dmitry

Tulips and a fountain in front of the concert hall Moskva in Ryazan

Tulips and a fountain in front of the concert hall Moskva in Ryazan

Author: Mikhail Maksimov

Assumption Cathedral in the Ryazan Kremlin

Assumption Cathedral in the Ryazan Kremlin

Author: Sergey Duhanin


Churches of Ryazan

Boris and Gleb Church in Ryazan

Boris and Gleb Church in Ryazan

Author: Kiyanovsky Dmitry

Church of Alexander Nevsky in Ryazan

Church of Alexander Nevsky in Ryazan

Author: Mikhail Maksimov

Nikolo-Yamskaya Church in Ryazan

Nikolo-Yamskaya Church in Ryazan

Author: Alexander Glebovsky


The questions of our visitors

Morris asks: How far is Ryazan city from Moscow?
Expert's answer:
Ryazan city is located about 200 km south-east of Moscow.
valerie rainey asks: I am trying to trace my family that originated in Ryazan. Are there adequate records going back to about 1890? The name is Tronoff.Kyzminishnai
Expert's answer:
You should send your request to the State Archives of Ryazan oblast.

The comments of our visitors

Trevor Hinton
Ballooning

I came to Ryazan in 1990 to fly hot air balloons! We all had great time and your hospitality was wonderful. Our translator was a girl called Olga who later came to visit us, with her mother, in the UK.

I never realised the incredible history of the area when I was there. It was such a short stay. I'm getting older now but will never forget your kindness. Maybe I'll plan another visit!

Great to read your website, I'm glad I found it. When Olga visited she gave us three small glass hedgehogs as a present which I still have and I was trying to find their origin! If you know Olga and mum say hallo from me!


John Kurth
Ryazan
I went here three summers ago to meet my biological family, and I must say it is an amazing city. It is such an old city with thousands of years of history. History that captivates me to this day. It is the best city in Russia in my opinion. As an American, I truly wish to come back one day to explore even further.

Eric
Ryazan
I spent a week in Ryazan as a tourist in June of 2011. It is such a beautiful city! As an American, I appreciate the traces of the past that are all around the center of the city. I intend to come back next summer!

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