By Lyubov Tsarevskaya
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The history of Vladivostok can be traced back to the mid-19th century. In 1859, traveling by ship along the coast of the Peter the Great Bay Governor-General of Eastern Siberia Nikolai Muravyov-Amursky noticed a well-sheltered cove. The governor suggested that it be called the Golden Horn and gave instructions to build a military settlement. On June 20, 1860, 40 sailors under the command of warrant officer Komarov arrived there on board the Manchzhur naval ship and got down to the construction of a settlement, the future city of Vladivostok. Within a short time the sailors built up the barracks, the kitchen and men-hall, a warehouse, Russian baths and officers’ building. By winter all necessary dwellings and facilities had been built. Hunters replenished the food stock with what they could snare and shoot – hares, wild birds and roe deer, there were plenty of wild things in the taiga.
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As years passed, the military settlement was growing and received the name of the port Vladivostok. The Russian well-known traveller and geographer Nikolai Przhevalsky who visited the Golden Horn Bay in 1867 wrote that Vladivostok stretched for over a kilometer along the bay’s northern coast. The rather big and deep bay surrounded by hills was most convenient for anchorage. In addition to soldiers’ barracks, officers’ building, mechanical works and various warehouses there were some 50 tied accommodations and private homes and 20 clay huts. The number of residents and soldiers was no more than 500.
In 1871 the government decided that Vladivostok should be Russia’s main military port in the Pacific. With this in view, the Governor-General’s residence, naval offices and the main base of the Siberian Navy were transferred there from the town on Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. This encouraged the city’s development as it promoted industry and trade. Vessels of many countries entered the bay. Dutch, British, American, Japanese and German merchants brought food, textile and other goods and building materials.
There was a genuine boom in the city’s development when the Trans-Siberian Railway connected Vladivostok with Moscow in the early 20th century. Sweeping changes took place in the city’s appearance: old-style structures were replaced by brick houses, and its layout reminded one of the flat country cities, such as St.Petersburg. There were clearly shaped residential areas with a maze of streets cutting through them.
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Now Vladivostok is the administration center of the Maritime region and a major city in Russia’s Far East as a whole with the population of over 600,000. It is an industrial, scientific and cultural center and a transport hub. And the country’s biggest port in the Pacific. Key industries are fishing and tool building. Dozens of thousands of the city’s fishermen work for the fishing fleet. They process 90 percent of the catch on board the fishing vessel.
The heart of the city is the seaport with its 16 moorings provided with most up-to-date equipment. Thousands of vessels from all over the world arrive in Vladivostok.
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The city has rich scientific and cultural potential. It hosts the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; there are also 9 colleges and dozens of secondary and specialized secondary schools. The city’s position in the rapidly developing region of Asia and the Pacific gives rise to the hope that Vladivostok has every opportunity for further growth.
Source:The Voice of Russia