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Krasnoyarsk Coat of Arms (2004)

Krasnoyarsk (Russian: Красноя́рск), administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, is the third largest city in Siberia. It lies on the Yenisei River and is an important station on the Trans-Siberian railway.


Coat of Arms

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Coat of Arms (1804)
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Coat of Arms (1851)

The first version of the Krasnoyarsk coat of arms had been approved on March 12, 1804. The coat of arms had been divided horizontally into two parts, the upper part contained the coat of arms of the Tomsk Guberniya, the lower part had the picture of the Krasnyy Yar cliff on the silver background.

The coat of arms approved on November 23, 1851 had the golden figure of a lion placed on the red heraldic shield with a spade in the right fore paw and a sickle in the left fore paw, both made of the same metal. The shield was topped with the golden crown of the Russian Empire.

The current coat of arms (see above) approved on November 28, 2004 contains the same red shield with the slightly changed figure of the lion topped with the golden five-tower status crown of a federal subject center.

In 2005 the 16-meters-tall (52.5 feet) pillar with the bronze statue of the Krasnoyarsk heraldic lion upon its top had been erected at the Krasnoyarsk Railway Station square.


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Krasnoyarsk on the Yenisei River

Geographical location of the city is Template:Coor dm. The total area of the city including suburbs and the river is 17,200 hectares (42,500 acres). Average temperature of January is -20C (-4.0F), July is 18C (64.4F), minimum ever recorded temperature is -56C (-68.8F), maximum is 36C (96.8F). Due to the hydroelectric power station water reservoir located in 32 km (20 miles) upstream the river never freezes in winter and its temperature never exceeds 14C (57.2F) in summer. The Yenisei water level near the city center is 136 meters (446 feet) from the Sea level.

The city is situated on the both banks of the Yenisei River, in the city area it flows from west to east. There are several isles on the river, the largest of which are Tatyshev and Otdyha used mainly for recreation purposes.

At south and west Krasnoyarsk is surronded by the forest-covered hills with an average height of 410 meters (1345 feet) from the Yenisei river level. The hills located on the right (southern) bank of Yenisei are more steep than the western hills of the left (northern) bank.

The right bank of Yenisei is notable for the gigantic rock cliffs of the national nature reserve Stolby raising from the surrounding hills. The western hills form the Gremyachinskaya Griva crest starting from the Nikolayevskaya Sopka hill notable for the ski-jumping tracks and extending westwards up to the Sobakina river. The relief of the northern part of the neighborhood is rather plain with forests to the north-west and agricultural fields to the north-east and east.

The most prominent hills in the Krasnoyarsk area are:

The major rivers located in the Krasnoyarsk area are:

Due to the specifics of the relief there are few natural lakes exist in the Krasnoyarsk neighborhood.

Urban Structure

Krasnoyarsk is divided into seven administrative districts:

Each district includes several quarters or micro-districts. Many of these quarters are relatively new while the others are former villages that were situatued beyond the city line in past.


The population count dynamic by years:

1897 26,600 1962 465,000 1982 833,000 2000 875,500
1923 60,400 1967 576,000 1986 885,000 2001 875,900
1926 72,200 1970 648,000 1989 912,600 2002 911,700
1939 190,000 1973 707,000 1992 925,000    
1956 328,000 1976 758,000 1996 871,100    
1959 412,000 1979 796,300 1998 875,300    

Population count by districts (2001):


The city was founded in the midst of July 1628 as a fort. The sluzhylyye lyudi led by the Cossack Andrey Dubenskoy arrived to the influx of the Kacha river and quickly began to build up the fortifications intended to protect the frontier from attacks of Tatars who lived along Yenisei and its tributaries. In the letter to Tsar the Cossacks reported:

... The town of trunks we have constructed and around the place of fort, we the servants of lord ye, posts have bedded in and the double bindings have laid so and the place of fort have strengthened mightily ...

The fort have been named "Krasnyy Yar" (Russian: Кра́сный Яр) after the local Turkic name of the place it was built by: "Kyzyl Dzhar", meaning "Red Cliff" or "Krasnyy Yar" in old Russian. The name "Krasnoyarsk" was given later when the village of Krasnyy Yar has received the town status.

The intensive growth of Krasnoyarsk began with the arrival of the Moscow Postroad in 1735-41 which connected the nearby towns of Achinsk and Kansk with Krasnoyarsk and with the rest of Russia, and later by the discovery of gold and by the arrival of the railroad in 1895.

In the 19th century Krasnoyarsk was the center of the Siberian Cossack movement. In 1822 it had gained the status of town and had become the capital of the Yenisei Guberniya. In the end of the 19th century Krasnoyarsk had several manufactures, railroad workshops and an engine-house.

In Imperial Russia Krasnoyarsk was the one of the places of political exile. Eight Decembrists have been deported there after the failure of the revolt.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 during the Pyatiletkas the large plants and factories have been built in Krasnoyarsk: Sibtyazhmash, the dock yard, the paper factory, the hydroelectric power station (now the fifth largest in the world and the second in Russia), the river port.

In 1934 the Krasnoyarsk Krai had been formed with the center in Krasnoyarsk.

During the epoch of Stalinism Krasnoyarsk was the major Gulag center. The most important labor camp was the Kraslag or Krasnoyarskiy ITL (1938-ca.1960) with the two units located in Kansk and Reshyoty. In Krasnoyarsk itself the Yeniseylag or Yeniseiskiy ITL labor camp existed in 1940-41(?).

During the World War II the dozens of factories have been evacuated from the western Russia to Krasnoyarsk and the nearby towns which stimulated the industrial growth of the city. After the war more of the gigantic plants have been built: the aluminum plant, the metallurgic plant, the plant of base metals and many others.

In the end of 1970's the Soviet Union began constructing the radar station near Krasnoyarsk that violated the ABM Treaty. After the insistent demands of the United States the construction had been ceased.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and beginning of the privatization many large plants and factories, such as the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant, have become owned by criminal authorities and oligarchs while others were declared bankrupt, this begot the dramatic raise of unemployment and numerous strikes.

Certain problems with ownership of Krasnoyarsk plants continue nowadays since nearly all of them are owned either by monopolistic financial groups or by oligarchs. The most known financial scandal of the second half of 1990's had happened when ownership of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant by a known Krasnoyarsk businessman Anatoliy Bykov had been cancelled after accusation him of the murder of this partner Vilor Struganov. The murder eventually turned out to be fictional.

Since the election of Pyotr Pimashkov as the mayor of Krasnoyarsk in 1996 the look of the city began to slowly improve: old historical buildings were restored, asphalt walkways have been replaced with paving-stone, numerous squares with fountains have been constructed. Now the major part of the city bears only a few traces of its poor Soviet look.


There is a number of historical buildings in Krasnoyarsk, the oldest of them is the Svyato-Pokrovskiy Cathedral (1785-95, restored in 1977-78). Other significant samples of Russian Orthodox architecture are the Svyato-Blagoveschenskiy Cathedral (1802-12), the Svyato-Troitskiy Cathedral (1802-12), the Ioanna-Predtechi Church (1899, former archbishop's house), the Arhistratiga Mihaila Church (1998-2003).

On the top of the Karaulnaya Gora hill, at the plot of the ancient Tatar place of sacrifice and later the Krasnoyarsk fort watchtower, the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa's Chapel (1804, rebuilt in 1854-55) is located. The chapel is the one of the most well-known city symbols. The chapel was abandoned and decayed during the Soviet era and only when Perestroyka came it had been regained by the Yenisei eparchy.

Another unofficial symbol of Krasnoyarsk is the incomplete 24-storey tower located at Strelka. Construction of the tower had been started just before Perestroyka and then frozen due to the administrative crisis. The silouette of the tower is clearly seen from many places in the city.

Among the other well-known buildings: the mansions of the merchant Nikolay Gadalov (beginning of the 20th century), the Roman-Catholic Preobrazheniya Gospodnya Chapel (1911), the Krasnoyarsk Krai Museum stylized as an Ancient Egyptian temple, the Krasnoyarsk Cultural/Historical Center and the triumphal arch at Strelka (2003), the krai administration building with the two towers behind it known as the "Donkey Ears".

There is a number of 2-storey wooden houses in the city built mostly in the middle of the 20th century as temporary habitations. Many urbanized villages located inside the city keep the remnants of typical Russian village architecture: wooden houses with backyards, many somewhat decayed now but still inhabited.


Krasnoyarsk is the birthplace of a famous painter Vasily Surikov and a world class opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky.


Krasnoyarsk State University (founded in 1963 as a division of Novosibirsk State University, became standalone university in 1969).

Sukachev Institute of Forest, Russian Academy of Science.


A few miles away from the city there is a national park Stolby ("Rock Pillars") with numerous rock formations up to 100 meters high. Stolby is a major rock climbing eo:Krasnojarsk ja:クラスノヤルスク pl:Krasnojarsk ru:Красноярск fi:Krasnojarsk


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