1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Serpukhov
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SERPUKHOV, a town of Russia, in the government of Moscow, 62 m. by rail S. of the city of Moscow. The population in 1884 was 22,420, and 24,456 in 1897. Built on high cliffs on both banks of the river Nara, 3 m. above its confluence with the Oka, Serpukhov is an important manufacturing and commercial town. Its manufactories produce cotton and woollen stuffs, paper, leather, chemicals and candles. Petty trades are much developed in the neighbourhood textile fabrics, furniture, and earthenware and porcelain. The manufactured goods of Serpukhov are sent mostly by rail to the fairs of Nizhniy-Novgorod and the Ukraine, while large amounts of grain, hemp and timber, brought from the east down the Oka, are discharged at Serpukhov and sent on to Moscow and St Petersburg. The cathedral (1380) was rebuilt in the 18th century; the old fortress has almost entirely disappeared.
Serpukhov is one of the oldest towns of the principality of Moscow; in 1328 it was a nearly independent principality under the protectorate of Moscow. Its fortress protected Moscow on the south and was often attacked by the Tatars; the Mongol prince Toktamish plundered it in 1382, and the Lithuanians in 1410. In 1556 the town was strongly fortified, so that fifteen years later it was able to resist the Mongols. Its commercial importance dates from the 18th century.