1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Simbirsk (town)

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SIMBIRSK, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, 154 m. by the Volga S.S.W. from Kazan, between the Volga and the Sviyaga. Pop. (1897) 44,111. It is one of the best built provincial towns of Russia. It is an episcopal see of the Orthodox Greek Church. The central part of Simbirsk—the Crown (Venets), containing the cathedral and the best houses—is built on a hill 560 ft. above the Volga. Adjoining this is the commercial quarter, while farther down the slope, towards the Volga, are the storehouses and the poorest suburbs of the city; these last also occupy the W. slope towards the Sviyaga. There are three suburbs on the left bank of the Volga, communication with them being maintained in summer by steamers. A great fire having destroyed nearly all the town in 1864, it has been built again on a new plan, though still mostly of wood. The cathedral of St Nicholas dates from 1712. The new cathedral of the Trinity was erected in 1824–1841 in commemoration of the French invasion of 1812. The historian Karamzin (born in 1766 in the vicinity of Simbirsk) has a monument here, and a public library bearing his name contains about 15,000 volumes. The trade is brisk, corn being the principal item, while next come potash, wood, fruits, wooden wares and manufactured produce. Simbirsk fair has a turnover of £650,000 annually. The city was founded in 1648, and in 1670 endured a long siege by the rebel leader Stenka Razin.