1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Voronezh (town)

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22244521911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28 — Voronezh (town)

VORONEZH, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, on the river Voronezh, 5 m. above its confluence with the Don and 367 m. by rail S.S.E. of Moscow. Pop. (1901) 84,146. It is one of the best-built and most picturesque provincial towns of Russia, and is situated on the steep bank of the river, surrounded by three large suburbs—Troltskaya, Yamskaya and Chizhovka. It has a military school of cadets, two museums, a monument (1860) to Peter the Great, a railway college, a pilgrimage church, and a theatre which figures in the history of the Russian stage. It was the birthplace of two peasant poets, who wrote some of the finest examples of Russian poetry—A. V. Koltsov (1809–1842) and I. S. Nikitin (1824–1861). A memorial to the former was erected in 1868. There are factories for cleansing wool and for the preparation of linens, woollens, bells, tallow and oil, as well as some distilleries. Voronezh is an important entrepôt for corn, flax, tallow, hides, sugar, wood and coal from the Don.

The city was founded in 1586, as a fort against Tatar raids, on a site which had been occupied from the 11th century by a Khazar town, but had been deserted during the 14th and 15th centuries. Four years afterwards it was burned by the Tatars, but again rebuilt, and soon became an important trading place. Peter the Great recognized its importance, and in 1695 built here a flotilla of boats for the conquest of Azov. The town was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1703, 1748 and 1773, but was always rebuilt.