The History of Krasnoyarsk


     Russian czars started developing the boundless space of the “wild east” lying beyond the Urals (mountains between European and Asian parts of Russia) in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Constant threat of attack to Russian lands in near-Yenisey Siberia was the initial reason for the appearance of Krasnoyarsk.


     The initiative of building a fort south of the town of Yeniseisk belonged to voevoda (the military governor of the province) Yakov Khripunov. In 1628, he managed to send a troop of Cossacks upstream along the Yenisey to the “Tyulkin’s land”. The unit was under the command of Moscow’s nobleman named Andrey Dubenski.


     With assistance of local Arin’s and Kacha’s Tatar tribes, they built a main part of the fort in two months by August 1628. By the beginning of winter, the fort was finally completed. The fort became an outpost for almost one hundred years. In those days, it was a wooden castle surrounded by a ditch, a wall and five towers. Every year, Krasnoyarsk was under attacks from the raiders coming from south. Sometimes cossacks had to withstand a siege for months, but to this date an enemy has never conquered the town.


     In the beginning, the fort was named Novo Kachinski (New Kacha’s), Krasnyi (or Red) and then, from the end of the seventeenth century, it was named Krasnoyarsk. It received town status in 1690, when Siberia was finally united with Russia. In those days, there were only about 2,500 people living in Krasnoyarsk, and mostly males. But the picture totally changed during the next 20 years. According to a census dating from 1713, the number of males and females was almost the same. Krasnoyarsk, the former military settlement, was becoming a town.


     A new stage of development started in 1822 when the Yenisey’s gubernia (province) was created. Being in a most profitable location, the city was chosen to be an administrative center. With the appearance of new state institutions and government offices, life in Krasnoyarsk changed dramatically. A telegraph station, an elementary school, male and female gymnasiums, a teacher’s seminary and a community college opened. Krasnoyarsk became an attractive destination for business people, laborers and gold miners. The first stone buildings were built at the same time. The city park was established as well. The first newspaper was published. The building of the Trans Siberian Railroad further increased the development of the city. On December 6th of 1895 the first train arrived in Krasnoyarsk. The provincial mercantile/governmental outpost image of Krasnoyarsk was changing into the image of a big trade and industrial center. 


     The city could not avoid taking part in the events of the Revolution of 1917 and then Russian drama of Civil War of 1920s. Been located on the midway of the Trans-Siberian railroad it was the strategic point for both sides – Reds and Whites. 


     Krasnoyarsk continued its growth and development after the Civil War. The first socialistic industry in Krasnoyarsk after the Revolution of 1917 was the factory “Spartak”, established in 1922. In addition, former railroad repair shops were reconstructed into a huge train engine repair plant at that time. These were the first noticeable achievements after the wartime.


     In 30s of 20th century the city got involved into the rapid Soviet industrialization. The upcoming WWII stimulated the Krasnoyarsk’s economy even more, turning it into very industrial city. Since 1934, Krasnoyarsk has been the administrative center of the Krasnoyarski krai (Krasnoyarsk region) with its increasing level of development of different industries. At the beginning of 1941, there were 38,824 people employed in different branches of industries. During WWII, the number of industries in Krasnoyarsk had grown sevenfold compared to pre-WWII times. The city outgrew the city of Irkutsk, becoming the main industrial center of Eastern Siberia. The WWII is also significant to the region as the most eastern battle with Nazis took place on the territory of the Krasnoyarsk region. In August of 1942 the German warship attacked the port Dixon on the Kara sea shore. 


     After WWII, a principal new stage in the development of the city came with the opening of hydroelectric plants along such rivers as the Angara and the Yenisey. There arrived energy-dependent industries such as electricity production, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, black and non-ferrous metallurgy, and pulp and paper processing.


     Krasnoyarsk also became a big center for scientific researches as well as high and middle levels of education. Nowadays there are numerous of research and development institutes, state higher educational institutions, junior technical colleges, and public schools. Among these institutions is the branch of Russian Academy of Science.


     “Big” culture and arts presentations in the city’s theaters include opera, ballet, drama, musical comedy as well as puppets and the young people's performances. There is also a symphony orchestra, an organ hall, art galleries, a local lore museum, a museum of Vasiliy Surikov, and the world-renowned State Krasnoyarsk Dance Company Academic of Siberia.



If you are willing to learn more about the place and its roll in Russia’s history, book our tours and we will be happy to share our best knowledge about our city.

Ostrog (fort) Krasniy Yar


Andrei Duibenskiy


first train station in Krasnoyarsk


steam engine at the Krasnoyarsk Railway Station


Trans-Siberian Railroad Bridge 1910


Regional Studies Museum 1910


our aim is communism!


Victory Memorial (WWII)