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Perm(pyĕrm), city (1990 est. pop. 1,090,000), capital of Perm Territory, NE European Russia, on the Kama River. It is a transfer center for rail and river traffic and a major producer of machinery in the Urals industrial region. Perm also has chemical plants and oil refineries. It was founded in 1780 and underwent rapid industrial growth in the 19th cent. Perm was called Molotov from 1940 to 1958. It is the seat of a university.
(called Molotov from 1940 to 1957), a city and administrative center of Perm’ Oblast, RSFSR. Situated in the central part of the oblast on the Kama River (below the mouth of the Chusovaia River), where the Kama is crossed by the Moscow-Kirov-Sverdlovsk railroad line. Junction for rail, river, vehicular, and air traffic. Population, 920,000 (1974; 121,000 in 1926; 306,000 in 1939; 629,000 in 1959; and 850,000 in 1970).
In 1723 a copper-smelting plant was built in the village of Iagoshikha (founded in the early 17th century) at the confluence of the Iagoshikha River and the Kama, along with a settlement. Designated a city in 1781, Perm’ became the administrative center of the Perm’ Namestnichestvo (Vicegerency) that year and a provincial capital in 1796. The mining administration of the Urals Factories was located in the city from 1807 until 1830.
By the mid-19th century, Perm’ was a commercial center, with a port on the Kama. In 1874 the Urals Railroad was extended through the city. Perm’ became a place of political exile, to which A. I. Herzen was sent in 1835 and V. G. Korolenko was exiled in 1880–81. Social Democratic groups arose in the 1890’s, and the Perm’ Committee of the RSDLP was organized in 1902. In October 1905 a soviet of workers’ deputies was formed at the Motovilikha Factory in a suburb of Perm’, and on December 12 and 13 an armed rebellion of the factory’s workers broke out. Soviet power was established in Perm’ on Nov. 23 (Dec. 6), 1917. On the night of Dec. 24–25, 1918, the city was seized by Kolchak’s troops. It was liberated as a result of the Perm’ Operation of 1918–19.
The inventor of the radio, A. S. Popov, studied in Perm’ from 1873 to 1877, and the writer D. N. Mamin-Sibiriak studied there in the early 1880’s.
The city was awarded the Order of Lenin on Jan. 22, 1971.
Under Soviet power, Perm’ has become a major industrial center of the Soviet Union. Branches of heavy industry predominate, especially machine building, which produces equipment for the metallurgical, mining, and lumber industries, as well as electrical equipment, motors, machine tools, river vessels, and consumer goods, such as bicycles and phonographs.
Major plants include the V. I. Lenin Machine-building Plant, the F. E. Dzerzhinskii Machine-building Plant, the Sverdlov Engine Plant, and a cable factory. There is a metallurgical industry, although much metal and particularly metal products are shipped in from enterprises in the Urals and other parts of the country. Perm’ is an important center of production of chemicals, in which local and imported raw materials are used, including phosphorus fertilizers, sulphuric acid, dye-stuffs, and various petrochemical products. The petrochemical industry is based on the huge Twenty-third Congress of the CPSU Petroleum-refining Combine located in Perm’. Also of great importance to the city’s economy is the lumber industry; enterprises in Perm’ include a paper combine, the Krasnyi Oktiabr’ Lumber Combine, a housing construction combine, a sawmill, and a sleeper-milling factory. There is also a large printing combine.
The food-processing and light industries are developed, serving the needs of the city and of Perm’ Oblast; the city’s keyboard musical instruments factory is well known. Within the city limits, in addition to thermal power plants, is the Kama Hydroelectric Power Plant (504 megawatts, on line since 1954), with a lock for vessels. Pipelines into Perm’ bring oil from fields in Perm’ Oblast and the Tatar ASSR and gas from northwestern Tiumen’ Oblast.
I. V. KOMAR
The most outstanding structures are the baroque Cathedral of Peter and Paul (1757–64, with a 19th-century belfry) and buildings in the Empire style, such as the cathedral of the Spaso-Preobrazhenskii Monastery (1798–1832; architects L. Ruska, I. I. Sviiazev, and others) and buildings designed by Sviiazev and built chiefly in the 1820’s and 1830’s. There are numerous examples of buildings in the eclectic and art nouveau styles (the buildings of A. I. Ozhegov, V. V. Popatenko, A. B. Turchevich, and others).
In accordance with the general plan for development of the city, designed in the 1960’s by Lengiprogor (State Designing Institute for City Construction, in Leningrad), intensive construction of housing and cultural and public-service buildings has been carried out, and forest parks have been created. There is a monument to V. I. Lenin (1954, bronze and granite; sculptor G. V. Neroda and architect G. I. Garaev). In January 1974 housing space totaled 10.2 million sq m. New residential districts have formed, modern intracity transport is developing, and a vehicular bridge across the Kama and a city riverfront have been built. The city now extends 50 km along the Kama.
Perm’ has six institutions of higher learning: a university and polytechnic, medical, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and pedagogical institutes. There are 20 specialized secondary schools, and some institutes of the Urals Scientific Center of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR are located in the city.
Perm’ is a city of long-standing musical and theatrical traditions. The first musical performance was presented in 1806, and a stone opera house was erected in 1878. In 1895 a theatrical board was organized to replace private impresarios. By 1973, Perm’ had the P. I. Tchaikovsky Perm’ Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Theater of Drama (founded 1927), the Young Peopie’s Theater (founded 1964), the Puppet Theater (founded 1940), an oblast philharmonic society, and a state circus.
Perm’ has an oblast museum of local lore, which has a branch called the Museum of the Underground Press of the Perm’ Committee of the RSDLP of 1906; a diorama entitled The December Armed Revolt of 1905 in Motovilikha; and a state art gallery with a unique collection of Perm’ wood sculpture. There is also a television center.
In 1973, Perm’ had 49 hospitals with 13,000 beds (14.1 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), compared with 25 hospitals and 4,300 beds (12.9 per 1,000 inhabitants) in 1940. It had 83 nurseries with a total enrollment of 8,100 children (compared with 38 serving 2,300 children in 1940), five children’s sanatoriums (two in 1940), and 4,500 physicians, or one doctor per 204 inhabitants (compared with 824 physicians or one per 401 inhabitants in 1940). There is a medical institute—which was founded in 1930 and has departments of internal medicine, public health, stomatology, and pediatrics—and a pharmaceutical institute (founded 1937). There is a research institute on vaccines and serums (founded in 1912), as well as medical and pharmacological schools. The balneological health resort Ust’-Kachka is located 58 km from Perm’.
REFERENCESGlushkov, D. I. Perm’: Putevoditel’-spravochnik, 2nd ed. Perm’, 1970.
Pamiatniki istorii i kul’tury Permskoi oblasti. Perm’, 1971.
Tiunov, V. F., N. N. Trofimov, and S. G. Mukhin. Perm’ industrial’naia. Perm’, 1973.
250 let Permi. Perm’, 1973.