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a city and the administrative center of Riazan’ Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on the right bank of the Oka River (2 km from the river), at its confluence with the Trubezh River, Riazan’ is a large landing on the Oka and a junction of railroad lines to Moscow, Vladimir, Ruzaevka, and Riazhsk. Population, 419,000 (1975; in 1939, 95,000; in 1959, 214,000; in 1970, 350,000). The city is divided into four urban districts.
Initially, Riazan’ was the name of the capital of the Riazan’ Principality, located 50 km southeast of present-day Riazan’. Today the old capital is called the gorodishche (site of a fortified town) of Riazan’ Staraia (Old Riazan’). The city was devastated by the Mongol Tatars in 1237. In the mid-14th century the capital of the principality was transferred to Pereiaslavl’-Riazanskii (first mentioned in the annals under 1095), which in 1521 became part of the Muscovite state. In 1708, Pereiaslavl’-Riazanskii was included in Moscow Province; in 1778 it was renamed Riazan’ and became the capital of a vicegerency; and in 1796 it became the center of Riazan’ Province.
In the second half of the 19th century, iron foundries, distilleries, and lard-making enterprises were established in the city. The first Social Democratic circle was founded in Riazan’ in 1904, and the workers of Riazan’ participated in the October All-Russian political strike of 1905. Soviet power was established on Oct. 26-30 (Nov. 8-12), 1917. In 1929-30, Riazan’ was a district administrative center in Moscow Oblast, and in 1937 it became the administrative center of Riazan’ Oblast.
During the Soviet era, Riazan’ was transformed into a major industrial center. The city provides 60 percent of the oblast’s gross industrial output. Prior to the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) food-processing, light industry, and woodworking accounted for two-thirds of the city’s industrial output. After the war Riazan’ became an important industrial center with a preponderance of heavy industry, primarily machine building. The largest plants produce machine tools, forge and press equipment, potato-harvesting combines, tabulating machines, thermal instruments, radios, and chemical fibers. A refinery processes petroleum obtained via the Al’met’evsk-Gorky-Riazan’-Moscow pipeline. Other major industries include the production of cardboard, roofing materials, and building materials, food processing, light industry (garment and footwear factories, tanning plant), and woodworking (furniture combine).
The ancient heart of Riazan’ is the kremlin (founded in 1095), situated on the northern edge of the city on a high promontory at the confluence of the Trubezh and Lebed’ rivers. In the kremlin are the 15th-century Khristorozhdestvenskii Cathedral, rebuilt in 1826 in the classical style; the 16th-century Arkhangel’skii Cathedral, whose height was increased by additions in 1647; and the Uspenskii Cathedral (1693–99, architect la. G. Bukhvostov), built in the Naryshkin style, with an overall height of 60 m. The Uspenskii Cathedral’s detached bell tower (1789–1840, principal architects I. F. Russko and N. I. Voronikhin), reflecting the influence of the classical style, has an overall height of 83.2 m. Also noteworthy are the Church of the Holy Spirit (1642, architect V. Kh. Zubov), with two tent roofs, and the Archbishop’s Palace, known as the Oleg Palace (1653–92, architects lu. K. Iarshov and G. L. Mazukhin). Southwest of the kremlin are the main squares—Sovetskaia (formerly Sobornaia) and Lenin.
In accordance with a general plan adopted in 1780, the city’s main thoroughfares were laid out essentially following the routes of the old streets: Sobornaia Street (now Revolution Street), opening onto Sobornaia Square and leading to the kremlin’s Uspenskii Cathedral, as well as Pochtovaia Street (now First of May Prospect) and Astrakhan Street (now Lenin Street), both crossing the city from southeast to northwest. The city acquired buildings in the classical style, notably the Gymnasium, now the agricultural institute (1808–15); the former Assembly of the Nobility, whose central part dates from the late 18th and early 19th centuries; the hospital (1816); and the commercial arcade, built in the first half of the 19th century.
In Soviet times, Riazan’ was reconstructed and modernized. A general plan drawn up by G. M. Slepykh and other architects was adopted in 1968. Noteworthy buildings erected between the mid-1950’s and mid-1970’s include the S. Esenin Theater and Concert Hall (1956, principal architect I. P. Antipov), the Post Office (1962, architects A. I. Kushkin and N. N. Istomin), the Riazan’-2 Station (1967, principal architect lu. M. Boldychev), and the Circus (1971, standard design). Large-scale residential construction is under way in the southern, western, and northwestern parts of the city. There are monuments to I. P. Pavlov (1949, architect A. A. Dzerzhkovich) and V. I. Lenin (1957, architect I. E. Rozhin), both executed in bronze and granite by M. G. Manizer. A granite monument to F. A. Poletaev was erected in 1970 (sculptor V. E. Tsigal’, architect L. G. Golubovskii).
Riazan’ is the site of the All-Union Research and Planning Institute for the Organization and Economics of the Material and Technical Supplying of Agriculture and for the Technology of Storing and Using Fertilizers and Toxic Chemicals; institutes of radio engineering, agriculture, pedagogy, and medicine; and 11 special secondary schools. Cultural institutions include the Museum-Preserve of the History of Architecture, the Art Museum, the Museum House of Academician I. P. Pavlov, and dramatic, young people’s, and puppet theaters.
I. P. Pavlov was born in Riazan’, and L. A. Zagoskin, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, K. E. Tsiolkovskii, and I. V. Michurin lived there.
REFERENCESDvorov, I. M. Riazan’: Ekonomiko-geograficheskii ocherk. Riazan’, 1961.
Mikhailovskii, E. V., and I. V. Il’enko. Riazan’. Kasimov [Moscow, 1969.]
Vagner, G. K. Riazan’. Moscow, 1971.
Denis’ev, S. N., and N. N. Demkin. Riazan’: Putevoditel’. Moscow, 1973.
Vagner, G. K., and S. V. Chugunov. Riazanskie dostopamiatnosti. Moscow, 1974.
Ocherki istorii Riazanskoi organizatsii KPSS. Moscow, 1974.