a city in Moscow Oblast, RSFSR, located on the Osetr River, a tributary of the Oka, 164 km to the southeast of Moscow. Zaraisk is the terminal station of a railroad branch 27 km from the Lukhovitsa station on the Moscow-Riazan’ line. Population, 24,000 (1970). Zaraisk is an important center for light industry, such as textiles (the Krasnyi Vostok Plant), feather goods, and footwear; it also has machine, auto-repair, and building-materials plants. A pedagogical school and a museum of local lore and history are located here.
In the early 13th century the settlement Krasnyi arose here and by the end of the century came to be known as Zaraisk. In 1541, 1570, and 1573, Zaraisk was invaded by the Tatars. Beginning in 1778 it was a district center. In 1531 at the command of Vasilii III a rectangular stone kremlin (134 m × 190 m) was built, surrounded by walls with many-sided towers; there is a 17th-century cathedral here. Zaraisk has other churches and civic buildings, dating back to the 17th through 19th centuries.