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Barnaul(bərnəo͞ol`), city (1989 pop. 602,000), capital of Altai Territory, SW Siberian Russia, on the Ob River. A port and major railway junction, Barnaul is in the heart of the Kulunda steppe, an agricultural area where wheat, corn, and sugar beets are grown. The city's chief industries produce cotton textiles, chemicals, artificial fibers, and machinery. Altai State Univ. is there. Barnaul was founded in 1771 as a silver-smelting center.
a city; center of Altai Krai, RSFSR. It is located on the left bank of the Ob’ River at the confluence of the Barnaulka River. It is a railroad center with lines running to Semipalatinsk, Kulunda, Novosibirsk, Novokuznetsk, and Biisk. There is a steamship dock. In 1970 the population was 439,000 (in 1939 it was 148,000).
The settlement of Barnaul appeared in 1730, built by the Russian industrialist A. Demidov, and in 1771 it became a city. From 1747 to 1917, Barnaul was the center of Altai Okrug, the personal possession of the tsars. In the second half of the 19th century it was a major trade center in the Altai region. At the start of the 1900’s, Social Democratic circles appeared in Barnaul. Soviet power was established on the night of Dec. 6–7, 1917. In June 1918, Barnaul was captured by the White Czechs and later by the White Guards. On Dec. 10, 1919, Soviet power was restored in the city by partisans and rebellious workers.
During the years of Soviet power, Barnaul has grown into a major industrial center of Western Siberia. Its machine-building plants turn out steam boilers for power stations, diesel engines, metal-cutting lathes, mechanical presses, and radio engineering equipment. There are repair facilities for railroad cars, steamships, and barges. The chemical and textile industries play an important role, and an asbestos-rubber combine, a chemical fiber plant, and other installations have been built. Light industry produces 26 percent of the gross output of Barnaul’s industry; its most important enterprises are the mélange-yarn and cotton fabric combines. The food industry is developed, with meat, dairy, creamery, brewing, and other sectors. Large building-materials enterprises have been built which turn out reinforced-concrete components, large-panel building modules, cellular concrete, and other products. There are poly technical, medical, agricultural, and pedagogical institutes and 12 special educational institutions. There are dramatic, musical-comedy, and puppet theaters and a museum of local lore.