Nizhny Novgorod Fair
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Nizhny Novgorod Fair
(iarmaka), a major Russian trade fair that existed from 1817 to 1917 and again from 1921 to 1929. It became a national center for Russian wholesale and retail commerce, replacing the Makar’ev Fair that had existed earlier.
The Nizhny Novgorod Fair was held annually during July and August. Between 1818 and 1822 the Gostinyi Dvor (market square), consisting of 60 two-story structures, was built. The main trading hall of the fair, rebuilt in 1890, has been preserved.
A commercial exchange operated at the Nizhny Novgorod Fair from 1848. The fair attracted merchants from all over Russia, especially from Moscow, as well as from the East (Greece, Turkey, and Iran) and from Western Europe (Germany and England). The principal Russian goods were cotton textiles, wool, leather, fur, metals, notions and clothing accessories, chandlery, and foodstuffs. The goods offered from European countries included woolen and silk cloth, dyes, cosmetics, and tools. Merchandise from Asia included tea from China, cotton from Bukhara, and rugs and silk items from Iran. In 1817, 92.6 million rubles’ worth of goods were offered at the fair, with total sales of 51.4 million rubles. Corresponding figures for 1881 were 246.2 million and 243 million rubles, and for 1914, 200 million and 167 million rubles.
After the October Revolution of 1917, the fair reopened in July 1921, under the new economic policy. Together with the Baku Fair it took on national importance, particularly for the sale of cottage industry production and for trade with Eastern countries. Exhibition halls were set up, and in 1924 the fair’s turnover reached 76.5 million rubles. State and cooperative organizations were the main vendors as well as the main purchasers of goods. But the structure and methods of commerce in the USSR were changing, and the Nizhny Novgorod Fair was not held after 1929.
REFERENCESOstroukhov, P. A. “Nizhegorodskaia iarmarka v 1817–1867 gg.” In the
collection Istoricheskie zapiski, vol. 90. Moscow, 1972. Istoriia goroda Gor’kogo. Gorky, 1971. Pages 101, 125–28, 342–44.
N. P. EROSHKIN