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Novokuznetsk(nô`vōko͝oz'nĕtsk), city (1989 pop. 600,000), S central Siberian Russia, on the Tom River. Steel, mining equipment, chemicals, and aluminum are produced. The old town of Kuznetsk was founded by Cossacks in 1617 and was a trading center until the 20th cent. It was developed in the 1930s as Stalinsk, an iron and steel center of the Kuznetsk Basin, and was merged with its newer industrial section in 1932. The name Novokuznetsk dates from 1961.
(originally Kuznetsk; called Novokuznetsk in 1931–32; Stalinsk from 1932 to 1961), a city under oblast jurisdiction and administrative center of Novokuznetsk Raion, Kemerovo Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on both banks of the Tom’ River at the confluence of the Aba and Kondoma rivers. Junction of railroad lines to Iurga, Tashtagol, and Abakan. Population, 519,000 (1974; 166,000 in 1939, 382,000 in 1959).
One of the major metallurgical centers of the USSR, Novokuznetsk was founded in 1617 as a stockaded town on the lands of the Abintsy, whom the Cossacks called Kuznetsy (“smiths”) because of their skill in forging iron. Named Kuznetsk, it was declared a city in 1622, and in 1804 it became the administrative center of Kuznetsk District of Tomsk Province. Before the October Revolution of 1917 it was a small trade and handicraft center. Its industrial development began in 1929 in connection with the construction of the Kuznetsk Metallurgical Combine, the first phase of which was put into operation in 1932. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the city’s heavy industry was highly important to the national defense.
In the 1960’s the Western Siberian Metallurgical Plant was built; there are also aluminum and ferroalloy plants. Coal mining, machine-building (primarily mining equipment), and the production of construction materials have been developed. The city has a chemical and pharmaceuticals plant and is a center for food processing and other light industries.
Development of the city was begun in 1929. In accordance with a plan that was officially sanctioned in 1931, industrial and residential construction in the left-bank area was carried out (1930–34; German architect E. May). Subsequently, central arteries and squares were created, and a park was laid out (1936 and 1946–50 plans; architects B. E. Svetlichnyi, G. M. Slepykh, and others). A hospital complex was also built (1946–52, architect S. I. Korotkov), as were the CPSU City Committee building (1960–63, architects E. A. Avdeev and V. I. Gerashchenko), an opera and drama theater (1964, architects A. I. Zaitsev and S. P. Chalaia, engineer A. V. Efimova), and a hockey stadium (1966, architect Iu. S. Medvedkov).
In the years 1968–71, a new general plan was created for Novokuznetsk, providing for the further construction of new urban areas. The Novokuznetsk Hotel was built in 1970. A personal services center (a complex consisting of such service establishments as a dry cleaner’s, a laundry, a barber shop, and a tailor shop) and the N. V. Gogol Central Municipal Library were built in 1971. The headquarters of the central raion committee of the CPSU was built in 1972, and a circus was built in 1973. Construction of a new city center was begun in 1968. Monuments in Novokuznetsk include the memorial “To the Fighters for the Revolution” (granite, 1963; architects E. A. Avdeev and V. F. Kazakov) and sculptures dedicated to I. P. Bardin (granite, 1965; sculptor S. D. Shaposhnikov, architect Iu. N. Gumburg), and V. V. Mayakovsky (cast iron, 1967; sculptor B. A. Plenkin, architect V. P. Litviakov).
Novokuznetsk has scientific research and planning institutes in such fields as hydraulic coal mining and design of metallurgical enterprises. The city’s educational institutions include metallurgical and pedagogical institutes, as well as technicums that train workers in metallurgy, industrial production processes, construction of mining machinery, assembly techniques, civil engineering, Soviet commerce, and agriculture. There is also a medical school and two teacher-training schools.
Novokuznetsk has drama and puppet theaters, in addition to museums of science and technology, local lore, geology, and Soviet fine arts. On Feb. 4, 1971, the city was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.