(between 1822 and 1924, Petropavlovskii port), a city and administrative center of Kamchatka Oblast, RSFSR. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii is located on the eastern shore of the Kamchatka Peninsula, on the slopes of the Mishennaia, Petrovskaia, and Nikol’skaia Hills. It is a port on the Avacha Bay of the Pacific Ocean. Population, 187,000 (1974; 35,000 in 1939; 86,000 in 1959).
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii was founded on the site of the Kamchadaly settlement of Aushin, where on Oct. 6 (17), 1740, the second Kamchatka expedition of V. I. Bering and A. I. Chirikov landed for the winter. The expedition established the Petropavlovsk ostrog (temporary or permanent fortified settlement), naming the port in honor of the expedition’s ships, St. Peter and St. Paul. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii was visited by many Russian and foreign military and scientific expeditions.
By the beginning of the 19th century, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii was the principal port in the Far East and the administrative and economic center of Kamchatka. It has been a city since 1822, and from 1849 to 1858 it served as the capital of Kamchatka Oblast. In August 1854, during the Crimean War of 1853-56, the city’s garrison heroically repulsed an attack by an Anglo-French squadron. In 1909 it again became an oblast city. On Dec. 10, 1917, the Petropavlovsk Council of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies was formed, and Soviet rule was established on Nov. 10, 1922.
During the years of socialist construction, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii was transformed into one of the most important industrial and transportation centers of the Far East. It serves as a base for fishing, trawling, and refrigerator-ship fleets. The city has dry docks, a tin-plating factory, a fish-processing combine, a housing-construction combine, and a combine for the production of building materials. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii is the site of the Institute of Volcanology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Kamchatka division of the Pacific Ocean Institute of Fishing and Oceanography. There is a pedagogical institute, a branch of the Far Eastern Technical Institute of the Fishing Industry, and fishing-industry and cooperative technicums. The city has navigational, medical, pedagogical, and musical schools. There is also a drama theater, a museum of local lore, and a television center. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor on Oct. 31, 1972.