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(syĕr`po͝okhəf), city (1989 pop. 143,600), central European Russia, on the Oka River. It is an important textile center. A fortress town since 1339, it retains a stone kremlin (16th cent.), the Church of St. Gregory and St. Dmitri (16th cent.), and the Vysotsk monastery (17th cent.).



a city under oblast jurisdiction and administrative center of Serpukhov Raion, Moscow Oblast, RSFSR. Located on the Moscow-Simferopol’ highway, 99 km south of Moscow, on the Nara River. Railroad station on the Moscow-Tula line; landing on the left bank of the Oka River, at the influx of the Nara. Population, 131,000 (1975; 91,000 in 1939: 106,000 in 1959).

References to Serpukhov date to 1339. From 1341 to 1456 the city was the center of the appanage Serpukhov Principality; and in 1462 it was annexed to the Muscovite state. After the construction of a stone citadel (c. 1556), the city became an important fortress on the southern Russian frontier. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Serpukhov was a major center for trade and handicrafts. It became part of Moscow Province in 1708 and a district capital in 1781. In the early 18th century linen factories appeared in the city, and a textile industry producing broadcloth and chintz developed late in the century. By the mid-19th century, Serpukhov was the largest textile center in Moscow Province. There were repeated workers’ strikes in the city beginning in the second half of the 19th century; and in 1896 the first Marxist circle was organized. A Social-Democratic organization was formed in 1905; an underground strike committee was active and an underground printing press was in operation. Soviet power was established in the city on Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917.

The years of Soviet power have seen the appearance of machine-building enterprises, producing textile machinery, motorcycles, and equipment for the petroleum industry (at the Nefteapparatpribor Plant), and a plant for the production of man-made fibers. Other plants produce files, electric machines, and leather. Serpukhov has a cotton-cloth combine, a furniture factory, a paper mill, a prefabricated-housing combine, and enterprises of the food industry. The Kondensator Scientific and Production Association, the All-Union Research Institute of Nonwoven Textiles and the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of the Motor Industry (VNIImotoprom) are also in the city.

Educational institutions include machine-building, instrument-making, and commercial trade technicums and medical and pedagogical schools. Serpukhov proper has a museum of history and art. Located nearby, in the city of Pushchino, are the Scientific Center for Biological Research of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Serpukhov Radio Astronomical Observatory of the Physics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. There is also a scientific complex of the Institute of High-energy Physics and a 76-gigaelectron-volt proton accelerator (the Serpukhov Proton-Synchrotron) in the settlement of Protvino.

The old section of Serpukhov is situated on a high promontory at the confluence of the Serpeika and Nara rivers. Fragments of the white stone citadel walls (c. 1556) have been preserved; the Troitskii Cathedral (1696) is situated inside the citadel. Serpukhov has two monasteries. The Vladychnyi Monastery includes the Vvedenskii Cathedral (16th and 17th centuries) and the Church of St. George, with its tentlike spire and a refectory (built after 1599); the Vysotskii Monastery includes a restored 16th-century cathedral. Other architectural monuments include the Pokrovskaia Refectory Church (16th and 17th centuries) and private residences made of stone in the classical style (first half of the 19th century).


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Prokin, A., Iu. Solov’ev, and A. Makarov. Po rodnym mestam (Serpukhov-Chekhov-Melikhovo). Moscow, 1967.