a city under oblast jurisdiction and the administrative center of Staraia Russa Raion, Novgorod Oblast, RSFSR. Landing on the Polist’ River (Lake U’men’ basin). Railroad station on the Valdai-Dno line, 99 km south of Novgorod. Highway junction. Population, 38,000 (1975).
Staraia Russa was known from the mid-1070’s as part of the Novgorod Land. In 1478, along with Novgorod, it was incorporated into the Muscovite state. In the mid-16th century it was the fourth largest city in the Russian state in terms of population and number of dvory (homesteads), after Moscow, Pskov, and Novgorod. Salt production was developed in Staraia Russa in the 15th through 17th centuries. In 1776, Staraia Russa became a district capital, and in 1796 it became part of Novgorod Province. In 1824 military settlements were established in the city’s environs; an uprising associated with the cholera riots occurred in these settlements in 1831.
Soviet power was established in Staraia Russa on Nov. 5 (18), 1917. From Aug. 9,1941, to Feb. 18,1944, the city was occupied by fascist German troops. Completely destroyed during the fighting, it was rebuilt after the war.
Staraia Russa has instrumentation, flax-processing, and juice-extraction plants, a brickyard, and a factory for the production of chemical machinery. It also has an evening mechanics technicum. Also located in the city are a museum of local lore and the house-museum of F. M. Dostoevsky, where the writer lived between 1872 and 1875 and in 1880.
Staraia Russa is a balneopelotherapeutic health resort. Summers are moderately warm, with an average July temperature of 17°C, and winters are relatively mild, with an average January temperature of 8°C. Annual precipitation totals 540 mm.
Therapeutic remedies include mineral springs. The water from spring no. 11 has a chemical composition of
It is used for therapeutic bathing, drinking, and inhalation. Silt mud from Lakes Verkhnee and Srednee is also used therapeutically, as is the mud from reservoirs. Treatment is provided for persons suffering from musculoskeletal and gynecological disorders and diseases of the digestive and nervous systems. Staraia Russa has sanatoriums and a water and mud treatment facility.