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(təmbôf`), city (1989 pop. 305,000), capital of Tambov region, S central European Russia. A rail junction and manufacturing center, it produces machine tools, instruments, and chemicals. Founded in 1636 as an outpost against the Crimean Tatars, Tambov became (18th cent.) an administrative center. The poet DerzhavinDerzhavin, Gavril Romanovich
, 1743–1816, Russian classical poet. His satirical ode to Catherine II, Felitsa (1782), won her favor, and he became poet laureate and later Minister of Justice. The Ode to God (1784, tr. in B. G.
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 was governor there from 1786 to 1788.



a city and administrative center of Tambov Oblast, RSFSR. Landing on the left bank of the Tsna River of the Volga River basin. Junction of highways and of railroad lines to Michurinsk, Saratov, and Kamyshin. Situated 480 km southeast of Moscow. Population, 257,000 (1975; 48,000 in 1897, 72,000 in 1926, 106,000 in 1939, 172,000 in 1959, and 230,000 in 1970). The city is divided into three raions.

Tambov was founded in 1636 as a fortress to defend the Muscovite state against raids by the Crimean and Nogai Tatars and was part of the Simbirsk defense line. In 1670 detachments of S. T. Razin approached Tambov. Tambov became the center of the provintsiia (subprovince) of Tambov in 1719 and of the Tambov Vicegerency in 1779. In 1796 it became the center of the guberniia (province) of Tambov. In 1830 a “cholera riot” [a disturbance during a cholera epidemic, related to popular dissatisfaction with quarantine regulations] broke out in Tambov.

Trade in grain and livestock played an important role in the city’s economy; industry was represented by handicrafts production. In 1870 the Riazan’-Ural’sk railroad was laid through Tambov. By 1913, about 2,400 workers were employed at Tambov’s 22 enterprises. The first Marxist circle in Tambov originated in 1896. Soviet power was established on Jan. 31 (Feb. 13), 1918. During the liquidation of the anti-Soviet kulak and Socialist Revolutionary rebellion in 1920–21, Soviet troop headquarters was located in Tambov.

During the years of socialist construction, Tambov has become a major industrial center of the RSFSR. Machine building and metalworking are the leading branches of industry. The Polimer-mash and Komsomolets plants produce equipment for the chemical industry. Other plants produce standard and spare parts for automobile, truck, and tractor enterprises, forging and press machinery (plants producing sliding-contact bearings and technological equipment, plants for the repair and maintenance of bearings), and instruments and electrical equipment (the Revtrud Plant and others). There is also a plant for the repair of insulated railroad cars. The city’s chemical industry produces dyes, industrial rubber goods, and asbestos-rubber items. Building materials are also produced. In addition, the city has clothing, footwear, food, and furniture industries. A district heat and power plant is located in Tambov.

The city forms a gently sloping amphitheater at a bend in the Tsna River. A general plan with a radial semicircular street system was approved in 1781. Architectural monuments include the Pokrovskaia church (1768), the gostinyi dvor, or merchants’ arcade (late 18th century), and the summer church of the Kazan Monastery (1818). The Soviet period has been marked by considerable industrial and residential construction. In addition, a number of significant public buildings have been erected; among them are the Iubileinyi Palace of Culture (1970), the All-Union Institute for the Electrification of Agriculture (1973), and the building of the Tambov committee of the CPSU (1974), which were built from standard plans, and the concert hall of the philharmonic society (1967, architect V. G. Samorodov). A new general plan calling for the integrated establishment of three large residential districts—central, western, and northwestern—was approved in 1968. Tambov has monuments to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1967; sculptor P. I. Bondarenko, architect A. S. Kulikov) and to the Tambov soldiers who died in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 (bronze, granite, and concrete, 1970; sculptors K. Ia. Malofeev and S. E. Lebedev, architect A. S. Kulikov).

Tambov has a pedagogical institute, institutes of chemistry and machine building, and a branch of the Moscow Institute of Culture; there are 11 secondary specialized educational institutions, including technicums for motor-vehicle transportation, agriculture, and railroad transportation and a cooperative technicum. The All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Rubber-industry Machine Building and the Scientific Research Institute of Chemicals for Polymer Materials are also located in the city. Among Tambov’s cultural institutions are a drama theater, a puppet theater, a philharmonic society, a museum of local lore, and an art gallery. The city also has a cardiological sanatorium.


Shirstova, Z. E., and M. K. Snytko. Tambov: Ekonomiko-geograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1962.
Tambov. Voronezh, 1967.


an industrial city in W Russia: founded in 1636 as a Muscovite fort; a major engineering centre. Pop.: 293 000 (2005 est.)
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