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Year of foundation: 1598.

Status: administrative center of «the Verkhoturye district» municipal unit.

Population: 17,5 thousand people.

Territory: 49 km2.

Location: on the eastern slope of the Urals, on the left bank of the Tura river, to the north of Ekaterinburg.

Distance: 306 km to Ekaterinburg, 154 km to Nizhny Tagil.

Roads: 6 km away from the Ekaterinburg - Serov railway line.

Verkhoturye is the oldest of the Sverdlovsk regional towns. It was founded as a fortified station on the newly opened shorter and more convenient route from European Russia to Siberia. The road was called the Babinovskaya way, in honor of Artemy Babinov from Solikamsk, who founded the route at the end of the 17th century. The order to build the new town of Verkhoturye on the site of the ancient «Chud» tribe («Mansi» tribe) settlement Neromkur was written in the Tsar’s decree of 1597. Later, this military and strategic post turned into the administrative and economic center of Zauralye. in 1601, a custom post where duties were collected from all the goods transferred through the city was set up in Verkhoturye. String of carts with bread, salt, fur-skins and provisions for the Siberian garrisons, as well as a great number of officials, trade and industrial businessmen, passed through the Verkhoturye turnpike.

Significance of Verkhoturye increased due to the raising of excise taxes, which brought even more profit than customs duties. A large wine-production industry appeared in the 17th century. In the town there were a central post office, shipyard and a river wharf, from where the merchants shipped their goods along the Tura river to the Siberian towns and then further to China. The coachmen left in 6 directions for Solikamsk, the Chusovaya river, Turinsk, Pelym, Lyalya and Tagil throughout winter and summer. So, during the 17th and 18th centuries, the town became the so-called «door» to Siberia, and developed into a large trade, distributive and administrative center in the Urals. Stone fortifications and a number of buildings (governor's house, market and others) were built in the town. The construction of the stone kremlin was started in 1698 and finished in 1712. The town was divided into 3 parts: the Town part with the kremlin. Zarechnaya part and the Yamskaya part. The Town part was inhabited by merchants and officials, while the coachmen and trades­men lived in the Zarechnaya and Yamskaya parts.

The Verkhoturye customs post was closed in 1753, when the new administrative center of Ekaterinburg appeared to the south and started to develop dynamically. In 1763 a new, more convenient road, «the Greater Siberian Way», was built. It exists up to now. Being far from the new trade roads. Verkhoturye lost its economic significance.

The economic recovery of the town began at the end of the 19th century when the Bogoslovskaya railway was built. Small sawmills and leather-processing works appeared. In those days the town lived a rich spiritual life: there were 13 churches and monasteries in the town. In spite of that the town lost its former economic significance, it remained a centre of the Verkhoturye district, the largest one in the Urals, and the only official city of the Northern Urals. The fight to establish Soviet power was especially stub­born and fierce. On April 5, 1926, by the decision of the Central Russian Committee, the town got the status of a rural settlement. Its industrial development started after the war, when the main local factories such as the skates factory, wood-chemical works, and others started work­ing. On April 2, 1947 Verkhoturye got back its status of a city. In 1998 Verkhoturye celebrated its jubilee. The city received visible and appreciable recovery support as part of the governor’s programme. The programme aims to restore monuments and turn Verkhoturye into a tourism and pilgrimage center of the Middle Urals.


is situated in the center of the town, on a high rock called Troitsky Kamen, which is protected by water from three sides. From the west it is washed by the Tura river, from north and south it is washed by the Sviyaga and Derneyka rivers that flow into Tura.

As soon as the building of the Rabinovskaya road was finished, the construction of the Verkhoturve fortress started. In 1597, the Cherdyn pioneer Sarych Shestakov, who was entrusted to choose a suitable place for building a new fortress and draw up its plan, came to Verkhoturye. Taking into consideration the landscape features of the Troitsky cape (25m high steep rock on the river side), the pioneer offered to build the fortress walls from only three sides. From the fourth (western) side, houses built close to each other would defend the fortress. The plan was sent to Moscow where it was approved by the Tsar, Fedor Ioannovich. The construc­tion of the fortress was headed by Vasily Golovin and Ivan Voeykov, who became the first governors ofVerkhoturye. The construction began in spring, 1598. At first the kremlin walls were made of two rows of logs. Only in the 18th century they were replaced by stone. The Troitsky Cathedral was erected on the eastern side of the fortress. The wooden church in honor of the Saint Trinity was started at this place as early as 1599 when the building of the towri began. The church was burned down several times, but every time it was rebuilt. The stone cathedral was built in 1703 - 1709 by bricklayers from Solikamsk, according to the design made by T. Gusev in the style of Moscow Baroque. The Cathedral has 5 domes and 2-tiered hipped bell-tower. The front walls of the Cathedral are richly ornamented and deco­rated with glazed tiles. By the UNESCO decision, the Cathedral is included in the list of the most significant architectural monuments in the world.

Saint Nikolay Cathedral was the first church in the Monastery. It was started in 1604. After several fires, the stone cathedral was built in 1712-1718. Two additional side-chapels and a bell-tower were built in 1838. The Cathedral was unchanged for 100 years till 1938, when it was blown up. In 2000 the modem Chapel was built on the same place where the pre-revolutionary temple had stood. In 2004 the Cathedral was consecrated.