About ufa


The section dedicated to the city Ufa - the place of ICG 2013

Ufa is a city of the Russian Federation, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, a large industrial and cultural center of the Cis-Ural region. Ufa is situated in the valley of Belaya river, a confluent of Kama river (the locals call it Agidel, which means “the White River”), in the place where Ufa and Dema rivers disgorge into Belaya, 1519 km to the East of Moscow. Ufa is a large traffic centre (a hithe, railway station, road junction, and airport). Ufa is the only RF multi-million city with natural population growth since 2008.

The etymology of the word “Ufa” remains obscure. According to a prominent turcologist N.K. Dmitriev, the name “Ufa” stems from the Old Turkic word “Uba”, which means “hill”, “barrow”, “hilly area.” There is also a theory that “Ufa” stems from hydronym “Uppa,” an ancient name of the river Ufa. There is also a legend about a traveler, who stopped at the place where the town was to appear and said “Uf, Allah” (which means “Oh, Allah”).

The architecture of Ufa features a number of styles and traditions. There are a lot of attractive relics of the past still remaining here. The city is situated on a headland called Ufa peninsular. It is here that the Ufa fortress was set up which existed till the beginning of the 19th century. Initially Ufa featured radial-type building plan: the streets radiated from the local Kremlin, but after approval of the regular plan of 1803, a rectangular building system prevailed based on the major squares of the town – Market Squire (with shopping arcade of the early 19th century) and Cathedral Squire.

In the 19th century the Ufa boundary was to be found along the Bogorodskaya street (now Revolutionary street) with houses on one side only. The space between the town and the Soldier Lake was unpopulated, further from the lake there was a Northern Settlement of workers of railway workshops, fishers and prospering merchants. To the south of the Soldier Lake there was a John the Forerunner Church with John the Forerunner (or just John’s) cemetery. The latter was set up in 1824 and by the early 20th century it covered half of the territory of the today’s park. In 1898 Ufa State Duma closed the cemetery down (though people were buried there up to 1906). The idea of setting up the park first came to Ufa chief of police Bukhartovsky Henry in spring 1903. He addressed the district committee for people’s sobriety to consider the suggestion to set up public gardens for folk fetes between the garden of John the Forerunner cemetery Church and the Soldier Lake. The district committee has applied to provide a plot for the public gardens into the State Duma.

As a result of the meeting on November 11, 1903 on “Giving the territory near the John the Forerunner cemetery to the committee for people’s sobriety to set up public gardens” Ufa State Duma allowed to set up public gardens on a trenched woodless land plot between Central street (now Lenin street) and Alexander street (now Karl Marx street), and assign a budget of one thousand rubles for this purpose.

In 1918 the garden which was previously was called “The garden of sobriety committee” was given its current name – Park of Ivan Yakutov, to commemorate a 1905 revolutionary and the first chairman of Ufa state council. In April-May 1918 railway workers and the Red Guard soldiers who were killed in the fighting with the White Guard ataman Dutov were buried here.

The new Soviet power started to destroy the John the Forerunner cemetery, and by the 50-s of the 20th century it was eventually leveled to the ground. In the 30-es the church on the garden territory was demolished. In 1932 the Soldier Lake was cleaned for Ufa citizen to row boats.

On May 13, 1936 the meeting of the Ufa State Council presidium decreed to create a play park in place of I. Yakutov park, and to reconstruct the stadium, lake and the whole territory of the cemetery. In 1939 the architect and planning workshop of Ufa has fulfilled “The General Project of Play Park n.a. I. Yakutov in Ufa.”

In 1952 Ivan Yakutov’s bust (made by Tamara Nechayeva) was installed, after the park extension it turned out to be in the center of the park. Afterwards it was moved closer to the entrance near Lenin Street; several years ago it was moved to one of the alleys.

On May 10, 1953 a play railway opened (and still operating).

In 1967 a memorial was opened to commemorate the fallen heroes who fought for the Soviet power and were buried here in 1918.

In 1978 an indoor court was built, and a juvenile Olympic school of tennis was opened. This school neighbored a football pitch.

In 1985-88 the park was reconstructed, and a game-playing machine pavilion was built.

In 1989 the park was included into the list of cultural park-monuments.

On September 1, 1998 a traffic police play-town for kids was opened.

In 2003-2004 the park lived through a number of new reconstructions, new amusement rides were installed, a restaurant near the lake was built, an entertainment center “Jolly Roger” was opened. It features 4 bowling lanes, 5 American billiards tables, 1 Russian billiards table.

OOO “Park n.a. I. Yakutov” was among top ten parks of Russia in 2004, and awarded the Diploma of All-Russia competition and was given the “Crystal wheel” award.

Smolensk Cathedral was a memorial of church architecture. It included a Trinity church (end of the 16th century), “warm church” or frater (1824) and a bell tower (1779). The Smolensk cathedral was exploded in 1956, and a Monument of Friendship was built instead. The surviving churches date back to the epoch of classicism; these include Pokrovsky church (1823) on the right bank of Sutolka river, Cathedral church (1841) and Spassky church (1824). The latter was built because of the icon of the Holy Savior’s image. According to legend, the icon was brought all through the town from Elabuga town, and it stopped near a 17th century wooden church, and no one could lift it unless they promised to build a church like a Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. In the southern part of Ufa peninsula near the river Belaya there is also an Islam architecture monument, a mosque (1830).

Among the monuments of civil architecture of the first half of the 19th century, most of which date back to the classicism epoch, include Bishopric house on the cliff over Belaya with a garden and a terrace, the building of boy’s gymnasium with side wings (currently, Bashkir State Medical University), governor’s house and the Hall of the Nobility (now Institute of Arts). To the end of the 19th-early 20th century refer modern-style buildings: private residences of Ponosova-Modlo (now Institute of History, Language and Literature), Kasterin (now Ministry of Agriculture), Laptev (now Art Museum).

In Ufa there is also a house where S.T. Aksakov, a famous writer, was born and where he lived. The wooden house (built in the 18th century) belonged to S.T. Aksakov’s grand farther, N.S. Zubov. The museum-house was saved for history. It features the writer’s museum. The People’s House of S.T. Aksakov built in 1908-1920 by architect P.P. Rudakovsky is now the Bashkir State Theatre of Opera and Ballet.

Salavat Yulaev, Bashkortostan’s national hero, is also connected with Ufa. His monument was installed in 1967. The city also features a museum house of Mazhit Gafury, a famous Bashkir poet, which also tells us about his life and work. Ufa is a native city of violinist and conductor V.T. Spivakov, S.D. Dovlatov, a famous writer. In Ufa there are several museums among which the most prominent one is Bashkir Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy founded in 1864. The art museum of M.V. Nesterov is also notable. It was created in 1919 and featured the artist Nesterov’s collections. 

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