That is happiness – to settle and show the world in a way that people wish live in Elabuga. (Rasikh Gaisin)

Articles catalog :: City history

Principal city of province Elabuga.

At different times village Trehsvjatskoie related to either Simbirsk or Kazan provinces. In 1780 in connection with all-embracing province reform, conducted by Empress Catherine II, village Trehsvjatskoie passes to Vyatka region ruled by governor-general and gets the status of district center named “Elabuga city”. On May 28, 1781 arms of district city was approved. “In the upper part of shield – Vyatka arms; in golden field there is an arm appearing from a cloud that holds a bow and arrow, and over it in the upper part of shield there is a red cross. In the lower part – in silver field there is a woodpecker sitting on a stump and pecking it, as there are many birds of this kind there”.

“Elabuga city, during founding of offices and transformation from village into district city, had 376 houses, residents of Elabuga numbered 966 people who before opening of vicariate were reckoned as palace peasants. Residents were occupied in agriculture, floating of bread to lower towns. At this time there were three churches in the city – one stone-made and two wooden… Both in the city and district, there were no factories and plants, except three copper smelting works” (Shishkin I.V. History of Elabuga city. M., 1871).

Town planning reforms of Catherine II also included rebuilding of settlements basing on new regularly plans. Picturesque building gently following relief forms had to give way to “exemplary” buildings on wide rectilinear streets and squares. Elabuga got its plan for rebuilding in 1784. Plan was highly conformed to Catherine II, had power of law and was included into Code of laws of Russian empire. The city becomes a place of active trade, develops rapidly. In 1846, during governing of Nicholas I, new regular plan of city was highly approved.

Big fire that in 1850 destroyed more than 500 buildings, almost half of mainly wooden city, “cleared” place for new stone construction on principal streets. Vyatka governor who visited Elabuga with an inspection in 1887, made such a description: “View of the city is very beautiful, as levee, southern part of the city, almost everywhere has stone houses and three stone churches of wonderful architecture: Cathedral, St. Nicholas and Intercession. Besides mentioned, in different places of the city there were six other orthodox churches, one stone mosque. City at 11000 residents of both sex has more than 120 stone houses and up to 900 wooden, up to 116 stores and shops of various types, among them more that 40 stone-made; 3 factories, 16 industrial and handicraft establishments and 36 public houses of all types. Streets are: Naberezhnaya, Milionnaya (Bolshaya Pokrovskaya) and Kazanskaya, almost everywhere they have stone houses, – paved. Other streets are only partially non-paved. Pavements are partly stone-made, partly wooden, and back streets are at all without pavements, as sandy ground get dry rapidly and there is no abundance of mud here”.

Center of the city was notable for its impressive appearance, good quality and face-lift. On Naberezhnaya street there were three stone churches, district and city boards; on Kazanskaya – post office, treasury, city college, female gymnasium, diocesan college. Here famous merchants’ dynasties lived – Staheevy, Ghyrbasovy, Ushkovy.

Main places of trade were Hlebnaya, Rybnaya, Sennaya and Sobornaya (Spasskaya) squares. At Spasskiy (Saviour) Cathedral, at place were according to plan offices were placed, Guest house was built by Staheev. Here, on Sobornaya square, since 15th till 25th of August the biggest fair – Spasskaya took place. And in winter, in December, Alexandrovskaya fair started at Trinity church.

Residents of merchants’ estate in Elabuga were as many as in Vyatka, and rich merchants of 1st guild were 8 people more than in province center.


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