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Kursk (English)
Курск (Russian)
-  City[1]  -
General view of Kursk city.JPG
View of Kursk
Map of Russia - Kursk Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Kursk Oblast in Russia
Kursk is located in Kursk Oblast
Location of Kursk in Kursk Oblast
Coordinates: 51°43′N 36°11′E / 51.717°N 36.183°E / 51.717; 36.183Coordinates: 51°43′N 36°11′E / 51.717°N 36.183°E / 51.717; 36.183
Kursk city COA.svg
Flag of Kursk.png
Coat of arms
City Day September 25[citation needed]
Administrative status (as of November 2008)
Country Russia
Federal subject Kursk Oblast[1]
Administratively subordinated to city of oblast significance of Kursk[1]
Administrative center of Kursk Oblast,[2][3] Kursky District,[1] city of oblast significance of Kursk[1]
Municipal status (as of December 2010)
Urban okrug Kursk Urban Okrug[4]
Administrative center of Kursk Urban Okrug,[4] Kursky Municipal District[4]
Head[citation needed] Alexander Zakurdayev[citation needed]
Representative body Kursk City Assembly (Russian: Курское городское Собрание[citation needed]
Area 188.75 km2 (72.88 sq mi)[5]
Population (2010 Census) 415,159 inhabitants[6]
Rank in 2010 42nd
Population (2013 est.) 428,000 inhabitants[7]
Density 2,200 /km2 (5,700 /sq mi)[8]
Time zone MSK (UTC+04:00)[9]
First mentioned 1032[10]
City status since 1779[11]
Postal code(s)[12] 305000
Dialing code(s) +7 4712[citation needed]
Official website
Kursk on WikiCommons

Kursk (Russian: Курск, IPA: [ˈkursk]) is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kur, Tuskar, and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was the site of a turning point in the Soviet–German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history. Population: 415,159 (2010 Census);[6] 412,442 (2002 Census);[13] 424,239 (1989 Census).[14]


Stalin-era buildings flanking Kursk's Red Square
Pre-1917 view of Kursk

Archaeology indicates that the site of Kursk was settled in the 5th or 4th century BCE.[citation needed] The settlement was fortified and included Slavs at least as early as the 8th century CE.[citation needed]

The first written record of Kursk is dated 1032.[10] It was mentioned as one of Severian towns by Prince Igor in The Tale of Igor's Campaign: "As to my Kurskers, they are famous knights—swaddled under war-horns, nursed under helmets, fed from the point of the lance; to them the trails are familiar, to them the ravines are known, the bows they have are strung tight, the quivers, unclosed, the sabers, sharpened; themselves, like gray wolves, they lope in the field, seeking for themselves honor, and for their prince, glory."

The seat of a minor principality, Kursk was raided by the Polovtsians in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and destroyed by Batu Khan around 1237. The city was rebuilt no later than 1283. It was ruled by Grand Duchy of Lithuania between 1360 and 1508. Kursk joined the centralized Russian state in 1508, becoming its southern border province. It was an important center of the corn trade with Ukraine and hosted an important fair, which took place annually under the walls of the monastery of Our Lady of Kursk. It was raided frequently by Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Crimean Khanate until late of 17th century and was ruled Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1611 and 1634. It was bounded to successively Kiev Governorate (1708–1727), Belgorod Governorate (1727–1779), and Kursk Viceroyalty (1779–1797). Town status was granted to Kursk in 1779.[11] It became the administrative center of Kursk Governorate in 1797.

The Soviet government prized Kursk for rich deposits of iron ore and developed it into one of the major railroad hubs in the Russian Southwest. During World War II, Kursk was occupied by Germans between November 4, 1941 and February 8, 1943. Again in World War II, the village of Prokhorovka near Kursk was the center of the Battle of Kursk, a major engagement between Soviet and German forces which is widely believed by historians to have been the largest tank battle in history and was the last major German offensive mounted against the Soviet Union.

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Kursk is the administrative center of the oblast[2][3] and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Kursky District, even though it is not a part of it.[1] As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the city of oblast significance of Kursk—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Kursk is incorporated as Kursk Urban Okrug.[4]

Economy and infrastructure[edit]

In addition to its importance as an administrative hub, Kursk is important as an industrial centre. Activity focuses on iron based industry, the chemical sector and a large food processing industry, reflecting the richness of agriculture in the surrounding "Black Earth" region.

Particularly noteworthy is the so-called Kursk Magnetic Anomaly (Russian: Курская магнитная аномалия), the world's largest known iron-ore reserve, where the iron content of the ore ranges from 35% up to 60%.

In Kurchatov, some 40 km (25 mi) to the south-west, is the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, incorporating four RBMK-1000 ("High Power Channel-type Reactor") (Russian: Реактор Большой Мощности Канальный) reactors similar to those implicated in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The oldest of the Kursk reactors has been operational since 1977, and the newest of them since 1986.


The oldest building in Kursk is the upper church of the Trinity Monastery, a good example of the transition style characteristic of Peter the Great's early reign. The oldest lay building is the so-called Romodanovsky Chamber, although it was erected in all probability in the mid-18th century, when the Romodanovsky family had ceased to exist.

The city cathedral was built between 1752 and 1778 in the splendid Baroque style and was decorated so sumptuously that many art historians attributed it to Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Although Rastrelli's authorship is out of the question, the cathedral is indeed the most impressive monument of Elizabethan Baroque not to be commissioned by the imperial family or built in the imperial capital.

Sergievsko-Kazansky Cathedral in Kursk, 1752–1778
Central Bank of Russia building

The cathedral has two stories, with the lower church consecrated to St. Sergius of Radonezh and the upper one — to the Theotokos of Kazan. The upper church is noted for an intricate icon screen which took sixteen years to complete. The three-story cathedral bell tower derives peculiar interest from the fact that Seraphim of Sarov, whose father took part in construction works, survived an accidental fall from its top floor at the age of seven. The Resurrection Church is also shown where St. Seraphim was baptized.

The monastery cathedral of the Sign (1816–26) is another imposing edifice, rigorously formulated in the purest Neoclassical style, with a cupola measuring 20 meters (66 ft) in diameter and rising 48 meters (157 ft) high. The interior was formerly as rich as colored marbles, gilding, and frescoes could make it. During the Soviet period, the cathedral was desecrated, four lateral domes and twin belltowers over the entrance pulled down. There are plans to restore the church to its former glory.

The modern city is a home for several universities: Kursk State Medical University, State Technical University, Kursk State University (former Pedagogical University) and Agricultural Academy, as well as the private Regional Open Social Institute (ROSI). There are also modern shrines and memorials commemorating the Battle of Kursk, both in the city and in Prokhorovka.

The Command Station Bunker & Museum[15][not in citation given]was built specifically in memorial of the courageous Russian T-34 tank units that fought in the Battle of Kursk, where a T-34 tank is on display. Over 6,000 armored vehicles fought in close range over the open territory near Kursk in 1943. This battle stopped the German advance into the Kursk Salient, and was a turning point of World War II on the Eastern Front.

Kursk played a role in the Cold War as host to Khalino air base.

Nearby is Tsentralno-Chernozemny Zapovednik, a large section of steppe soil that has never been plowed. It is used for a variety of research purposes.


Retro-tram—a replica of a Belgian tram of 1898 on Kursk streets

Since 1868 there has been a railway connection between Kursk and Moscow.[16] Kursk is located on a major railway line between Moscow and Kharkov, with trains also linking the city to Voronezh and Kiev. The Kursk Vostochny Airport provides domestic flights. Public transport includes buses, trolleybuses, and trams.

Culture and sports[edit]

Kursk State University is home to the Russian Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of conductor and trumpet soloist Sergey Proskurin. The orchestra performs regularly, tours internationally and has produced multiple CDs.[17]

Pushkin Theater located in the center of the city. It has permanent company as well as visiting shows.

International relations[edit]


Climate data for Kursk 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7.5
Average high °C (°F) −3.6
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.2
Average low °C (°F) −8.7
Record low °C (°F) −34.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 47
Avg. precipitation days 26 22 19 17 16.4 17 17 13 15.4 17 23 26 229
Avg. rainy days 9 8 9 15 16 17 17 13 16 16 14 11 161
Avg. snowy days 23 21 15 4 0.4 0 0 0 0.4 3 13 22 102
Mean monthly sunshine hours 62.0 79.1 120.9 174.0 257.3 279.0 282.1 254.2 180.0 117.8 45.0 37.2 1,888.6
Source #1: pogoda.ru.net
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only)

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Kursk is twinned with:


Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Resolution #489
  2. ^ a b Russian Investment, Economic, Ecological and Business Risk Atlas. Int'l Business Publications. 2005. p. 177. ISBN 9780739706558. 
  3. ^ a b Russia Regional Government Encyclopedic Directory. Int'l Business Publications. 2009. p. 207. ISBN 9781438740836. 
  4. ^ a b c d Law #48-ZKO
  5. ^ БД ПМО Курской области. Город Курск
  6. ^ a b "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ Итоги социально-экономического развития города Курска за 2008-2012 годы
  8. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
  9. ^ Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
  10. ^ a b "Kursk". sochi2014.com. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  11. ^ a b The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, Volume 14. Maxwell Sommerville. 1894. p. 162. 
  12. ^ Local post office info – http://www.russianpost.ru/PostOfficeFindInterface/FindOPSByPostOfficeID.aspx?index=305000
  13. ^ "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров." [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989) (in Russian). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Dr. Ed Norris, World Indigenous Missions, 2007". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  16. ^ Railway Station in Kursk (Russian)
  17. ^ "Russian Chamber Orchestra". 
  18. ^ "List of Twin Towns in the Ruhr District". © 2009 Twins2010.com. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  19. ^ Dictionary of Minor Planet Names − p.253


  • Губернатор Курской области. Постановление №489 от 6 ноября 2008 г. «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных единиц населённых пунктов Курской области», в ред. Постановления №26-пг от 29 января 2013 г. «О внесении изменений и дополнений в Постановление Губернатора Курской области от 06.11.2008 №489 "Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных единиц населённых пунктов Курской области"». Вступил в силу 6 ноября 2008 г. (Governor of Kursk Oblast. Resolution #489 of November 6, 2008 On the Adoption of the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Units and Inhabited Localities of Kursk Oblast, as amended by the Resolution #26-pg of January 29, 2013 On Amending and Supplementing Resolution #489 of the Governor of Kursk Oblast of November 6, 2008 "On the Adoption of the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Units and Inhabited Localities of Kursk Oblast". Effective as of November 6, 2008.).
  • Курская областная Дума. Закон №48-ЗКО от 21 октября 2004 г. «О муниципальных образованиях Курской области», в ред. Закона №65-ЗКО от 23 августа 2011 г. «О внесении изменений и дополнений в Закон Курской области "О границах муниципальных образований Курской области", Закон Курской области "О муниципальных образованиях Курской области"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Курская правда", №214, 30 октября 2004 г. (Kursk Oblast Duma. Law #48-ZKO of October 21, 2004 On the Municipal Formations of Kursk Oblast, as amended by the Law #65-ZKO of August 23, 2011 On Amending and Supplementing the Law of Kursk Oblast "On the Borders of the Municipal Formations of Kursk Oblast", Law of Kursk Oblast "On the Municipal Formations of Kursk Oblast". Effective as of the day of the official publication.).

External links[edit]