Staraya Russa

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Staraya Russa (English)
Старая Русса (Russian)
-  Town[1]  -
Vokzal SR.JPG
Staraya Russa railway station building
Map of Russia - Novgorod Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Novgorod Oblast in Russia
Staraya Russa is located in Novgorod Oblast
Staraya Russa
Staraya Russa
Location of Staraya Russa in Novgorod Oblast
Coordinates: 57°59′00″N 31°21′00″E / 57.98333°N 31.35000°E / 57.98333; 31.35000Coordinates: 57°59′00″N 31°21′00″E / 57.98333°N 31.35000°E / 57.98333; 31.35000
Coat of Arms of Staraya Russa.svg
Flag of Staraya Russa (Novgorod oblast).png
Coat of arms
Administrative status (as of April 2012)
Country Russia
Federal subject Novgorod Oblast[2]
Administratively subordinated to town of oblast significance of Staraya Russa[2]
Administrative center of town of oblast significance of Staraya Russa,[2] Starorussky District[2]
Municipal status (as of October 2011)
Municipal district Starorussky Municipal District[3]
Urban settlement Staraya Russa Urban Settlement[3]
Administrative center of Starorussky Municipal District,[3] Staraya Russa Urban Settlement[3]
Population (2010 Census) 31,809 inhabitants[4]
Time zone MSK (UTC+04:00)[5]
First mentioned 1167[6]
Postal code(s)[7] 1752XX
Dialing code(s) +7 81652[8]
Official website
Staraya Russa on WikiCommons

Staraya Russa (Russian: Старая Русса, IPA: [ˈstarəjə ˈrusə]) is a town in Novgorod Oblast, Russia, located on the Polist River, 99 kilometers (62 mi) south of Veliky Novgorod. Its population has steadily decreased over the past years, going from 41,538 recorded in the 1989 Census[9] to 35,511 in the 2002 Census[10] to 31,809 in the 2010 Census.[4]


The origin of the name of Staraya Russa is unclear. The most involved and widespread hypothesis was presented by philologists and linguists R.A. Aheeva, V.L. Vasilyev, and M.V. Gorbanevsky. According to this hypothesis, Russa comes from Rus, which, in turns, originates from the hydronym - River Porus (which in ancient times was called - Rus). The town was only known as Staraya Russa (Old Russa) since the 16th century, and was only firmly established in the 19th century, when the salt mining settlements around the town were collectively known as Novaya Russa (New Russa).[citation needed]


The Malashka River in Staraya Russa

Thought to have originated in the mid-10th century, it was first mentioned as Rusa (Cyrillic: Руса) in chronicles for the year 1167[6] as one of three main towns of the Novgorod Republic, alongside Pskov and Ladoga. Its name is derived from the Rus', a people of Finno-Ugric and Varangian composition who settled in the vicinity to control trade routes leading from Novgorod to Polotsk and Kiev. After Pskov became independent, Russa became the second most important town and trade center of the Novgorod Republic after Novgorod itself.[citation needed] By the end of the 15th century, it contained about one thousand homesteads. Brine springs made the saltworks the principal business activity in the town, which was the biggest center of salt industry in the Novgorod region.[11]

The wooden fortifications of Russa burned to ashes in 1190 and then in 1194, after which they were replaced by the stone fortress. In 1478, it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow together with Novgorod. The word Staraya (Old) was prefixed to the name in the 15th century, to distinguish it from newer settlements called Russa.

When Ivan the Terrible ascended the throne in 1533, Staraya Russa was a populous city. During the Time of Troubles, it was held by Polish brigands and heavily depopulated. Only thirty-eight people lived there in 1613.

In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Staraya Russa was included into Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). In 1727, separate Novgorod Governorate was split off. In 1776, Staraya Russa became the seat of Starorussky Uyezd of Novgorod Viceroyalty. In 1796, the viceroyalty was transformed into Novgorod Governorate. In the 1820s, military settlements were organized in Staraya Russa and around, in accordance with the project designed by Aleksey Arakcheyev, an influential statesman. It was inconvenient to have both civil and military administration in Staraya Russa, and therefore the uyezd was abolished in 1824. The town of Staraya Russa and some adjacent territories were directly subordinated to the Defense Ministry. The military settlements were proven inefficient, in particular, in 1831, the area participated in the Cholera Riots.[clarification needed] They were abolished in 1856. In 1857, Starorussky Uyezd was re-established.[12]

The Soviet authority in Staraya Russa was established on November 5(18), 1917.

In 1927, the uyezds were abolished, and Starorussky District was established, with the center in Staraya Russa. Novgorod Governorate was abolished as well, and the district became a part of Novgorod Okrug of Leningrad Oblast. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were abolished, and the districts were directly subordinated to the oblast. In 1939, Staraya Russa was elevated in status to that of a town of oblast significance and thus ceased to be a part of the district. The town was occupied by the Germans between August 9, 1941 and February 18, 1944. Totally destroyed during the war, it was later restored. On July 5, 1944, Staraya Russa was transferred to newly established Novgorod Oblast and remained there ever since.[13] On February 16, 1984 Staraya Russa was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War.

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Within the framework of administrative divisions, Staraya Russa serves as the administrative center of Starorussky District, even though it is not a part of it.[2] As an administrative division, it is, together with two rural localities, incorporated separately as the Town of oblast significance of Staraya Russa—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts (one of the three in Novgorod Oblast).[2] As a municipal division, the town of oblast significance of Staraya Russa is incorporated within Starorussky Municipal District as Staraya Russa Urban Settlement.[3]


A 10-ruble coin depicting Staraya Russa, 2003


The biggest enterprise in Staraya Russa is the aircraft repair works. The mechanical engineering plant went bankrupt in 2011 and no longer exists.[14]


A railway which connects Bologoye and Pskov passes through Staraya Russa.

Staraya Russa is connected by roads with Novgorod, Demyansk, and Bezhanitsy via Kholm. There are also local roads.

There is a wharf on the Polist River in the Lake Ilmen basin. The Polist is navigable downstream from Staraya Russa.

The town is served by the Staraya Russa Airport.


Staraya Russa is a balneologic resort, celebrated for its mineral springs used for baths, drinking, and inhalations; medicinal silt mud of Lake Verkhneye and Lake Sredneye and mud from artificial reservoirs. A summer residence of the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who wrote his novels The Brothers Karamazov and Demons there, is open to visitors as a museum.

The Transfiguration Monastery

Monuments include the Transfiguration Monastery, which includes a cathedral built in seventy days in 1198 and partly rebuilt in the 15th century, and several 17th-century buildings and churches. The principal city cathedral (1678) is dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ. Other notable churches are consecrated to St. George (1410) (the Dostoyevsky family stayed in the house of the priest of this church[15]), Mina the Martyr (14th century), and the Holy Trinity (1676).



  1. ^ Resolution #121
  2. ^ a b c d e f Law #559-OZ
  3. ^ a b c d e Law #377-OZ
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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.).
  6. ^ a b Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. p. 440. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9. 
  7. ^ "List of postal codes" (in Russian). Russian Post. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Телефонный код Старой Русси, код города Старая Русса, как звонить в Старую Руссу, как позвонить из Старой Русси, код телефона Старая Русса, код 81652, автомобильный код города Старой Руссы". (in Russian). 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ Bernadsky, Viktor Nikolayevich (1961). Новгород и новгородская земля в XV веке (Novgorod and the Novgorod Land in the 15th century). Leningrad: USSR Academy of Sciences. pp. 134–144. 
  12. ^ Snytko et al., p. 26
  13. ^ Snytko et al., p. 135
  14. ^ "Итоги социально-экономического развития Старорусского муниципального района за 2011 год". (in Russian). Администрация Старорусского муниципального района. 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Дом-музей Ф.М.Достоевского в Старой Руссе" (in Russian). Литературно-мемориальный музей Ф.М.Достоевского. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 


  • Новгородская областная Дума. Областной Закон №559-ОЗ от 11 ноября 2005 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Новгородской области», в ред. Областного закона №232-ОЗ от 1 апреля 2013 г. «О внесении изменений в Областной Закон "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Новгородской области"». Вступил в силу 1 января 2006 г. Опубликован: "Новгородские ведомости", №75, 23 ноября 2005 г. (Novgorod Oblast Duma. Oblast Law #559-OZ of November 11, 2005 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Novgorod Oblast, as amended by the Oblast Law #232-OZ of April 1, 2013 On Amending the Oblast Law "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Novgorod Oblast". Effective as of January 1, 2006.).
  • Администрация Новгородской области. Постановление №121 от 8 апреля 2008 г. «Об реестре административно-территориального устройства области», в ред. Постановления №349 от 13 ноября 2013 г. «О внесении изменений в реестр административно-территориального устройства области». Опубликован: "Новгородские ведомости", №49–50, 16 апреля 2008 г. (Administration of Novgorod Oblast. Resolution #121 of April 8, 2008 On the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Novgorod Oblast, as amended by the Resolution #349 of November 13, 2013 On Amending the Registry of the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Novgorod Oblast. ).
  • Новгородская областная Дума. Областной закон №377-ОЗ от 27 декабря 2004 г. «Об установлении границ муниципальных образований, входящих в состав территории Старорусского муниципального района, наделении их статусом городского и сельских поселений, определении административных центров и перечня населённых пунктов, входящих в состав территорий поселений», в ред. Областного закона №216-ОЗ от 1 марта 2013 г. «О внесении изменений в некоторые областные законы, содержащие перечни населённых пунктов, входящих в состав территорий поселений». Вступил в силу со дня, следующего за днём официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Новгородские ведомости", №6–7, 19 января 2005 г. (Novgorod Oblast Duma. Oblast Law #377-OZ of December 27, 2004 On Establishing the Borders of the Municipal Formations Within the Territory of Starorussky Municipal District, on Granting Them the Status of Urban and Rural Settlements, on Establishing Their Administrative Centers, and on Compiling the Lists of Inhabited Localities Within the Settlement Territories, as amended by the Oblast Law #216-OZ of March 1, 2013 On Amending Various Oblast Laws Containing the Lists of Inhabited Localities Within the Settlement Territories. Effective as of the day following the day of the official publication.).
  • Снытко, О. В.; et al. (2009). С. Д. Трифонов, Т. Б. Чуйкова, Л. В. Федина, А. Э. Дубоносова, ed. Административно-территориальное деление Новгородской губернии и области 1727-1995 гг. Справочник (in Russian). Saint Petersburg. p. 26. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]