Zaraysk (Russian: Зара́йск) is a town and the administrative center of Zaraysky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, located about 162 kilometers (101 mi) southeast from Moscow. Population: 24,645 (2010 Census); 25,093 (2002 Census); 26,958 (1989 Census).
The town stands on the right bank of the Osyotr River, which is a right confluent of the Oka. In the Middle Ages, the town belonged to the Princes of Ryazan and was known as Krasnoye (13th century) and Novogorodok-upon-the-Osetr (14th and 15th centuries). From 1528 onwards, the town was called "the town of Nikola Zarazsky" and only by the beginning of 17th century it received its present name of Zaraysk. Before the 20th century, the town was part of Ryazan Governorate, as its architecture and vernacular dialect seem closer to Ryazan than to Moscow.
In the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Zaraysk was one of the fortresses forming a part of the Great Abatis Border, a fortified line of felled trees, barricades, fortresses, ditches, which were built by Russians as a protection against the hordes of the Crimean and Kazan Tatars. In 1531, a stone kremlin was built in place of the former wooden citadel. The Tatars failed to take the fortress during their raids in 1533, 1541, and 1570. It was briefly captured by the Lisowczycy during the Time of Troubles.
The brick-and-limestone kremlin in Zaraysk still stands and is kept in a rather good condition. The citadel is very small and has a rectangular shape, with only six towers, two of which are pierced by the gates. Zaraysk is home to five churches, the oldest of which is St. Nicholas Cathedral, consecrated in 1681. There are public statues of Prince Pozharsky who led the defense of the citadel in 1611, and Dostoevsky, whose family had a manor near Zaraysk. At present Zaraysk is an industrial center of the district, with polygraphy, building materials, foodstuff and footwear industry.
Sister city 
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
Further reading 
- (Russian) Zaraysk. Materials for the History of the 16th-18th centuries (1888) (Зарайск. Материалы для истории города XVI-XVIII столетий) at Runivers.ru in DjVu and PDF formats
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Zaraisk|
- History and attractions of Zaraysk
- (Russian) Zaraysk on the internet
- Photos with annotations in Russian.
- Another gallery
- Small gallery with comments in English.
- Zaraysk, the “Grandfather City”