Location of belgorod in Russia Coat of Army Map of Belgorod Oblast

Belgorod (Russian: ) is a city in western Russia, situated on the Seversky Donets river just 40 km north from the Ukrainian border. It is the administrative center of Belgorod Oblast. Population: 337,030 (2002 Census). Belgorod is served by Belgorod International Airport (EGO)

The name Belgorod in Russian literally means "a white city", name being a compound of (belyj, white, light) and (gorod, town, city). The city was thus named after the region being rich in limestone. Etymologically, it corresponds to other Slavic city names of identical meaning: Beograd, Bialogard, Biograd etc.

The settlement was first mentioned in 1237, when it was ravaged by the hordes of Batu Khan. In 1596 it was refounded by the order of Boris Godunov as one of numerous forts set up to defend Southern borders from the Crimean Tatars.After the Russian border was moved further south, the fortress fell in disrepair and the town was assigned to the Government of Kursk. Peter the Great visited it on the eve of the Battle of Poltava, and a dragoon regiment was stationed in the town until 1917.

It was occupied by Nazi Germany in October 25, 1941. During the great Battle of Kursk, the village of Prokhorovka in Belgorod Oblast was a stage of the largest tank battle in the world history (July 12, 1943). It was finally liberated in August 22, 1943 after this battle. The renowned World War II monuments include the Belgorod Diorama and a huge cathedral in Prokhorovka among others.

Belgorod is an administrative, industrial and cultural center of Belgorod Oblast, established in 1954. The major educational centeres of the City are Belgorod State University, Technological University, Agricultural Academy, Financial Academy.Belgorod Drama Theater is named after one of the famous 19th-century actors Mikhail Shchepkin who was born in this region.

See Also: Belgorod State University

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