Voronezh is a major Russian
administrative, industrial and cultural centre located 500 km south
Moscow. Voronezh has a chequered past. From an important military base, founded in 1585 by Tsar
Feodor I, it declined into an insignificant agricultural village only to be reborn at the end of the 17th
century as the biggest trading point in south-east Russia and the central city of the famous Black Soil
region. Its location, at the crossroads of important transport routes, has always played a crucial role in
its development. Tsar Peter I was the first to recognize Voronezh's strategic value, having chosen it as
the building site of the first Russian Navy.
Today, the city is the kingpin of south-east Russia, a region within which is concentrated a lion's share of the region's industry and commerce, not to mention its steadily growing population. Just over 1 million people live in Voronezh itself and around 1,5 million within an hour's drive of the city. According to economic studies, Voronezh can look forward to the future with confidence. Not only is it set to benefit further from its excellent communications with the rest of Russia, but the city is also establishing its links with Europe, China and the USA through its ambitious development programme.
Since the foundation of Voronezh State University in
1918,Voronezh has become a well-acknowledged
educational centre. Today Voronezh is home to over 30 higher education establishments providing
training for over 120,000 students in various specializations. Voronezh State University takes active
part in international scientific and educational programmes, and successfully cooperates with
European and American foundations such as UNESCO, TEMPUS, TACIS, IREX, DAAD, Open
Society Institute as well as with universities in France, Germany, UK, USA, Spain, Czechia, Estonia,
China and elsewhere.
Life in Voronezh is not all study and exertion. The unique mixture of natural beauty, man-made wonders and a relaxed atmosphere have created one of Russia's loveliest cities. The city centre is a well-balanced blend of old and new, elaborate 18th century buildings rub shoulders quite happily with newly developed modern shopping complexes. The layout is compact and straightforward, ideally suited to exploration on foot. Within a stone's throw of the busy centre are large areas of peaceful parklands and beautiful countryside.
Culture and Arts thrive in Voronezh.
The Philharmonic Society building is a popular
venue for everything from classical music to jazz concerts, while the Opera and Ballet
Theatre is the city's main home for drama, dance and performances by the Voronezh
ballet company. Contemporary theatre, art and cinema are well served by the
Chamber theatre, Drama theatre, Proletary cinema and Spartac Cineplex, offering
a wide variety of live entertainment and mainstream films. Voronezh's clubs support
a flourishing dance music scene, and the city encourages quality street entertainment.
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