Ivanovo is a big industrial city halfway
between Vladimir and Kostroma. There are 480 000 inhabitants, and
most of them are occupied in the city's major textile industry.
Ivanovo Region is located in the central part of European Russia
300 km northeast of Moscow. It is situated in the center of the
Russian Plain in marshy woodlands with lakes and peat bogs (altitudes
up to 170 m). Most of the region lies between the Volga and Klyazma
rivers. It is part of the Central economic district and the Central
Federal District. The Rukotvornoe Sea and the Gorki Reservoir, which
flooded a 1500- km2 area and raised the level of the Volga for a
distance of 440 km, cut off another left-bank Volga district, Sokolsky,
from Ivanovo Region. In accordance with a referendum of local residents
held in 1993, this district was transferred to Nizhny Novgorod Region,
reducing the area of Ivanovo Region by 1800 km2 to its current 21
800 km2. The region borders on Vladimir, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, and
Nizhny Novgorod regions. It is made up of 22 districts, 4 city districts,
6 cities under regional jurisdiction, 11 cities under district jurisdiction,
and 31 industrial communities; it has a population of 1 266 000.
On June 20, 1998, Ivanovo Region celebrated
the 80th anniversary of its founding. The official starting point
of the region's existence as an independent administrative region
is a decree of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of
June 20, 1918, forming Ivanovo-Voznesensk Province, which soon became
The region is relatively young, but its formation as an economic
and political unit began long before it appeared on the map. The
territory of present-day Ivanovo Region lies at the very heart of
Russia, the Upper Volga, in the center of the ancient Russian lands
of the Vladimir-Rostov Opolye, an area of fertile open fields.
HISTORY OF IVANOVO. A big village Ivanovo
on Uvod river was first mentioned in Russian chronicles in 1561.
The inhabitants were fishing, hunting and trading, but their main
occupation was making the cloths. In 1741 the first real cloth manufacture
in the village was built by a peasant who made fortune on selling
home-made cloths. That's when the glory of Ivanovo started: the
village started to sell its cloths and fabrics even as far as England.
The city of Ivanovo was founded in 1871.
Ivanovo is still one of the main textile centers of Russia, a big
industrial and polluted city. Russians half-jokingly call this place
'the city of brides', because there are more women than men working
at the city's textile productions.
THE MAIN SIGHTS
Ivanovo is a grey and gloomy city, with relics of the Soviet times
on every step. It'll be enough to pass it through by bus going between
Vladimir and Kostroma, just keep your eyes wide open: the central
noisy and dirty street with grey residential buildings and a big
red church in the middle of all the mess; the faded impressive mosaics
to glory the Soviet heroes, left here from the 70s; a dirty and
noisy bus station with an old man playing accordeon to cheer his
One of the main streets of the city is F. Engelsa street where you
can find a supermarket, a currency exchange, an internet access,
and a railway station in the end of the street.
Another important street is Lenina street, where there are many
restaurants, cafes, and a hotel.
In case you're stuck in Ivanovo and feel sad that the trip that
was teaching you so much about architecture and history was abruptly
paused in this town, you should visit Palekh village, one of the
centers of Russian icon-painting, 60 kilometers east of Ivanovo
to the direction of Nizhny Novgorod. Palekh has been inhabited since
the ancient times: in the 8th century there were Finn-Ugor tribes'
settlements here. Later they were assimilated with the Slavs, who
came from the south territories.
From the 18th century Palekh was famous for the skillfully painted
icons, fretworks and embroideries made by its inhabitants.
You can get to Palekh from Ivanovo's bus station.