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Home -> Help -> Info Center -> Geography and nature -> Ivanovo


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 Ivanovo Region.

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.


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 fellow babushkas.
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.

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