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Cherepovets

            Cherepovetsis called in Russia a city with rich past and greatest prospects for the future. It is situated in the Vologda region in the north-western part of the country, not far from such cities as Moscow and St. Petersburg.

            Economic potential and highly skilled industrial personal have made Cherepovets one of the most advanced industrial cities in Russia.

            In the 8th and 9th centuries a Finno‑Ugric tribe, the vest came to the banks of the Sheksna River and built a settlement to which they gave the name Cherepovets. It meant “Vest living on fish Hill”. As early the 10th and 11th centuries, Slavs came to the banks of the Sheksna and began to settle here. They mixed with Finno‑Ugric tribes: thus the ancient Russian nation was formed. They built the Cherepovets Monastery. It prospered and the Settlement spread around it. It was destroyed in the 15th century and only the Cathedral of the Resurrection, which was built much later in 1752, has survived.

            Cherepovets was mentioned as a town in the 18th century according to the ukase of Catherine the Second. So, Cherepovets dates from 1777.

            Cherepovets has always attracted travellers. They say that in August 1866, when an American ship squadron carrying an official mission headed by captain Fox arrived in Russia the Cherepovets merchants formed a reception committee to welcome the mission. The head of the American mission was deeply impressed by this meeting. A national flag of the United States bearing an autograph of the American guest is still to be seen in one of the Cherepovets museums.

            Such events became a tradition: in 1893 a selection of articles made by Cherepovets craftsmen was sent across the ocean to be shown at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

            A mention of Cherepovets is to be found in the travel notes of Prince Andrey Kurbskiy, who sailed on the Sheksna as a member of the train of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1553. Such famous Russian writers as A. Chekhov and Gleb Uspenskey wrote about the town. Anatoliy Subbotin, the essayist called Cherepovets “Northern Athens”.

             Now it is considered a big cultural and industrial centre of the Vologda Region.

            Cherepovets stands on the bank of the Sheksna that flows out of the Beloye Lake and together with other rivers-the Suda, the Yagorba and the Yuzhok winds through the Sheksna lowland. The climate is temperate continental.

            Cherepovets is now the metal making centre. There are such giants of metalmakig industry as Iron‑and‑Steel Works, Steel Rolling Plant. Two enterprises of chemical industry are situated in Cherepovets too.

            The products of Cherepovets Iron‑and‑Steel Works and Steel Rolling Plant are in great demand. There is a number of small enterprises such as Matchmaking Plant, Weaving Factory “Krasniy Tkach”. The high concentration of metalmaking and chemical facilities puts forward the problems of environmental protection. They are acute and pressing in Cherepovets. The city administration has worked out a programme for controlling the ecological situation.

            Cherepovets is provided with facilities for study, sports, travel and leisure. There are 42 schools in it, a number of colleges, vocational schools. New types of educational establishments such as junior gymnasium, a gymnasium for girls, and a lyceum have appeared. You can also attend the University in Cherepovets, which consists of two departments, for example teacher’s training department and industrial department. Each of these two departments has its own faculties. And there is also a High Military Engineering School of Radioelectronics. There is the Centre for Children’s Creative Activities. Its work is devoted to the noble aim of respecting the national traditions. They revive crafts for which Cherepovets was famous in olden times. The children are trained in the arts of carvers, potters, lacemakers.

            The network of cultural institutions in Cherepovets includes a centralized library system, a museum of association, six children’s music and art schools, a school of arts and crafts, five cinemas, a philharmonic society, three Palaces and a House of Culture.

            The city libraries, which are part of all‑Russia computerized system and which have become an information centre, have an active readership of 90.000. Exhibitions of books, pictures, photographs and works of folk applied art are regularly arranged here. In Cherepovets both amateur and professional creative activity is appreciated. The local folks instruments ensemble, the concert group of vocalists of the philharmonic society, the Russian North folk music and dance ensemble, the Northern Dawns ensemble received their well‑deserved fame: both in Russia and abroad. Love for folklore and its various genres are cultivated in the people of Cherepovets from childhood. To support creative collectives the city authorities use funds from the local budget, as well as those provided by industrial enterprises. A vivid example for them to follow is the life and activity of Ivan Milyutin. He was the major of Cherepovets for 46 years, from 1861 to 1907, and contributed greatly to the development of its spiritual life.

             New cultural institutions and museums are being opened and folk crafts as woodcarving, pottery, wickerwork, toy making smithery, lace making and weaving are being developed. Articles made by folk craftsmen are successfully selling both in Russia and abroad.

            Cherepovets is the birthplace of the famous Russian artist V.V.Vereshchagin. The monument to him is erected in Metallurgov Square.

            The monument to Monk Afanasiy and Monk Feodosiy, the founders of the Monastery of Resurrection, is another sight of the city. It is situated on Sobornaya Hill. Not far from this monument is the Cathedral of the Resurrection. Its golden domes are splendid. There are a lot of magnificent icons inside. It dates back to the 18th century. There is a local museum which tells us the history of our city, its past, present and future prospects. The collection of Cherepovets Museum Association runs into more than 205.000 exhibits. The unique collection includes icons, manuscripts, printed books in the Cyrillic Alphabet and a number of pieces of wooden sculpture and beautiful works of gold embroidery.

            The people of Cherepovets have at their disposal the Almaz Sports and Concert Hall seating 5.000; the Sheksna Sports Palace, the Olymp Palace of Boxing, one of the best in Russia, the House of Physical Culture, the Neptune Swimming Pool, keep‑fit centres and a number of sport grounds and stadiums.

            Different traditions are observed in our city. Guests and the natives of Cherepovets commemorate the Day of the City very cheerfully. My native town appeals to me very much and I am proud that I live in Cherepovets.