History at a glance

The territory of Perm City has been inhabited by people since ancient times. More than 130 ar-chaeological monuments (from the Lithic Age till the late Middle Ages) have been studied by ar-chaeologists and historians.

The Perm region was a rich source of salt and furs, and these riches attracted attention of Russians who began to settle on the banks of the Kama from the end of the 14th century. In the mid-16th cen-tury, the Stroganovs were granted lands along the Kama river. They soon became the major salt producers of Prikamye. In the 17th century Perm the Great was formally incorporated into the Rus-sian state and became a springboard for the colonization of Siberia.

The City of Perm was founded on May 17th, 1723 as a stronghold and a settling of workers of Yegoshikhinskiy copper-smelting plant at the place where the Yegoshikha river flows into the Kama. The founder of Perm is considered Vassily TATISCHEV, the head of the state mines and works, an ardent supporter of Peter the Great's reforms, an eminent scholar, geographer, economist, natural scientist and organizer of the mining industry. It was Tatischev who chose the place to build the plant. Based on his plans and drawings, the construction works on the Yegoshikha river started in the beginning of 1723. In 1780 Yegoshikhinskiy settling was chosen to be the best geographical place for the centre of a big area named Perm Region. This was the beginning of the town that was to grow up into a big industrial centre of Russia.

In 1940 Perm was renamed Molotov (after Vyacheslav Molotov, a Soviet leader and a loyal sup-porter of Stalin). In 1957 the city reverted to its original name.

During World War II (1939 - 1945) the Soviet government moved its headquarters, much industry and cultural artifacts to Perm in 1941 when Nazi invaders threatened the Soviet capital. 64 indus-trial plants and factories were taken to the City of Perm from the European part of Russia.

At that time Perm gave refuge to many men of letters, actors, artists. Thus, in Perm a famous composer A. Khachaturian worked over the music to the ballet GAYANE. Dancers from the Leningrad Ballet Theatre were evacuated to the city, lived in the Central hotel in Perm and performed on the stage of Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre.

In 1955 the construction of the Kama Hydroelectric Station was completed along with the construction of a bridge connecting the left and right banks of the river. Now there are 4 bridges over the Kama, the fourth having been built in 2005.

Because of its strategic importance as a centre of armaments manufacture, Perm was closed to foreigners until 1989.

In the 1990s civil society started being constructed in Russia and Perm got an unofficial status of "the capital of civil society" or even "the capital of Russian liberalism".