Not many places on the planet can boast of easily recognizable phrases containing their names such as the Moscow Kremlin, the Vologda laces et cetera. There are over a dozen of phrases with the word Perm. These phrases reflect originality, viability and creativity of the Perm region and its people.
There is a Permian age in the history of the Earth. About three hundred million years ago, most of the region was covered by sea, which left huge deposits of limestone. The limestone was subsequently transformed by the action of water into a typical karst formation characterized by the abundance of caves, grottos, and deep lakes.
When travelling across the Urals in 1841, the Scottish geologist Roderic Murchison made out the original system of geological strata and called it Permian. Since 1845 the Perm symbol has been put on all geological maps in the world. In the Permian period Nature started storing up copper and ferrous ores, coal, salt and oil for future generations.
Perm Animal Style
The cast metal objects known as the Perm animal style date from the early Iron Age to the Middle Ages. Some were used by the ancient Ural peoples to decorate their clothing or their harnesses, or as protective amulets, or in religious rituals. The most popular subjects were bears, horses, elk, birds, fish and chimera, for example, birdmen, elkmen and winged dogs made on or from metal (copper or bronze). Items representing the Perm Animal Style are wonderful specimens of the native Finno-Ugric (Komi-Permyaks and Mansi) peoples' art.
Stephen of Perm the Great
In his young years Saint Stephen displayed an unusual zeal for the service of the Church. Having been immersed in the rich culture of the Church, Saint Stephen wanted to convert the Zyryani and Komi-Permyak peoples to Christ. For the enlightening of the Zyryani and Permians, he compiled an alphabet of their language and translated into it some of the Church books.
In 1379 a Christian sermon was given for the first time on the Kama banks: a monk Stephen, later called Stephen of Perm the Great, preached to the native population - the Komi-Permyaks.
The proponent of faith in Christ suffered many a toil, and struggle, deprivation and sorrow, living amidst the pagans who worshipped idols with fire, water, trees, a stone and golden woman figure etc. The fruition of Saint Stephen's efforts and good deeds came in conversion of all the extent of Perm land to Orthodox Christianity.
The glorification of Sainted Stephen began already in the early 15th century.
Perm Wooden Religious Sculpture collection spans the period of the late 17th - early 20th century. The collection is unique because of its integrity - all items were brought here from different churches of the Perm region. The collection appeared because of the purposeful collecting activities of the gallery in the 1920s and 1930s.
Thanks to the efforts of the curators of the gallery the sculptures have been preserved intact for right after the Socialist Revolution all things somehow linked with religion were banned. The collection numbers about 600 items.
Carved icons and sculptured images of Saints although they were rarer than painted icons, were loved and worshipped in Russia. The attitude of the Church towards these sculptures was rather careful for they were considered to be connected with paganism and influenced by the catholic world.
Numerous statues of Christ are executed with high "authenticity" both in depiction of the visual image of Christ and his emotional state. Sometimes real people were used as models for sculptors. This is why Christ and Saints have evident ethnic features of the native inhabitants of the territory: Komi-Permyaks, Russians and Tartars.
Model of the 20 inch cast-iron smoothbore gun on gun-carriage of 1869 per the design of engineer N.V.Vorontsov, cast at Perm gun plant is a regionally important historical monument. Its barrel weighs over 45864 kilos, each cannon-ball weighs 480 kilos, caliber equals to 20 inches. The total weight of the Perm cannon is 44 tons, i.e. it is 5 tons heavier than the Kremlin Tsar-Gun in Moscow
Today the 20 inch cast-iron smoothbore gun is located at the display area in front of National History Museum of the plant OJSC "Motovilikha Works", where other unique items (including 19th and 20th century artillery pieces, tanks and missiles) produced by the plant are represented as well.
Perm Aircraft Engines
Since 1930s Perm has become the center for aircraft engine building industry. The first Design Bureau was founded in Perm to produce the Wright Cyclone-derived Shvetsov M-25 engine. The Bureau became the primary provider of radial piston engines for Soviet aircraft industry.
Now the Perm-based aircraft engine holding upgrades the famous PS-90A engine. It is the only Russian engine that meets all the requirements for aircraft engine noise and emission levels implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The Russian President's aircraft is powered by four turbonfan two-shaft PS-90A1 engine produced by Perm enterprise.
The inspiration for a theatre in Perm goes back to 1843, when a touring company from Kazan presented a programme of operas and plays. In 1870 a theatre was built and the new season opened with a performance of Glinka's "A Life for the Tsar" - and that date, 20 November 1870 is regarded as the foundation of the Perm Theater of Opera and Ballet. In 1956, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth, it became known as the Tchaikovsky theatre. The repertoire of the theatre includes all operas and ballets by Tchaikovsky. Now Perm is more known for the classical ballet school which traces its history back to the world-famous Saint-Petersburg Ballet College. During the WWII the College was evacuated from Saint-Petersburg (then Leningrad) to Perm.
The Perm Drama Theatre was founded in 1927. It has a large and a small auditorium. The repertoire includes not only works by Russian authors but also major works by foreign playwright. Musicals are also very popular especially among younger generation.
The Youth Theatre's repertoire includes productions for young children - fairy stories, folk tales - and serious works by major Russian and European dramatists.
Productions at the Puppet Theatre involve the use of puppets and theatrical masks - sometimes combined with live actors. They are aimed at children of all ages and at an adult audience.
The famous theatre figure Serguei Diaghilev spent his childhood and adolescence in Perm. He spread the fame of Russian art in Europe, organized exhibitions for artists. Diaghilev's Russian Seasons ( Les Ballets Russes) in Paris in the beginning of the 20th century fixed the names of our ballet dancers in the history of the world culture.