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Kirov Kirov city (1989 pop. 440,000), capital of Kirovskaya oblast, central European Russia, on the Vyatka River.

It is a river port and an industrial centre with sawmills and machine and metalworking plants. Founded in 1174 as Khlynov by Novgorod colonists, it was fortified against Votyak (Udmurt) and Cheremiss (Mari) attacks.

It soon became the capital of an independent republic which was annexed to Moscow by Ivan III in 1489. Its location made for favorable trade conditions with Ustyug, the Volga region, and Archangelsk. In the 17th cent. it grew in importance because it was on the road from Moscow to Siberia.

The city was renamed Vyatka in 1780. In the 19th cent. it was used as a place of political exile. The city was named Kirov, for soviet politician S. M. Kirov, between 1934 and 1992. In Vyatka are a 17th-century cathedral and a library (1837) founded by Alexander Herzen, who was an exile in the city.


Since 1940 mechanical engineering (including the enterprises of the defensive industry) and metal working highly developed.

Architecture, sights

Uspensky cathedral Trifonovsky monastery (1689), constructions in a city garden (1835-39, architect A.L.Vitberg). A number of apartment houses of 18 c. - first half of 19 c. in classicism style.

In Zarechenskom area of Kirov (in the past large village Dymkovo) there is manufacture of a traditional modelled toy ("dymkovskaya"; ladies in crinolines, hussars, whistles as animals, horsemen etc.).


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