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Ufa is a capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, the sovereign democratic state in the Russian Federation. The population of Ufa is more than 1 million 100 thousand inhabitants (men - 514,1 thousand, women - 580,1 thousand). The national structure is as follows: the Russians (55,5 %), the Tatars (27,9 %), the Bashkirs (10,7 %).

The city occupies a raised plateau at the bottom of the Ural mountains between the rivers Agidel (the river Belaya), Ufa and Dema. The nature generously awarded this land. Local fauna and flora, landscapes and mountains, steppes and rivers, lakes and forests - all this can stike anyone. The climate is continental. Winter is snowy and cold (average temperature of January is -15 degrees), summer is hot (average temperature in June is +20 degrees centigrade).

After the collapse of the Kazan Khanate Bashkiria voluntary became a part of the Russian state. Bashkirs applied to Ivan the Terrible for assistance in construction of a city.

In the summer of 1574 on a high right bank of Agidel a fortress was laid. Almost simultaneously the fortress was called "Ufa" from the ancient Turkic word "ufak" that meant "small". Gradually Ufa from the military city turns into the political, administrative and economic centre of the territory. After the peasant war of 1773-1775 Ufa loses its military value and in 1802 becomes the provincial city. In 1865 it is the centre of the Ufa province.

Being an industrial centre of the Ural the republic is rich in natural resources: iron ore, copper, gold, zinc, lead, aluminium, chrome, coal, natural gas, manganese, crude. The leading industries are the oil refining, chemical and petrochemical, machine-building and metal working, light, food-processing industries, manufacture of building materials. There are lots of scientific and research institutes of the Bashkir branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They include Institutes of geology, biology, chemistry, history, language and literature; departments of economic studies, physics and mathematics, biochemistry and cytochemistry), the Scientific and Research Institute of the oil refining and petrochemical industries. Besides there are the Bashkir State University, the Aviation Technical University, various institutes.

Ufa theatres are the Drama Theatre named after M.Gafuri, the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Russian Drama and the Puppet theatre. You can visit the philharmonic society, circus, motor-cycle racing track and the planetarium. Museums are as follows: the Bashkir Museum of local lore (founded in 1864), the Art Museum named after M.V.Nesterov, Museums of V.I.Lenin and the Bashkir poet M.Gafuri.



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