Kirov, the administrative center of the Kirov region, is one of the oldest
cities in the north-east of Russia. The city was founded in 1374. It stands
on the bank of the Vyatka River. The distance to Moscow is 896 km. The population
is about 500 thousand persons.
During six centuries, the city changed its name three times: Khlynov (the
14th-18th centuries), Vyatka (1780-1934), and Kirov (since 1934).
Vyatka was the town of merchants and a big center of trade. Outstanding figures
of the Russian culture lived in the town at different times: A.I. Gertsen,
M.E. Saltykov-Schedrin, A.S. Grin, K.E. Tsiolkovsky, V.M and A.M. Vasnetsov.
Today Kirov is a large industrial and cultural center. There are plants of
non-ferrous metallurgy, engineering, petrochemical, biochemical, and light
and food industry in the city. There are a number of large research institutes,
13 institutions of higher education, and tens of culture institutions in Kirov.