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Kamchatka > Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
The Russian Far East’s "oldest" city is not yet 270 years old. This large port is located in the south east of the Kamchatka peninsula, and looks over the picturesque expanse of the Avachinsky Boy. On October 17, 1740, two vessels called Saint Peter the Apostle and Saint Paul the Apostle sailed into the bay. They were a part of the Second Kamchatka Expedition lead by the great seaman and explorer Vitus Bering, a Russian of Danish descent. This day is considered the day of founding of the port of Petropavlovsk, the city that has become and remained for many years Russia's main Eastern outpost.
The city is a place of fascinating history. The historic district includes monuments commemorating the region's pioneers and defenders of Russia's Eastern frontiers as well as foreign sea heroes. The surrounding mountains feature observation areas with the magnificent views of the city below, of the Avachinsky Bay, and of the majestic volcanoes that surround Petropavlovsk.
At the beginning of the 20th century Petropavlovsk had only a little over 1000 inhabitants. In 1956, when Kamchatka gained the status of a separate region within the former Soviet Union, the city saw rapid development. Dog-sleighs and horse-drawn carts began to disappear and the city's streets grew wider.
Today Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is a city of about 200,000. It is a modern industrial and cultural center, a city of fishermen, sailors, and scientists. Several Science and Research Institutes are furthering the advanced research in the areas of volcanology, seismology, and the study of natural resources. The city hosts one of the branches of the Russian Academy of Sciences - the Institute for Predicting Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions and the Nationwide Center for the Study of Earthquake-resistant Building Technologies. Tourists who come to this area show о great deal of enthusiasm for the Museum of Volcanoes and the Salmon Museum.