Nizhny Novgorod promontory
|Nizhny Novgorod promontory|
The headland with Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Stadium and the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
The Nizhny Novgorod headland(Russian Стрелка Нижнего Новгорода short name: headland or strelka) is one of the most important landmarks of Nizhny Novgorod. It is located at the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers.
The headland separates the Oka and the Volga. It used to be a port for cargo ships arriving and departing from Nizhny Novgorod. On the headland is another attraction of the city – Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
From the 16th to the 20th century
In the time of the Russian Tsardom, the headland (strelka) was the center of the Strelitsky camp of Nizhny-Novgorod-Uyazd. Therefore, this place is called so today. Later the river port began to develop here. This place was convenient for unloading and loading cargo and merchant ships that arrived in Nizhny Novgorod along the Oka and Volga rivers. The flat bank at the junction of two rivers became more profitable for building berths than the high Nizhny Novgorod hill. Siberian jetties were built on the bank on the Volga side.
During the period of the Russian Empire Petersburg jetties were added on the side of the Oka. A new stage in the development of the river port on the headland was the transfer of the Makariev Fair in 1817. Since then, the cargo turnover of the waterways has exceeded 70 million pud (1.15 million tons). In 1880 the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built on the headland. Guest houses and exhibition pavilions were built during the All-Russian Crafts Exhibition in 1896. Also, the first tram was opened, which connected the city with the fair.
The Soviet era
During the Soviet Union, the area of the headland underwent major changes. On February 5, 1918, the administration of the shipyards was established. In 1932, a large cargo port was built on this territory. In the late 1930s, the destruction of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral began. On the site of the cathedral it was planned to build a huge lighthouse with a monument to Vladimir Lenin. However, only the roof and domes were dismantled. Throughout the Soviet period, it was used as a warehouse and communal housing for dock workers. During World War II, an anti-aircraft machine gun was installed on the roof of the cathedral in place of the central dome to repel air raids on the port by the German Luftwaffe. The defense of the headland did not allow the Germans to bomb the port area and the Okski Bridge (now the Kanavinski Bridge). After the war, the port began to increase cargo handling and became one of the largest in the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, a network of underground nuclear shelters was built on the headland. In 1983, restoration of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral began.
After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the port at the headland was privatized. Private buildings and garages were built around it. In the 1990s, the city council and citizens did not care about the Strelka’s exterior. The restoration of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was completed. In the early 2000s the situation changed. The construction of a local district (microrayon) in the wasteland near the port began. At the beginning, the district of Sedmoe Nebo was built, and a little later a hypermarket of the same name opened. New houses, roads and other infrastructure continued to be built on the territory. In early 2010, there were plans for the development of the commercial and business center Strelka-City. However, in 2015 it was announced that the stadium for the 2018 World Cup would be built on the headland, and the area around the stadium would be completely redeveloped. In the same year, the river port was relocated and its functions were divided between the cities of Kstovo, Bor and others. The Strelka metro station is being built near the stadium.
During construction work in the former port, filigree metal constructions from the 1896 Industrial and Crafts Exhibition were discovered, which were transported to the Siberian Pier and converted into warehouses in 1902. Citizens advocated the preservation of these structures in the same place and the ex-governor supported the citizens of Nizhny Novgorod. These buildings should be restored and used for other purposes. On August 1, 2017, old concrete warehouses built in the 1930s during the Soviet era were demolished. They had no historical value. However, the media and liberal activists presented this information as if the historic warehouses were being demolished.
On November 1, 2016, the construction of a highway on the bank of the Volga River from Strelka along the district of Meshcherskoye Osero began. The planning and start of construction was accompanied by protests by local residents, again supported by the media and liberals. The residents considered this area their recreational area and also called it an ecological zone. However, this waterfront area has been completely destroyed and polluted. This in no way meets the needs of the citizens for a fully-fledged quiet zone.
Another discovery was the underground antinuclear bunkers built during the Cold War. They were found in December 2016. Public proposals were made for their preservation and transformation into a Cold War museum.
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