Kursk region: modern history of military glory

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Main facts:

  • Administrative center: Kursk

  • Federal District: Central

  • Language(s): Russian

  • Population: 1,115,000

  • Timezone: UTC+3

  • Main religion: Orthodoxy

Top 10 attractions:

Sights map of Kursk region

Travel around Kursk region

Admit it honestly, how many of you really wanted to visit the Kursk region? And what do you know about the Kursk region, in addition to the famous tank operation during the Russian Great Patriotic War 1941-1945? Even if you know something about this place, do not rush to conclusions - I want to introduce you to a new side of this land. Historically, the Kursk region is not particularly remarkable. Yes, ancient peoples lived on its territory in the times before our era. Yes, they were ousted by the Slavs, who were then seized by the Chernihiv principality, which was later destroyed by the Tatar-Mongols, who were then ousted by the squads of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, who brought Catholicism to these lands ... and the local Orthodox folk did not like it and switched to Moscow principality, causing a military conflict between countries. In general, the territory of the Kursk region up to the southern conquests of Peter the Great was the border of Russia with neighboring Lithuania, and therefore conflicts often occurred here, and the population did not particularly flourish. It did not flourish so much that in the 17th century it became the main support of False Dmitry I, as well as a stronghold of peasant uprisings of 1606 and 1648.

Even when Ukraine territory was annexed to Moscow principality, and the borders of the latter were spread far to the west, south and north, the Kursk region did not flourish - there were exorbitant taxes, frequent mass hunger and a huge number of runaway peasants. Only by the middle of the 19th century, the situation began to improve gradually, manufactories appeared on these lands and agriculture began to develop. In fact, the entire territory of the Kursk province has always been included in the neighboring areas - Oryol, Voronezh, Belgorod, etc. Only in the 1930s, the Kursk region emerged from the Central-Chernozem region and became a separate administrative unit, as well as the neighboring Voronezh region. And then there was the Russian Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, which glorified this region during the famous tank battle at the "Kursk Arc". Another name for this battle is “Fiery Arc”, and it took place simultaneously in the territories of the Kursk and Belgorod regions. That is why both in Kursk and in Belgorod there are museum memorials to this victory of the Soviet troops. But unlike Belgorod, Kursk made this victory a cult for its region, and as a result, the region is known today in Russia and abroad largely due to it. Interesting fact: Wikipedia claims that the Kursk region was still awarded the Order of Lenin in 1957 (10 years earlier than for courage in the Second World War) "for the success achieved in increasing the production and delivery of sugar beet to the state". Unfortunately, few people remember this achievement today. But the victory in the "Kursk Arc" everyone remembers.

Kursk region is not an area where there are a large number of attractions, significant historical monuments or magnificent natural landscapes. Instead, here everyone can feel the spirit of pride for the courage of the ancestors who fought for the freedom of the motherland. Throughout the region, you can count a large number of small and large museums dedicated to the Russian Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, as well as several memorials and commemorative steles. Most of the historical sites of military heritage are located in the capital of the region - the city of Kursk.

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Kursk literally "turned" on World War II. And this is not an exaggeration: in many respects, the image of the city is built on the courage of its defenders and the victory of Soviet soldiers on the Kursk Arc (which, we don’t forget, has to do with the neighboring Belgorod region, but there it is not so noticeable). Posters about the "Great Victory", St. George ribbons and symbols of the "Order of Lenin" are hung all over the city. On the huge elongated Victory Avenue (!) there is a huge exposition of military equipment under the open sky: German and Russian tanks, famous "Katyushas" and self-propelled guns - it is all here, and also a huge Triumphal Arch, a monument to Marshal Zhukov and the Church of St. George, where you can pay tribute to the dead soldiers.

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In Kursk, everywhere you can find symbols of victory in the Russian Great Patriotic War, many busts of commanders and local soldiers, awarded with the titles of "heroes", as well as flags, emblems and festive ribbons. It seems that the "May 9" holiday in this city does not end and lasts the whole year ... but don't think like that, this is far from it: the locals do their usual daily activities, and all these symbols are hung with canvases advertising of grocery, men's clothing shops or hairdressing. To be honest, this is even a bit offensive: if the city really builds so much on the memory of the Great Victory, so why not make it part of a big tourist brand strategy, clear the signs and symbols from marketing debris and highlight them so that they are visible to everyone, like it made in Tula. Maybe more inspiration will appear in the future, and tourists will come to the city not only for business trips?

But you shouldn’t discount Kursk and the region around - there are many beautiful and worthy places to visit here. First of all, Kursk itself is a large, extended city, in which in addition to the many “places about the Kursk Arc” there are several beautiful Orthodox monasteries, the Catholic church (in memory of Polish émigrés), several buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries (Nelyubin’s manor, building branches of the central bank of the Russian Federation (they have a taste) and "Sviridov" Concert Hall), as well as beautiful Red Square (perhaps because it is beautiful, and perhaps because it is similar in size to Moscow one). On this Red Square, everything is like in the old Soviet times: the chic buildings of the main state departments with antique columns, the House of Soviets with a monument to Lenin in front of him, a wide pavement for military parades and a huge cathedral, completing the magnificent picture. Perhaps this is really the most beautiful place in Kursk! But if you want a little variety in your life, go by public transport to the airport and try to inspect your personal things before the flight. You will find out that Moscow and European airports are really "nothing" in terms of security and compliance with local "strict regime".

But Kursk is not the only interesting place in the region. Not far from it, in the village of Svoboda ("Freedom"!) there is a very beautiful Korennaya Rozhdestvo-Bogorodickaya monastery, which is located on the banks of a small river Tuskar. The places around the monastery, like himself, are incredibly picturesque, and the “command center of the central front” museum is nearby, dedicated to guess what. And, of course, do not forget about Kursk Magnetic Anomaly - one of the world's largest pools of iron ore deposits, which can be looked at mining in the city of Zheleznogorsk. But in general, the Kursk region today is an idyllic peaceful landscape, in which nothing resembles past military exploits. And if in the capital governments will pay more attention to the main element of the identity of the city, I have no doubt that Kursk will become very popular among tourists from Russia and abroad! Well, do you want to see Kursk with your own eyes now? :)

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