Orenburg (Russian: Оренбург, IPA: [ərʲɪnˈburk]) is the administrative center of Orenburg Oblast, Russia. It lies on the Ural River, 1,478 kilometers (918 mi) southeast of Moscow, on the boundary of Europe and Asia. Orenburg is also very close to the border with Kazakhstan. Population: 548,331 (2010 Census);[7] 549,361 (2002 Census);[12] 546,501 (1989 Census).[13]

Оренбург (Russian)
-  City[1]  -
Orenburg collage

Clockwise from top: City Hall, Nikolsky Orthodox cathedral, Ural River Embankment, Ramazan Mosque, City skyline from Tchkalova street, Pedestrian bridge over Ural River, Monument to Orenburg cossacks
Map of Russia - Orenburg Oblast (2008-03)

Location of Orenburg Oblast in Russia
Orenburg is located in Orenburg Oblast
Location of Orenburg in Orenburg Oblast
Coat of Arms of Orenburg
Flag of Orenburg
Coat of arms
Administrative status (as of October 2015)
Federal subjectOrenburg Oblast[1]
Administratively subordinated toCity of Orenburg[1]
Administrative center ofOrenburg Oblast,[1] Orenburgsky District,[2] City of Orenburg[3]
Municipal status (as of October 2015)
Urban okrugOrenburg Urban Okrug[4]
Administrative center ofOrenburg Urban Okrug, Orenburgsky Municipal District
HeadYevgeny Arapov[5]
Representative bodyCity Duma
Area259 km2 (100 sq mi)[6]
Population (2010 Census)548,331 inhabitants[7]
Rank in 201028th
Density2,117/km2 (5,480/sq mi)[8]
Time zoneYEKT (UTC+05:00)[9]
Postal code(s)[11]460000
Dialing code(s)+7 3532


The city is in the basin of the middle current of the River Ural (near its confluence with the River Sakmara). The highest point of the city is 154.4 meters (507 ft).

The origins of the city's name

Several historians have tried to explain the origins of the city's name. It was traditionally accepted that the word "orenburg" means a fortress on the River Or.[14] In all probability, the word combination "orenburg" was proposed by I. K. Kirillov, who was the founder of the city. In 1734, in accordance with his project, a package of governmental documents was worked out. This was the starting point for Orenburg as a fortress city near the place where the Or and the Ural rivers cross.

On 7 June 1734, "A Privilege for Orenburg" (tsar's edict) was ordered by Empress Anna Ivanovna. While a construction site of the main fortress changed many times (down the River Ural), the very name "Orenburg" has not changed since its founding in 1743.

Between 1938 and 1957, the city was referred to as Chkalov,[15][16] named after the famous Soviet pilot Valery Chkalov, although he was not born in and never lived in Orenburg, and never visited Orenburg. In 1954, Chkalov's 5-meter bronze sculpture was erected on the occasion of his 50th birth anniversary; this was installed on a 7-meter pedestal in the Boulevard (on the riverside promenade of the city, commonly named "Belovka").

Orenburg was unofficially called the Asian capital of Russia.[17]


AFRE Orenburg
Map of Orenburg in 1828

In 1734, the Russian Empire began expanding its control and influence in Asia starting from the construction of the fortress city called "Orenburg" on its eastern border (in Southern Ural). For this purpose, a settlement was founded here in 1735 - at the place where the Or and the Ural rivers cross.

The initial site was chosen for settlement during the expedition of I.K. Kirilov, who initiated developmental activities in the region. He argued that the city was necessary "...for opening up transit routes to Bukhara, Badakhshan, Bulk, and to India", making it possible to receive "wealth from there — gold, lapis lazuli, and garnet." After his death, a new administrator of the Orenburg expedition, Vasily Tatishchev, was appointed. He did not consider this place to be convenient for construction of the city, because it was constantly flooded by the spring high waters. This encouraged to launch in 1739 preparations for building a new town with the old name downstream the river Ural (Yaik) on the mountain Krasnaya (Red). The old settlement was named the Orsk fortress (now the city of Orsk).

On 6 August 1741, the new town was founded. However, its construction did not start. The location on the mountain Krasnaya — treeless, rocky and remote from the river — was also inappropriate for building the town. A new administrator of the Orenburg expedition, Ivan Neplyuyev, was appointed.

On 19 (30) April 1743, Orenburg was founded for a third time, on the compound that was once the Berd fortress (town of Berd), 70 versts (75 km; 46 mi) from the Krasnogorsk mountain area. In the summer of 1742, Neplyuev personally chose a new place surrounded by forests and crop fields, where the Yaik and the Sakmara rivers cross. Now it is the historical center of the city. The city built upon the mountain Krasnaya was named Krasnogorsk.

Orenburg, therefore, was successfully established by Ivan Neplyuyev in its present location approximately 250 kilometers (160 mi) west down the Ural from Orsk in 1743. This third Orenburg has functioned as an important military outpost on the border with the nomadic Kazakhs. It became the center of the Orenburg Cossacks.

Orenburg played a major role in Pugachev's Rebellion (1773–1774). At the time, it was the capital of a vast district and the seat of the governor. Yemelyan Pugachev besieged the city and its fortress from nearby Berda from October 1773 - March 26, 1774. The defense was organized by lieutenant-general Reinsdorp. General Golytsin defeated Pugachev at Berda, and later again at Kargala (north of Orenburg). Most of the city was left in ruins, and thousands of inhabitants had died in the siege.

Alexander Pushkin visited Orenburg in 1833 during a research trip for his books The History of Pugachev and his famous novel The Captain's Daughter. He met his friend Vladimir Dal here, who would later write the first serious dictionary of the Russian language.

Orenburg was the base for General Perovsky's expeditions against the Khanate of Khiva in the 1830s through 1850s. After the incorporation of Central Asia into the Russian Empire, Orenburg became a trading station and, since the completion of the Trans-Aral Railway, a prominent railway junction en route to the new Central Asian possessions and to Siberia.

Orenburg functioned as the capital of the Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (in present-day Kazakhstan) within Russia from 1920–1925. When that republic was renamed Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1925, Orenburg joined Russia and Kyzylorda became the new capital. Almaty became the capital in 1929 after the construction of the Turkestan–Siberia Railway. Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was promoted to the union republic status as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic Kazakh SSR in 1936. Orenburg remained in Russia.

From 1938 to 1957, the city bore the name Chkalov (Чка́лов) (after the prominent test pilot Valery Chkalov). The city's distance from the German invasion during World War II led many Soviet enterprises to flee there, helping to spur the city's economic growth.

Administrative and municipal status

Orenburg is the administrative center of the oblast[1] and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Orenburgsky District,[2] even though it is not a part of it.[3] As an administrative division, it is, together with ten rural localities, incorporated separately as the City of Orenburg[1]—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the City of Orenburg is incorporated as Orenburg Urban Okrug.[4]


Orenburg is a home for several large companies or their subsidiaries: Orenburggazprom,[18] the subsidiary of Gazprom; Orenburgneft,[19] the subsidiary of TNK-BP oil company; Orenburgenergy, one of the biggest energy generating companies in Russia.


VMZ trolleybus in Orenburg centre (15437607256)
VMZ Avantgarde low-floor trolleybus

Orenburg has been a major railway center ever since the Samara-Zlatoust and Orenburg-Tashkent railroads were completed, respectively in 1876 and 1905.[20]

Orenburg's main airport is the Orenburg Tsentralny Airport,[21] located about 25 kilometers (16 mi) east of the city, on the Orsk destination, and used to be the headquarters of now defunct Orenair.[21]

City public transport included bus, trolleybus and also marshrutkas (fixed-route cabs).


There is an airbase located 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) southwest of the city.


Orenburg has a relatively dry humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with quite long and hot summers and long and cold winters. April and October are transition months, with the rest of the months being either summer or winter.

Climate data for Orenburg
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 4.7
Average high °C (°F) −8
Daily mean °C (°F) −11.8
Average low °C (°F) −15.6
Record low °C (°F) −43.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 29
Average rainy days 4 3 6 11 15 15 14 13 13 14 11 6 125
Average snowy days 23 20 13 4 0.2 0 0 0 0.3 4 15 21 101
Average relative humidity (%) 80 78 79 65 53 55 57 57 60 70 81 81 68
Mean monthly sunshine hours 76 118 158 224 307 307 330 286 212 126 63 62 2,269
Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net[22]
Source #2: NOAA (sun 1961–1990)[23]

Education and culture

Orenburg is a regional center of education and has a number of cultural institutions and museums.


  • Orenburg State University
  • Orenburg State Medical Academy. Established in 1944 as Chkalov State Medical Institute. It was renamed to Orenburg State Medical Institute in 1957 (at that time Orenburg city regained its original name after being named Chkalov from 1937 till 1957). It gained the status of academy in 1994. Currently there are eight faculties: Medicine, Pediatric, Stomatology (Dentistry), Pharmacy, Clinical Psychology, Nursing, Public Health (Медико-профилактический), and Continuing Education.
  • Orenburg State Agrarian University. Established in 1930 as Orenburg Agricultural Institute. It was transformed to Orenburg State Agricultural Academy in 1992. Since 1995 named as Orenburg State Agrarian University. There are 8 faculties and four institutes.
  • Orenburg State Pedagogical University. Established in 1919 as Institute of Public Education. Renamed to Pedagogical Institute in 1930. Transformed to Pedagogical University in 1996. There are 10 faculties and four research institutes.
  • Orenburg Branch of Kutafin Moscow State Law University
  • Orenburg Branch of Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas
  • Physics and Mathematics Lyceum


  • Orenburg Regional Museum of History and Natural Science
  • Orenburg Regional Museum of Fine Arts
  • Museum of Orenburg History
  • Memorial Apartment of Yuri and Valentina Gagarin
  • Memorial Apartment of Leopold and Mstislav Rostropovich
  • Memorial Apartment of T.G. Shevchenko
  • Orenburg City Memorial House


  • Orenburg Maxim Gorky State Drama Theater [24]
  • Orenburg State Regional Music Theater [25]
  • Orenburg State Tatar Drama Theater
  • Orenburg State Regional Puppet Theater
  • Orenburg Municipal Puppet Theater "Pierrot"
  • Orenburg Municipal Chamber Choir
  • Orenburg State Academic Russian Folk Choir


Pedestrian bridge in Orenburg
Pedestrian bridge over Ural River.The bridge is between Europe and Asia

Mountain and river tourism are developed in the region. There are a number of fast mountain rivers and rocks in pleated spurs of the southern edge of the Urals range, popular with tourists. The city is known for its location between Europe and Asia. The Ural River marks the border of Asia and Europe, and there is a bridge which connects the two sides.

The city is famous for its down Orenburg shawls. The thinnest lacy design, knitted by hand shawls and cobweb-like kerchiefs (pautinkas), is not only warm, but also is used for decorative purposes.


A famous boulevard on the embankment of the Ural River is one of the most notable places in Orenburg.

Orenburg TV Tower is a guyed mast of unusual design. It is a 200-meter (660 ft) tall mast equipped with six crossbars running from the mast structure to the guys.[26]


National events

In October 2015, the Russian Rink Bandy Cup was to be organised.[30]


The asteroid 27709 Orenburg was named after the city on June 1, 2007.

Notable people

International relations

Orenburg has the following sister cities:[31]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Law #1370/276-IV-OZ
  2. ^ a b Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 53 234», в ред. изменения №278/2015 от 1 января 2016 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division . Code 53 234, as amended by the Amendment #278/2015 of January 1, 2016. ).
  3. ^ a b Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 53 401», в ред. изменения №278/2015 от 1 января 2016 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division . Code 53 401, as amended by the Amendment #278/2015 of January 1, 2016. ).
  4. ^ a b Law #2367/495-IV-OZ
  5. ^ "Глава города Оренбурга". Официальный портал города Оренбурга. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
  6. ^ Генеральный план Оренбурга. Материалы по обоснованию проекта. Раздел 4.1. Территория города. Стр. 29
  7. ^ a b ‹See Tfd›Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  8. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
  9. ^ Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №271-ФЗ от 03 июля 2016 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #271-FZ of July 03, 2016 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
  10. ^ Из истории Казахстана XVIII в
  11. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  12. ^ ‹See Tfd›Russian Federal State Statistics Service (21 May 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  13. ^ ‹See Tfd›"Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  14. ^ Поспелов Е.М. Географические названия мира: топонимический словарь. — М.: Русские словари; Астрель; ACT, 2002. — ISBN 5-17-002938-1 ; 5-271-00446-5 ; 5-93259-014-9 ; 5-17-001389-2.
  15. ^ Оренбург — статья из Большой советской энциклопедии.
  16. ^ Город был переименован Указом ПрезидиумаПрезидиума Верховного Совета СССР от 26 декабря 1938 г.
  17. ^ Глущенко Е. А. Россия в Средней Азии. Завоевания и преобразования. М.: Центрполиграф, 2010. 575 с. (Россия забытая и неизвестная. Золотая коллекция). С.62. ISBN 978-5-227-02167-0.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 3, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  20. ^ Correspondence, Foreign (November 7, 1904). "RUSSIA'S NEW GREAT RAILROAD IN ASIA; Orenburg-Tashkent Line Was Completed a Few Days Ago. GREAT VALUE STRATEGICALLY Prince Hilkoff Pushed the Construction of the Road with Much Energy -- The Cities Traversed" (PDF). The New York Times.
  21. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  22. ^ "КЛИМАТ ОРЕНБУРГА" (in Russian). Погода и климат. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  23. ^ "Orenburg Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  24. ^ Orenburg Maxim Gorky State Drama Theater
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
  26. ^ http://vcfm.ru/vc/Cities/orenburg.htm
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ fakelgazproma.ru/
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^ profile documents, Orenburg


  • Законодательное Собрание Оренбургской области. Закон №1370/276-IV-ОЗ от 11 июля 2007 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Оренбургской области», в ред. Закона №2826/783-V-ОЗ от 15 декабря 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Оренбургской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Оренбургской области"». Вступил в силу после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Южный Урал", №№134–135 (спецвыпуск №40 с документами Законодательного Собрания Оренбургской области), 21 июля 2007 г. (Legislative Assembly of Orenburg Oblast. Law #1370/276-IV-OZ of July 11, 2007 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Orenburg Oblast, as amended by the Law #2826/783-V-OZ of December 15, 2014 On Amending the Law of Orenburg Oblast "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Orenburg Oblast". Effective as of after the official publication date.).
  • Законодательное Собрание Оренбургской области. Закон №2367/495-IV-ОЗ от 15 сентября 2008 г. «Об утверждении перечня муниципальных образований Оренбургской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав», в ред. Закона №3322/917-V-ОЗ от 24 августа 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Оренбургской области "Об утверждении перечня муниципальных образований Оренбургской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав"». Вступил в силу через 10 дней после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Бюллетень Законодательного Собрания Оренбургской области", 22 заседание, I часть, 29 августа 2008 г. (Legislative Assembly of Orenburg Oblast. Law #2367/495-IV-OZ of September 15, 2008 On Adopting the Registry of the Municipal Formations of Orenburg Oblast and the Inhabited Localities They Comprise, as amended by the Law #3322/917-V-OZ of August 24, 2015 On Amending the Law of Orenburg Oblast "On Adopting the Registry of the Municipal Formations of Orenburg Oblast and the Inhabited Localities They Comprise". Effective as of after 10 days following the official publication.).

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