Nizhny Novgorod, often abbreviated to Nizhny, is the fifth-largest city in Russia, with a population of 1,250,619, and the administrative headquarters of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District. It was known as Gorky from 1932 until 1990, after the playwright Maxim Gorky, who was born there. The city is a key commercial, transportation, and cultural hub in Russia and the large Volga-Vyatka economic area, as well as Russia’s principal river tourist center. There are several colleges, theaters, museums, and cathedrals in the city’s historical district. Nizhny Novgorod is around 400 kilometers east of Moscow, where the Oka River flows into the Volga.
Prince Yuri II of Vladimir built the city in 1221. Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky gathered a large army in 1612 to liberate Moscow from the Poles. Nizhny Novgorod became a major trading hub of the Russian Empire in 1817. An All-Russia Exhibition was held at a fair in 1896.
During the Soviet era, the city grew into a significant industrial hub. During this time, the Gorky Automobile Plant was built in particular. During WWII, Gorky became the largest supplier of military materiel to the front. As a result, the Luftwaffe was regularly bombing the city from the air. The bulk of the German bombs landed in the Gorky Automobile Plant region. Despite the fact that practically all of the plant’s manufacturing sites were totally destroyed, Gorky residents rebuilt the facility in 100 days.
Gorky became a “closed city” after the war and remained such until the Soviet Union’s disintegration in 1990. The city was called Nizhny Novgorod during the time.
The metro was inaugurated in 1985. Vladimir Putin inaugurated the new 70th Anniversary of Victory Plant, part of the Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation, in 2016.
The Kremlin, the city’s major hub, houses the city’s principal government institutions as well as the Volga Federal District.