Saratov on English

The year of 1590 is officially considered the date of birth of Saratov. The young town was built to observe migrations of the nomads, to destroy any dangerous band trying to cross the southeastern Russian border, and to protect czar’s vessels cruising to Astrakhan and back. Therefore it was built as a town-fortress. From the very first days of its existence, Saratov was engrossed in wars. Until the first half of XVIII century, it was sub¬jected to devastating raids by the nomads Kalmucks and Tatars from the Kuban. It also suffered in the Time of Troubles. In 1670, Saratov became one of the centres of peasant war led by Stepan Razin who established a Cossack govern¬ment there. In 1707, another leader of rebellious peasants – Kondratiy Bulavin besieged the town. Until 1718, Saratov remained a military base, growing and developing rapidly. By the middle of XVIII century, its population reached 15 thousand. Fishing, agriculture, and salt mining were the main occupations of its citizens.
In the big peasant war the army of rebellious Yemelyan Pugachov took the town by. storm in the August of 1774, but development of Saratov could not be stopped. In the early XIX century, 27 thousand people lived there. After a big fire, destroying a major part of the town, a new general architectural plan was made. According to it, Saratov got regu¬lar streets and large squares.
In XIX century, Saratov continued its development as an important centre of trade. Local industry also started rising. In 1828, one of the first Russian tobacco factories opened; a number of other enterprises worked. Fast development of steamboat transit on the Volga boosted further rise of industry and trade in Saratov. Saratov evolved into a large port, the capital of the Volga region. And by 1870-s, Saratov’s population reached 70 thousand. In 1871, the railway con¬nected Saratov with Moscow and the Baltic ports. Saratov was also one of the most civilized Russian towns of the time.