Nizhny Novgorod: From a closed Soviet city to Russia’s capital of fairs

Nizhny Novgorod is the second most populous city in the Volga Federal District and the sixth most populous city in the country. Seven Arzamas lectures familiarize readers with the Nizhny Novgorod lands from a local historical perspective. The project was done jointly with the government of Nizhny Novgorod Region as part of the city’s 800th anniversary in 2021. Learn how Nizhny Novgorod saved Russia during the Time of Troubles, what local Old Believers are famous for and how the shopping mall at the Makaryev Monastery turned into the most important business center in Russia.

One of the most intriguing issues is how Nizhny Novgorod became the closed city of Gorky, the largest center of defense, closed off to foreigners. After the World War II, the importance of the city as a major industrial and defense center only increased. Several city enterprises worked on the atomic bomb project, for instance, the Special Design Bureau of the Stalin State Plant. The nuclear reactor of the famous Lenin icebreaker and that of the Leninsky Komsomol submarine (which reached the North Pole in 1962) were built here.

The city was opened to foreigners only in 1991. At that time, the traditions of the Nizhny Novgorod Fair began to be revived, the city resuming hosting fairs and exhibitions. Make a virtual trip to the region and its fairs by clicking here.
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