0 Vintage Photos of Semipalatinsk Town Near the Semipalatinsk Test Site

Vintage Photos of Semipalatinsk Town Near the Semipalatinsk Test Site

Posted on September 12, 2018 by tim


Yesterday we had a posting about a visit to Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. It got its name from Semipalatinsk, a town which was later renamed to Semey, probably so it wouldn’t be associated with the nuclear testing site anymore. Here are some vintage photos of the place, the photos are mostly from the times before the Revolution – so over 100 years ago.

The first Russian settlement in the area dates from 1718, when Russia built a fort beside the river Irtysh, near a ruined Buddhist monastery. The monastery’s seven buildings lent the fort (and later the city) the name Semipalatinsk (Russian for “Seven-Chambered City”).

Old cossack fortress and church.

The fort suffered frequently from flooding caused by the snowmelt swelling the Irtysh, and in 1778 the fort was relocated 18 kilometres (11 milesi) upstream to less flood-prone ground.

A watch-tower house.

People on the skating rink.

A cinema “Progress” in the city

City commerce chamber.

A department store

A small city grew around the fort, largely servicing the river trade between the nomadic peoples of Central Asia and the growing Russian Empire.

A mill.

A mosque.

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