Main Births etc
Kostroma (English)
Кострома (Russian)
-  City[1]  -
Watchtower Kostroma.jpg
Fire-observation watchtower in Kostroma (1825-1828)
Coat of Arms of Kostroma.svg
Flag of Kostroma (Kostroma oblast).png
Coat of arms
Administrative status (as of April 2014)
Country Russia
Federal subject Kostroma Oblast[1]
Administratively subordinated to city of oblast significance of Kostroma[1]
Administrative center of Kostroma Oblast,[1] Kostromskoy District,[1] city of oblast significance of Kostroma[1]
Municipal status (as of March 2014)
Urban okrug Kostroma Urban Okrug[2]
Administrative center of Kostroma Urban Okrug,[2] Kostromskoy Municipal District[2]
Head Yuri Zhurin[3]
Population (2010 Census) 268,742 inhabitants[4]
Rank in 2010 69th
Time zone MSK (UTC+04:00)[5]
[6] 1152
City status since 1719
Postal code(s) 156XXX
Dialing code(s) +7 4942
Official website

Kostroma (Russian: Кострома, IPA: [kəstrɐˈma]) is a historic city and the administrative center of Kostroma Oblast, Russia. A part of the Golden Ring of Russian towns, it is located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers. Population: 268,742 (2010 Census);[4] 278,750 (2002 Census);[7] 278,414 (1989 Census).[8]


Under the Rurikids[]

The city was first recorded in the chronicles for the year 1213, but historians believe it could have been founded by Yury Dolgoruky more than half a century earlier, in 1152.[6] Like other towns of the Eastern Rus, Kostroma was sacked by the Mongols in 1238. It then constituted a small principality, under leadership of Prince Vasily the Drunkard, a younger brother of the famous Alexander Nevsky. Upon inheriting the grand ducal title in 1271, Vasily didn't leave the town for Vladimir, and his descendants ruled Kostroma for another half a century, until the town was bought by Ivan I of Moscow.

As one of the northernmost towns of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, Kostroma served for grand dukes as a place of retreat when enemies besieged Moscow in 1382, 1408, and 1433. In 1375, the town was looted by Novgorod pirates (ushkuiniks). The spectacular growth of the city in the 16th century may be attributed to the establishment of trade connections with English and Dutch merchants (Muscovy Company) through the northern port of Archangel. Boris Godunov had the Ipatiev[9] and Epiphany monasteries rebuilt in stone. The construction works were finished just in time for the city to witness some of the most dramatic events of the Time of Troubles.

Kostroma was twice ravaged by the Poles; it took a six-month siege to expel them from the Ipatiev monastery. The heroic peasant Ivan Susanin became a symbol of the city's resistance to foreign invaders; several monuments to him may be seen in Kostroma. The future Tsar, Mikhail Romanov, also lived at the monastery. It was here that an embassy from Moscow offered him the Russian crown in 1612.

Under the Romanovs[]

It is understandable why the Romanov Tsars regarded Kostroma as their special protectorate. The Ipatievsky monastery was visited by many of them, including Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar. The monastery had been founded in the early 14th century by a Tatar prince, ancestor of the Godunov family. The Romanovs had the magnificent Trinity Cathedral rebuilt in 1652; its frescoes and iconostasis are a thing of beauty. A wooden house of Mikhail Romanov is still preserved in the monastery. There are also several old wooden structures transported to the monastery walls from distant districts of the Kostroma Oblast.

Town status was granted to Kostroma in 1719.

In 1773, Kostroma was devastated by a great fire. Afterwards the city was rebuilt with streets radiating from a single focal point near the river. They say that Catherine the Great dropped her fan on the city map, and told the architects to follow her design. One of the best preserved examples of the 18th century town planning, Kostroma retains some elegant structures in a "provincial neoclassical" style. These include a governor's palace, a fire tower, a rotunda on the Volga embankment, and an arcaded central market with a merchant church in the center.

During and after the Russian Revolution[]

The First Workers' Socialist Club based in Kostroma was one of the best documented workers' clubs run by Proletkult. Organised around the principle of a "public hearth" (obshchestvennyi ochag) this club combined both practical support for workers in need of accommodation, food or furniture, as well as providing a focus for popular education.

Administrative and municipal status[]

City Hall, July 2009

Kostroma is the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Kostromskoy District,[1] even though it is not a part of it.[10] As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the city of oblast significance of Kostroma—an administrative unit with a status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Kostroma is incorporated as Kostroma Urban Okrug.[2]


The city is served by the Kostroma Airport. Since 1887 there has been a railway connection between Kostroma and Moscow.[11]

Sights and landmarks[]

Ipatiev Monastery gives its name to the Hypatian Codex of the Russian Primary Chronicle

The Resurrection Church (1652) is a superb example of the 17th-century Russian art. Color photograph by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky in 1910 (Library of Congress)

Built in 1559-1565, the five-domed Epiphany Cathedral was the first stone edifice in the city; its medieval frescoes perished during a fire several years ago. The minster houses the city's most precious relic, a 10th-century Byzantine icon called Our Lady of St. Theodore. It was with this icon that Mikhail Romanov was blessed by his mother when he left for Moscow to claim the Russian throne. They say that just before the Revolution of 1917, the icon blackened so badly that the image was hardly visible; it was interpreted as a bad sign for the Romanov dynasty.

The Ipatyevsky monastery survives mostly intact, with its 16th-century walls, towers, belfry, and the 17th-century cathedral.

Apart from the monasteries, most of the city churches were either rebuilt or demolished during the Soviet years. The only city church that survives from the 17th-century "golden age" is the Resurrection church on the Lowlands (Russian: церковь Воскресения на Дебре). As the story goes, the church was commissioned by one merchant who ordered in England ten barrels of dye but received ten barrels of gold instead. He resolved that the unearned gold was the devil's gift and decided to spend it on building a church, beautiful within and without. Two other 17th-century temples, of rather conventional architecture, may be seen on the opposite side of the Volga.

Among the vestiges of the Godunov rule, a fine tent-like church in the urban-type settlement of Krasnoye-na-Volge (formerly an estate of Boris Godunov's brother) may be recommended.

Nuclear Power Referendum[]

The Nuclear Power Referendum was arranged in 1990 in the Kostroma area. 90% of the voting population were against nuclear power in the area.[12]

Twin towns and sister cities[]

Kostroma is twinned with:

Notable people[]

  • Aleksandra Ishimova (1805–1881), translator and author of children's books
  • Aleksey Pisemsky (1821–1881), novelist and dramatist
  • Olesya Barel (born 1960), Russian basketball player
  • Roman Kopin (born 1974), Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
  • The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn was exiled to Kostroma by the USSR in 1927 for 3 years, and was released after 9 days



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Law #112-4-ZKO
  2. ^ a b c d Law #237-ZKO
  3. ^ Official website of Kostroma. Viktor Valentinovich Yemets, Head of the Kostroma City Administration
  4. ^ a b "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1)]" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
  6. ^ a b Official website of Kostroma. Kostroma Today
  7. ^ "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]" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "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]" (in Russian). Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Local History website. K. Torop. Kostroma
  10. ^ Resolution #133-a
  11. ^ Train Station in Kostroma (Russian)
  12. ^ Teoksessa Venäjän ihmisoikeusliike Gaudeamus Helsinki 2007


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