The city of Ufa is the capital of Bashkortostan (or Bashkiria), a multinational republic of the Russian Federation. The official languages in Bashkortostan are Russian and Bashkirian. Nowadays Ufa is a popular destination for tourism.
Until the 16th century the territory of modern republic of Bashkiria was possessed by Kazan and Siberia Khanates and Nogai Horde. After the Kazan Khanate fell to a Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1554–1555, Bashkiria voluntarily joined Moscovy, and the Bashkirs agreed with Tsar Ivan the Terrible’s request to construct a fortress to protect the land; the fortress was built in 1574. From the late 16th century, Bashkiria's territory started to take shape as a part of the Russian state.
The name ‘Ufa’ is likely to be derived from ancient Turkish ‘ufak’, that is ‘small’. In spite of the origin of the name, Ufa eventually was turning into an important political, administrative and business centre of the region.
In 1586 Ufa got the status of a city, and since 1802 it has been the principal town of the area, specializing in trading, manufacturing and being a major cultural and business centers of Russia. On June 14, 1922 Ufa was pronounced as the capital of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1932 oil was discovered in Bashkortostan, which made Ufa one of the leaders in crude oil extracting and refining in the USSR. During 1941-42 (the World War II was in its full swing) over 40 industrial enterprises were relocated to Ufa. These years made the city of Ufa one of the industrial and economic leaders.
The City Today
Nowadays, the city has over one thousand streets that total approximately 1,000 km (621 mi) in length, twenty two bridges and overpasses, six river ferries. There are 6 drama theatres in the capital. Bashkir State Philharmonic Society, Bashkir State Puppet Theatre, a number of museums and cinemas, a planetarium, a circus, and 2 centralized library networks are of great interest of tourists too. Tourism to Ufa is now becoming very popular.
The city of Ufa is very proud of the Akhmet-Zaki Validi National Library. There are about 2 million volumes in several languages, 200 manuscripts (originated in XV and XVI centuries) and life-time editions of Russian classic writers.
The capital is also famous for holding a number of Ethnic culture festivals, the 1st World Kurultai (Congress) of Bashkirs, the Sobor (Assembly) of Russians, Tatars’ Congresses and Kanash of Chuvashes, that have become the events making the city popular with tourists.
As for science and education, there are ten scientific institutes founded under the auspices of the Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, several Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Archeology and Ethnography (that exhibits archeological, ethnographic and anthropologic objects and a unique collection of verbal poetic and musical folklore). About 150 thousand students study at the city’s universities, institutes and colleges, and 11 national Sunday schools.
All these achievements of the city, interest places and sights gave rise to tourism to Ufa, a great attractive city.