Ryazan is a city in central Russia, the administrative center of the Ryazan region.
Under the name of Pereslavl-Ryazansky, Ryazan was mentioned for the first time in the chronicles of 1301.
Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky was founded in the XI century as trade and defense settlement downstream the present site of Ryazan. At that time it was a part of the Ryazan Principality. In XV century the community became the capital of the principality that was incorporated into Moscow Principality in 1521.
Located at the junction of forest and steppe zones, the region experienced numerous invasions from the south. In different times, the invaders were Khazars, Pechenegs, Polovtsians. It was completely destroyed by the Tatars in 1237 and later restored. The city was officially renamed Ryazan in 1778. Ryazan region was formed in the present borders on September 26, 1937.
Ryazan boasts a marvelous ensemble of churches and monastery buildings with typical Russian golden domes. The main places to see in the town are the Kremlin built in the XV century, numerous cathedrals and churches dated XVI-XVIII centuries, including the Khristorozhdestvensky Cathedral (XV century), the Arkhangelsky Cathedral (XVI century), the Uspensky Cathedral (1693-1699), the Holy Spirit Church (1642), the Arkhiereyskiye Chambers (1652-1692), the Spassky Monastery with the Bogoyavlenskaya Church (1647) and the Preobrazhenskaya Church (1702). The main theatres are the Drama Theatre, the Theatre of Young Spectator and the Puppet Theatre.
Among the museums, there are the Historical Architecture Reserve, the Fine Arts Museum that exhibits pictures from painters like Aivasovsky, Korovin, Sarian, Venezianov and others, the Museum of Airborne Troops, Pavlov Museum etc. Ivan Pavlov, the discoverer of the conditioned reflex and pioneer of modern psychology, was born in Ryazan.
There is also K.E. Tsiolkovsky museum in the village of Izhevskoye and S.A. Yesenin preserve museum in the village of Konstantinovo (Isadora Duncan, the queen of the Free Dance, married here to the well-known lyric poet Sergey Esenin). Oka Preserve founded in 1935 to protect and research the nature of Meshera, and climatic resort Solotcha with the Solotcha monastery of the XV-XVIII centuries are located nearby.
There are five higher education institutes and 31 technical and vocational schools, including radio engineering, agricultural, pedagogical, medical academies, branches of the Moscow Institute of Culture and the Moscow State Open University, research and project institutes.
The city is an industrial and transportation center. There are large deposits of high-quality peat, cement limestone, glass and quartz sands, and other mineral resources.
The industries include agricultural machinery, production of chemicals, petroleum products, precision instruments, radio electronics, textiles, footwear and clothing. Mechanical engineering takes the leading role in the industrial structure.