Nikolayevsk-on-Amur often romanized as Nikolayevsk-na-Amure, is a town and the administrative center of Nikolayevsky District
Nikolayevsky District, Khabarovsk Krai
Nikolayevsky District is an administrative and municipal district , one of the seventeen in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur . District's population:...

 of Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai
Khabarovsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia , located in the Russian Far East. It lies mostly in the basin of the lower Amur River, but also occupies a vast mountainous area along the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. The administrative center of the krai is the...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 located on the Amur River close to its liman
Liman (landform)
Liman is a name for a lake, bay, or estuary formed at the mouth of a river where flow is blocked by a bar of sediments. Liman can be maritime or fluvial .The name is used for such features found along the western and northern coast of the Black Sea, as well as along...

 in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. Population:

Geography and climate

The town is situated on the left bank of the Amur, 80 km from where it flows into the Amur estuary, 977 km north of the regional capital Khabarovsk
Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative center of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. It is located some from the Chinese border. It is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, after Vladivostok. The city became the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia...

, and 582 km from the Komsomolsk-on-Amur
Komsomolsk-on-Amur is a city in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia, situated on the left bank of Amur River. It is located on the BAM railway line, northeast of Khabarovsk. Population: -Geography and climate:...

 railway station. It is the closest significant settlement to the Tatar Strait separating the mainland from Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...


Nikolayevsk-on-Amur has a borderline humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dfb), almost cold enough to be a subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

 (Dfc). Precipitation is not as low in the winter as over most of Siberia since the coast in on the fringe of influence from the Aleutian Low
Aleutian low
The Aleutian Low is a semi-permanent low pressure center located near the Aleutian Islands during the winter. It is one of the main centers of action in the atmospheric circulation of the Northern Hemisphere...

. The near-maritime location only marginally (5˚C or 9˚F) moderates the winters compared to interior Siberia, but makes the summers noticeably cool (especially in May and June) though the Oyashio fogs
Oyashio Current
, also known as Oya Siwo, Okhotsk or the Kurile current, is a cold subarctic ocean current that flows south and circulates counterclockwise in the western North Pacific Ocean. It collides with the Kuroshio Current off the eastern shore of Japan to form the North Pacific Current...

 are less prevalent than on Sakhalin itself and sunshine hours therefore rather longer.

Medieval and early-modern history

In the late Middle Ages, the people living along the lower course of the Amur (Nivkh, Oroch
Orochs , Orochons, or Orochis are a small people of Russia that speak the Oroch language of the Southern group of Tungusic languages. According to the 2002 census there were 686 Orochs in Russia.Orochs traditionally settled in the southern part of the Khabarovsk Krai, Russia and on the Amur and...

, Evenki
Evenki or Evenk may refer to*Evenks, or Evenki, a people of Russia and China*Evenki languages, languages of Tungusic family**Evenki language, a subdivision of Evenki languages, spoken by Evenks...

) were collectively known in China as the "wild Jurchen". The Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 Mongols sent expeditions to this area with an eye toward using the region as a base for attack on Japan, or for defending against the Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

Ainu people
The , also called Aynu, Aino , and in historical texts Ezo , are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin...

s. According to the History of Yuan
History of Yuan
The History of Yuan is one of the official Chinese historical works known as the Twenty-Four Histories of China. The historical work consists of 210 chapters chronicling the history of the Genghisid Yuan Dynasty from the time of Genghis Khan to the flight of the last Yuan Emperor Huizong from...

, in 1264 the Nivkhs recognized the Mongol suzerainty. In 1263, the Mongols set up the "Command Post of the Marshal of the Eastern Campaign" near the modern village of Tyr
Tyr, Russia
Tyr is a settlement in Ulchsky District of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia, located on the right bank of the Amur River, near the mouth of the Amgun River, about upstream from Nikolayevsk-on-Amur....

, some 100 km upstream from today's Nikolayevsk. At roughly the same time a shrine was built on the Tyr Rock (Тырская скала).

From 1411 to 1433, the Ming
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

A eunuch is a person born male most commonly castrated, typically early enough in his life for this change to have major hormonal consequences...

Yishiha was a eunuch in the service of the Ming Dynasty emperors of China who carried out several expeditions down the Sungari and Amur Rivers, and is credited with the construction of the only two Ming Dynasty Buddhist temples ever built on the territory of today's Russia.- Early life:It is...

 (亦失哈), a man of Haixi Jurchen
Haixi Jurchens
The Haixi Jurchens were a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty. They were inhabiting an area that consists of parts of modern day Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Inner Mongolia in China.- External links :*...

 origin, led four large missions to win over the allegiance of the "Jurchen" tribes along the Sunggari and Amur rivers. During this time, the Yongning Temple (永宁寺, Yongning Si) was constructed at Tyr, and stelae with inscriptions erected.

The Russian city

The Russian settlement, likely preceded by the Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 village of Fuyori, was founded as Nikolayevsky Post by Gennady Nevelskoy
Gennady Nevelskoy
Gennady Ivanovich Nevelskoy was a Russian navigator.In 1848 Nevelskoy led the expedition in the Russian Far East, exploring the area of the Sakhalin and the outlet of the Amur River. He proved that the Strait of Tartary was not a gulf, but indeed a strait, connected to Amur's estuary by a narrow...

 on August 13, 1850, named for Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...


The settlement quickly became one of the main economic centers on the Pacific coast of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. The main Russian Pacific harbour was moved from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the main city and the administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of Kamchatka Krai, Russia. Population: .-History:It was founded by Danish navigator Vitus Bering, in the service of the Russian Navy...

 to Nikolayevsk in 1855 after the Siege of Petropavlovsk
Siege of Petropavlovsk
The Siege of Petropavlovsk was the main operation on the Pacific Theatre of the Crimean War. The Russian casualties are estimated at 100 soldiers; the Allies lost five times as many....

. It was granted town status and renamed Nikolayevsk-on-Amur in 1856, when Primorskaya Oblast was established. Admiral Vasily Zavoyko
Vasily Zavoyko
Vasily Stepanovich Zavoyko was an admiral in the Russian navy.Born to a noble family of Poltava Governorate, in 1827 he took part in the Battle of Navarino, and in 1835-1838 he twice circumnavigated the Earth....

 supervised the construction of a naval base in Nikolayevsk.

The town emerged as an important commercial harbour, however due to navigational difficulties caused by the sand banks in the Amur estuary and sea ice
Sea ice
Sea ice is largely formed from seawater that freezes. Because the oceans consist of saltwater, this occurs below the freezing point of pure water, at about -1.8 °C ....

 making the harbour unusable for five months each year, the main centre for Russian shipping transferred to the better situated Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

 in the early 1870s. The city remained the administrative centre of this region until 1880, when the governor relocated to Khabarovsk. Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

, visiting the town on his journey to the Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

 in 1890, noted its rapid depopulation, although this trend was slowed somewhat in the late 1890s by the discovery of gold and establishment of salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...


During the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

, the town's population plummeted from 15,000 to 2,000, as a local partisan leader, later executed by the same Bolsheviks he was supposed to be aligned to, razed the entire city to the ground
Nikolayevsk Incident
The was a series of events from February through March 1920 during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, cumulating in the massacre of several hundred Japanese expatriates and most of the Russian inhabitants of the town of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East.Nikolayevsk-on-Amur...

 and massacred the minority Japanese population along with most of the Russian population.

Around 1940, a prison camp of the gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 system was located in the town.

Like many other cities in the Russian far east
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

, the town has seen a drop in population since the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

, dropping from 36,296 inhabitants recorded in the (1989 Census
Soviet Census (1989)
The 1989 Soviet census, conducted between January 12-19 of that year, was the last one conducted in the former USSR. It resulted in a total population of 286,730,819 inhabitants...

) to around 28,000 today.

Economy and Infrastructure

Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 and fish processing are the main industries of the town, along with ship maintenance and some agricultural production in the surrounding area.

Nikolayevsk has no land transport connections. Traffic to and from the town enters via the port on the Amur, or the small airport, which is home to Nikolaevsk-Na-Amure Air Enterprise
Nikolaevsk-Na-Amure Air Enterprise
Nikolaevsk-Na-Amure Air Enterprise was an airline based in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. It operates regional services. Its main base is Nikolayevsk-on-Amur Airport .- History :The airline was established in 1992...

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