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Visit the Town of Kungur in the Ural Mountains

Located in the Ural Mountains, where the Shakhva and Iren Rivers flow into the Sylva River, the town of Kungur started out as a settlement in the mid-1600s, but was destroyed by Bashkirs in 1662. It was rebuilt as a fortified settlement in 1663, and by the early 18th century Kungur had its own commercial tannery and had earned a reputation for the production of fine leather products, including footwear. By the late 18th century, Kungur had developed into a prominent commercial center, serving the traffic on the Siberian trade route. By the end of the 19th century, the town was known for its industry, including the manufacture of tea, leather, rope and linseed oil, and was the cultural hub for the area. Today Kungur remains a bustling commercial and industrial town, serving as the administrative center of Kungursky District.

Visitors to Kungur will no doubt appreciate the historical buildings in the town. These include the Uspenskaya Temple built in 1761 and the Transfiguration Church built in 1781. The Tikhvinsky Temple (1763) is now home to the Oktyabr movie theater, and the 19th century merchant storehouses have been converted into a cultural center while retaining their architectural history.

Located on the right bank of the Sylva River, the Kungur Ice Caves are a major attraction for the town. As one of the largest karst caves to be found in Russia, the Kungur Ice Cave features as many as 60 lakes and an amazing variety of ice formations. While the underground passages form a network of more than 6,000 meters, only parts are open to the public, offering three different routes to explore. Various features in the caves are lit with colored lights to display their unusual beauty. The cave was opened to the public in 1914 and more than five million people have visited since then. The caves are flooded by the Sylva River in spring and fall each year, during which time they are closed to the public.

 



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