Central Black Earth Region

As one of the twelve economic regions of Russia, the Central Black Earth Region consists of five oblasts – Belgorod Oblast, Kursk Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Tambov Oblast and Voronezh Oblast. Lying on the western border of the country, the Central Black Earth Region is also referred to as Central Chernozemic Region.

The city of Belgorod is the administrative center of the Belgorod Oblast in the Central Black Earth Region of Russia. Referring to the rich lime deposits found in the region, the name Belgorod means "a white city". The first written historical reference of the city goes back to 1237 when it was invaded by hordes of Batu Khan and because of its strategic position Belgorod served as a defense post in the late 1500s. During the occupation by Nazi Germany in the Second World War, the village of Prokhorovka in the Belgorod Oblast was the scene of what came to be known as the largest tank battle in world history. Visitors to the area will find reminders of this tumultuous time at the World War II monuments in Belgorod.

The Kursk Oblast of the Central Black Earth Region of Russia lying on the southern slopes of the middle-Russian plateau is particularly scenic with its hilly terrain split by deep ravines. More than 900 rivers and streams have been counted in the Kursk Oblast. This abundance of water together with mild winter conditions makes the area suitable for farming. Although large areas of forest have been cleared for cultivation, the remaining oak, ash and elm forests are home to large numbers of birds and animals.

The city of Lipetsk is the administrative center of the oblast of the same name and is most likely best known for the curative properties of its springs and clay soil, being home to Russia’s oldest mud bath and balneotherapy (spa) resort which was opened in 1805. The Lipetsk Air Base lies north of the town.

The city of Tambov is not only the administrative center of the Tambov Oblast, but is also the industrial and cultural center of the area. Tambov is home to Russia's oldest drama theater, as well as the Tambov Art Gallery which contains an extensive collection of paintings by Russian and West-European artists. The city also has two universities, a music school, and an assortment of cultural institutions, including a museum of local lore.

With the Voronezh River flowing through it, the picturesque city of Voronezh is the administrative city of the Voronezh Oblast of Russia’s Central Black Earth Region. It is believed that the site of the city was inhabited as far back as the Stone Age, some 2.5 million years ago. The present city was founded by Feodor I as a defensive fort in 1585. Visitors to the city will no doubt appreciate the superb examples of ancient architecture that characterize Voronezh, while enjoying all the conveniences this thoroughly modern city has to offer.


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