Geographically, this city is located almost in the very center of Transbaikalia. The famous Pushkin’s line “In the depths of Siberian ores…” is about it: the Decembrists were there in exile. The city got its name in honor of the Chita river, on the banks of which it stands. And on its map there is also Norilskaya street.
Chita was founded in the middle of the 17th century, but under what circumstances – no one knows for certain. There are a variety of legends about this. But who developed the city development plan is known for sure. In the mathematically verified general plan of Dmitry Zavalishin, approved by Emperor Alexander II in 1862, the St. Petersburg scheme of quarters with streets intersecting perpendicularly can be clearly traced.
An the interesting fact is that the horizontal streets were named after the largest Siberian rivers, and the vertical ones – after the cities and villages of Siberia and the Far East.
So, the street that later became Amurskaya was one of the first to appear on the maps of Chita. Today it is not accidentally called a two-kilometer-long monument to the history of the city under the open sky: in Chita it is difficult to find a street that has preserved the same number of centuries-old buildings and the same age of architectural appearance.
The other first streets – the future Lenskaya (Anohin), Ingodinskaya and Bolshaya (Lenin) – began being built up in parallel with the Amurskaya one, predetermining the symmetry in the city’s layout.
In Soviet times, the toponymy unique for Russia was not preserved. But the streets named after people appeared on the map of the city: Chkalov, Lermontov, Babushkin, Gorky… By the way, in Chita today there are 98 streets in honor of famous personalities, 20 are named in honor of the heroes of the Soviet Union.
Gaidar street in the Chernovsky district is considered to be the longest one. Its length is more than eight kilometers. In total, the city has 586 streets, 6 squares, 146 lanes, 34 thoroughfares, 5 highways, 3 avenues, 1 one boulevard, and 4 dead ends.
Norilskaya is a rather small and relatively new street in Chita, which organically fits into the logic of the original toponymy. There are several low-rise buildings on one side. On the other side, there is a garage-constructing cooperative and small enterprises. Norilskaya street opens onto Usuglinskaya one, which runs parallel to the Chita river.
Read about Norilskaya streets in other cities in our exclusive A point on the planet section.
Text: Elena Popova, Photo: Vyacheslav Stepanov and open sources