Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, is among the largest economic, cultural and schientific centres of Russia. In 2015, Ufa hosted the summits of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The city is located in the valley of Belaya river (Agidel, a tributary of Kama river), where it meets Ufa and Dyoma rivers, 100 km from the Southern Urals ranges, 1519 km to the east of Moscow.
Oil-refining industry plays a key role in the economy of the region as Ufa is the largest oil-refining centre in Russia. Also, Ufa boasts developed chemical, petrochemical, mechanical engineering and metal-working industries. The leading enterprises of the city are Bashneft, Bashneftehim, Elektroapparat and Mettalist companies, as well as mechanical engineering, cable manufacturing, electric bulb, mining machinery plants, a vitamin product factory and food industry enterprises.
Ufa is an interesting place thanks to its numerous historic and archeological monuments. On the south-western outskirts of the city there is an ancient burial mound and a settlement, while on the right bank of Dyoma river there is a site of an ancient town called “the Hanging Stone”. Until the mid 16th century, the site of the so-called “Old Ufa” was taken by the Nogai ancient hillfort Turatau (known in the Russian sources as “the Devil’s Settlement”). In 1574 here at the confluence of Belaya and Ufa rivers the Russian fortress Ufa was founded which got a status of a town in 1586. In the 17th century Ufa was developing as a trading centre on the roads from the Central Russia to Siberia. In 1728-1744 Ufa was the centre of the province whose voivode reported directly to the Senate, later to become part of Orenburg region. In 1773-1774 Ufa withstood a four-month seige by Pugachev’s rebels under the command of Chika (I.N. Zarubin). Since 1865 Ufa has been the center of Ufa Governate.
Ufa is the birthplace of the Russian writer S.T. Aksakov, whose monument was made by the sculptor T.P. Nechaev and installed in 1959. Aksakov community hall erected in 1908-1920 upon the project of the architect P.P. Rusakovskiy now houses M. Gafuri Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
The Bashkir national hero Salavat Yulaev’s life has been closely connected with Ufa; in 1967 his monument sculptured by S.D. Tavasiev was installed in the city. Ufa is also the home city of the famous violin player and conductor V.T. Spivakov, as well as of the writer S. Dovlatov. Ufa boasts a number of museums, the most prominent of which being the Bashkir Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy founded as early as in 1864. Another noteworthy place of interest is the M.V. Nesterov Museum of Fine Arts created in 1919 and based on the artist’s collections.