Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Russia - Vladivostok - 150th Anniversary

Vladivostok is Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai. It is situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's border with China and North Korea. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet. This important city celebrated her 150th Anniversary on 2nd July 2010. The ocassion was graced by the President Mr Medvedev.

The territory on which modern Vladivostok is located had been part of many nations, such as Balhae, Jurchen, the Mongol Empire, and China, before Russia acquired the entire Maritime Province and the island of Sakhalin by the Treaty of Aigun (1858). China, which had just lost the Opium War with Britain, was unable to act to maintain the region. The Pacific coast near Vladivostok was settled mainly by the Chinese, Jurchen, Manchu and Korean during Imperial Chinese Qing dynasty period. A French whaler visiting the Zolotoy Rog in 1852 discovered Chinese or Manchu village fishermen on the shore of the bay. The naval outpost was founded in 1859 by Count Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky, who named it after the model of Vladikavkaz, a Russian fortress in the Caucasus. An elaborate system of fortifications was erected between the 1870s and 1890s. A telegraph line from Vladivostok to Shanghai and Nagasaki was opened in 1871, the year when a commercial port was relocated to this town from Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. Town status was granted on April 22, 1880. The municipal coat of arms, representing the Siberian tiger, was adopted in March 1883.

Yours truly had the good fortune of being a resident of this wonderful city when the people there were preparing to celebrate the Centenary Anniversary. I spent two winters in Vladivostok. This superb card, with the 150th Anniversary Postmark was sent to me by friend Elena.

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