Lenin Square

ploshad Lenina 2

The main square of the city of Tambov - is the square named after V.I.Lenin, but the citizens call it "Lenin Square", often forgetting or not knowing its official name. It is located on the Internationalnaia Street on the intersection with the Karl Marx Street. All of these city-forming objects located in the central part of the city still have their names of the Soviet period, although, they once had different names. Both street are perpendicular to each other on the north side of the square, they do not intersect in the south, forming an angle of 78 degrees on the eastern side and an angle of 102 degrees in the west.

The square is stretched along the Internationalnaia Street, and actually is focused on it, and the roadway of the Karl Marx Street is considered as its western border. Internationalnaia Street goes almost the world parallel and divides the city into approximately equal northern and southern parts. The attached map makes the above description more clear.

The length of the Internationalnaia Street is 1830 meters. It is not a highway, and stretches from the western side of Sovetskaia Street on the east (in front of the Tambov Music and Pedagogical Institute named after S.V. Rakhmaninov) to the railway station on the west. Most of the street is a horizontal section located on the numerical mark of 124 meters above the sea level. However, its western part is much uphill and ends in front of the railway station at a height of almost 140 meters.

Thus, the total height difference on opposite sides of the street is 16 meters. Continuing the geometrical characteristics of the street, we note that its width can be divided into two sections. Shorter, but wider part is located closeк to Sovetskaia Street. The narrower portion starts from the Lenin Square and goes to the west. In the first section of the street is – 90 meters wide, and the second - 70 meters wide.

 Today, Internationalnaia Street - is one of the main traffic arteries of the city. From the early morning until late at night the flow of road transport is constant. However, there are even more pedestrians on the street, than in many other parts of the city. There are wide concrete paths on both sides of the streets.

When reading the text, be sure to match it with the image of the Square named after V.I.Lenin, which is arranged in a horizontal zenith isometric view and available in the Layout tab. Even if you've never been to this area, the proposed image will allow you to visualize all objects located on the square and clearly identify their location. The city of Tambov refers is a historic city located in central Russia, where you can still see the buildings and structures of the past. TheycanbealsoseenontheInternationalnaiaStreet.

Every time, no matter which story from the life of the city we take, whatever area of the city is considered, we have to go back to its history, seeking to understand the ideas of the first builders of the city, who left us their creations. For example, an unusually large width of the eastern part of the Internationalnaia Street, where the park is now located, was delineated in the early years of the Tambov fortress history. In the mid-17th century, the southern defense line, which represented a wooden rampart. At this part it was built from the Tsna river channel, which was then called "Eric", to the point where now Lenin Square is located. From the outside of the fortress wall a parallel deep wide ditch filled with water was made.

A small segment of the Bolshaia Astrakhanskaia road passing through the fortress in the middle of the 17th century was inside it and perpendicular to the southern side of the rampart. This part of the road was made by the first builders of the fortress with the orientation on the north polar star. A segment of the Bolshaia Astrakhanskaia road, which we are talking about, is called the Sovetskaia Street nowadays. If you go outside on this street in a  clear starry midnight, when the traffic on the main streets of the city is not as intense as in the daytime, and look north from the building of musical-pedagogical institute, you will see the North Polar Star. So, back in the 17th century the urban planning of Tambov begun, and is still in place nowadays.

Three main principles have determined urban development of the city-fortress of "Tambov": defensive importance, natural conditions and topography of the terrain. The first of them lost its influence by the end of the 18th century. Then in Tambov, as in many other Russian cities, which were defensive fortresses originally, the old fortification lines gradually turned into roads and streets. Former ditches and shafts were usually leveled and turned into public roads. They separated old building inside the fortress from the new buildings outside its borders. So in Tambov, when the southern defense wall was demolished, civil houses were built instead.

Their line has created the northern side of the new street. The former water-filled ditch was much better preserved. It was the reason that the southern parallel side of houses was significantly removed from the north. The street, which was formed on both sides of the ditch, was so wide that it got the name of the "Shirokaia (Broad) Street". You have probably guessed that nowadays we call this street – the Internationalnaia Street and the part of it with the ditch is now occupied by the park.

Probably, the very spot, which is now occupied by one of the most beautiful architectural sites in Tambov - Tambov Drama Theatre, was the intersection of the southern and western walls of the fortress in the 17th century. We’ve already described the fist wall, so we are now going to talk about the second one.

The western wall of the fortress was longer than the south and reached the Studenets creek. The fortress walls of the Kremlin itself and the surrounding stockade were made of logs. Quarries were never present on the territory of the Tambov region, and it was very expensive and time consuming to deliver stones from other places. Of course, the walls of the Kremlin were stronger than the walls of the fortress. We have obtained the information about the height of the walls, the principle of their construction, the number of towers and their locations.

We are not going to provide all this data as there are plenty of printed materials on this subject. We will only note that the first fundamental generalizations on these matters were made more than a hundred years ago and published in the scientific writings of Tambov Archival Commission. So far, however, no serious archaeological research in the territory of the former fortress was made. Not all the facts known from written and oral sources of old times have proven to be credible. However, over the last hundred years, several accidental findings were made that confirm those details. The existence of the fortress walls were discovered during the construction of the fence around the public garden in the middle of the 30s of the last century, and it was reported in the newspaper "Tambovskaia Pravda", but further archaeological research wasn’t done.

In our opinion the most important and irrefutable proof of the fortress wall existence in the 17th century were recently discovered findings. In 2001, during the excavation for the foundation of a new store "Children's World" at the intersection of Karl Marx and Studenetskaia Streets the remains of the wooden structures were found. We have seen them, but this event has not received wide publicity, even thought the discovery was reported in the regional media. Two long strips of rotted logs were stretched from north to south with their ends abut to each other at a depth of 3-4 meters in the sandy layer. The distance between the parallel logs (or rather, what's left of them) is not less than 3 meters. In some places, approximately at the same distance intermediate crossbars were found along their length. All this proves that these are man-made constructions, and moreover, that these are remains of the basement of the fortress wall.

We were surprised with the accuracy of the well-known Tambov local historian P.N. Chermenskii, who has pointed out the exact place the fortress location in his book "The Past of the Tambov Region". Now we have an opportunity to verify that the western wall went along the present Karl Marx Street.

There were no reasons not to believe that the southern and western walls of the fortress intersected at the place of the present location of the Square named after V.I. Lenin. An indirect confirmation of this fact is the location of the park on the Karl Marx and Internationalnaia Streets. They are, as it follows from the above mentioned documents, have appeared instead of the former defensive ditches on the outer sides of the walls. So, we have touched upon the most ancient period in the history of our city, linking it with the territory, which is now the Lenin Square. What has happened next?