Okhotsk

related topics
{land, century, early}
{war, force, army}
{city, large, area}

Coordinates: 59°22′N 143°15′E / 59.367°N 143.25°E / 59.367; 143.25

Okhotsk (Russian: Охо́тск) is an urban-type settlement and a seaport at the mouth of the Okhota River on the Sea of Okhotsk, in Okhotsky District, Khabarovsk Krai, Russia.

Located at the eastern end of the River Route from the Urals, Okhotsk was the first Russian settlement on the Pacific Coast. It was established as a wintering camp in 1643 by the Cossacks under Semyon Shelkovnikov. The fort of Kosoi Ostrozhok was constructed in 1649. Although the Russian pioneers were skilled in building river boats they lacked the knowledge and equipment to build sea-going vessels. When the Russians entered Kamchatka they had to travel overland. In 1714 Peter the Great sent a party of shipbuilders to Okhotsk to allow faster access to the furs of Kamchatka. In 1718 Kozma Sokolov built the first vessel in Okhotsk and embarked upon a voyage to Kamchatka. This route became so popular with Russian navigators that by 1731 Okhotsk had been firmly established as the foremost Russian seaport on the Pacific.

At various points in its history, Okhotsk was a centre for the Russian-American Fishing and Fur-Trading activities. It is known for being the headquarters for the explorer Vitus Bering, who sailed from here for two extraordinary expeditions, discovering the Bering Strait on one and Alaska on the other. The Portuguese Jew Anton de Vieira was the town's governor at that time.

The growth of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky dislodged Okhotsk from its leading commercial position in the early 19th century, although it remained important as the base of the Siberian Military Flotilla, a predecessor of the Russian Pacific Fleet. In 1812, the town was moved to a new site across the Okhota River. In 1840, work began to move to a better port at Ayan 270 miles down the coast, but with the Amur Annexation in 1860 and the shift of naval power to Vladivostok both Okhotsk and Ayan lost their importance. It was of some military importance during the Russian Civil War, when the White army generals Vasily Rakitin and Anatoly Pepelyayev used it as their place of arms in the Far East.

Full article ▸

related documents
Vladimir Atlasov
Ababda
Verulamium
Ripoll
Des Peres, Missouri
Deurne, Netherlands
Balanjar
Bavarii
Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
New England Confederation
Oud-Beijerland
Barnsbury
Achzib
Sutter's Mill
Mesta
Spijkenisse
Penn Yan, New York
Rural exodus
Leusden
Warner's Grant, Vermont
Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
Joseph Billings
Harwich
Adolph Francis Alphonse Bandelier
Etten-Leur
Wawarsing, New York
Bartolomé de las Casas
Zeist
Belišće
Vansbro Municipality