Albazinsky prison: the history of foundation

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Albazinsky prison: the history of foundation
Albazinsky prison: the history of foundation

Albazino is a small village in the Amur Region on the Russian-Chinese border. This is the land of our ancestors, richly saturated with the blood of the defenders of the prison, the first fortified settlement of Russians in the second half of the 17th century.

The history of the founding of the Albazinsky prison

In 1649-1650. Russian pioneer Erofei Pavlovich Khabarov with a detachment of Cossacks made a trip across the Olekma River to the Amur. He occupied the Daurian town of Albazin and founded the Albazinsky prison in its place. In June 1651, Khabarov left from there, but he managed to burn it beforehand. In 1665, the Albazinsky prison was rebuilt by the Cossacks who came from the Ilimsky prison, led by Nikifor of Chernigov. It was a fortress measuring 17 by 13 sazhens with three towers, surrounded by a moat 3 sazhens wide and 1.5 sazhens deep. Behind the moat, six rows of anti-horse garlic were driven in on four sides. There are gouges near the garlic. In the prison there were two churches, grain barns, a command hut, service premises and four residential buildings. There were 53 residential courtyards and arable land around the fortress.

Albazinsky prison history

The first siege of the fortress by the Manchus

In 1682The prison became the center of the Albazinsky voivodeship. It included all the territories of the Amur basin and the northern tributaries of the river. The Albaza province had its own symbols of state power: a silver seal with an eagle and a banner sent by the tsar to be hoisted on the lands conquered by the Russian state. In an effort to prevent the establishment of our empire in the Amur region, the Manchus more than once besieged the Albazinsky prison in the Amur region.

In July 1685, the first serious clash between the Albazins and the Manchus took place. The forces were initially unequal either in terms of the number of people or in armament: 450 Albazins, armed with three cannons and squeakers, opposed the 10,000-strong Manchu army with two hundred cannons. The clash lasted for a whole month. The defenders of the fortress did not give up until the last. After a month of serious clashes, the Albazins, led by governor Alexei Tolbuzin, retreated for a while to the city of Nerchinsk, and then returned to the territory burned by the Manchus.

The history of the Albazinsky prison is being resumed in June 1686, when a new fortress was built according to all the rules of a fortification. Some inhabitants of the fortress were taken prisoner, forced to leave their homes and settled in Beijing. The emperor of China respected the people who fought so fiercely against the Manchus, who were many times superior in numbers and weapons, and wisely decided that it was better to settle these people with him than to fight endlessly with them. As a result, many Albazins were enrolled in the army of the Chinese monarch. For them, a special Cossack hundred was founded, whichconsidered an elite unit. Of the captured Albazins, not all wanted to become under the banner of the imperial army and decided to return to Russia. In total, at least a hundred Cossacks went over to the side of the Chinese. They were highly valued by the Chinese monarch and lived in better conditions.

Nerchinsk Treaty

Nerchinsk Treaty

In July of the same year, the Manchus again laid siege to the fortress. During five months of continuous fighting, 826 defenders of the fortress courageously resisted about 6.5 thousand selected soldiers. In May 1687, the Manchus retreated slightly. Only 66 people remained alive in the Albazinsky prison. In 1689, the Muscovite state and the Qing Empire signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk, according to which the Russians had to leave the Amur lands. Until the middle of the 19th century, the Amur region was a kind of buffer zone between the two states.

History of the prison

Museum in Albazino

The memory of the heroic events of the 17th century, the courage of the Albazin defenders, is carefully preserved by the authentic exhibits of the local history museum. A whole collection of Orthodox crosses that once belonged to the inhabitants of the fortress, tools, household items, samples of military weapons of the Albazins - all this was discovered during archaeological excavations and research of the settlement. A unique archeological monument is located next to the museum. On its territory there is a tomb of the defenders of the Albazinsky prison and a six-meter cast-iron bow cross to the pioneer Cossacks. In the middle of the 19th century, the Russians would return to this land again. In 1858 hereAlbazinskaya village will be founded - the administrative center of the first hundred, the first Amur cavalry regiment. The glorious history of the Cossack village is presented in the exposition of the Albazinsky Museum of Local Lore.

Albazinsky prison in the Amur region

Cossack village

A whole complex has been organized on the territory of the museum - a Cossack hut with a farmstead, a barn, a smithy. All this introduces us, modern residents, to the life of the Amur Cossacks and settlers. Today, the Albazinsky Museum of Local Lore is one of the most unique tourist sites in the Russian Far East, and also serves as a venue for regional and all-Russian festivals of Cossack culture, scientific and practical conferences. In the future, the museum and tourist complex "Albazinsky Ostrog" will be founded on its territory, the center of which will be the recreated Albazinsky fortress.

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