The administrative centre of the North Kazakhstan area is the city of Petropavlovsk, which claims its lineal descent since 1752, as St Peter's fortress, the major outpost on of the Presno-Gorkovskaya line of outposts. The necessity for bread and fodder promoted peasants settling round the fortress. Soldiers and dragoons had the right to build their own houses outside the fortress. The foothills were the most convenient place for this purpose. Streets gradually grew there, restricting to the river. For the purpose of safety the suburb was enclosed by fencing. An entry and an exit were protected by special sentries. In 1759 the first school for soldier's children was opened in fortress. The first coat of arms was confirmed on September 7, 1842. The image of a camel in a silver field on the hill, loaded with two bales and led by caravaneer is shown on it. In 19th century, keeping its strategic value, the city turned into the centre of trade and economic relations and spiritual contacts of the Kazakh and Russian people. After a Great fire on May 2, 1849, which exterminated 450 houses, the new building of Petropavlovsk began in its upland. The resettlement of peasants from the European part of Russia and the building of the Siberian railway promoted the development of the city. An agricultural production delivery to the Russian and European markets started. The oil went from Petropavlovsk to St.Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Odessa, Samara, Vladivostok, and also to England, Germany and Denmark. Large enterprises appeared – a skinnery of Zenkov brothers, cattle-breeding raw materials processing plant of Swiss Akkola. Eventually the city became not only administrative, but also cultural city. Petropavlovsk is the native land of classics of the Kazakh literature: Sabit Mukanov, Gabit Musrepov, Magzhan Zhumabaev and Ivan Shuhov. Peter Ershov, the author of a world famous fairy tale “The Little Humpbacked Horse”, has spent his childhood in St. Peter and Paul fortress; Nikolay Tchizhov, a poet-Decembrist, lived in exile there, Sergey Durov, Feodor Dostoevsky's friend, a poet-petrashevets, served there; Yaroslav Gashek, the Czech writer, did an international work in days of Kolchak exemption; Pavel Vasilev, a bright original poet, studied there; an outstanding writers Vsevolod Ivanov and Sergey Markov made their first steps in the literature; a well-known fiction writer Alexander Kazantsev lived in the city. The life paths of poet Bajmagambet Ztulin and a talented translator George Tvertin held there, an outstanding Kazakh educator and democrat Shokan Ualihanov wrote F.M.Dostoevsky letters from Petropavlovsk. Tleuke Kupenin, a native of North Kazakhstan oblast, known as Shal Akin, played a major role in the Kazakh literature. Moldahmet Tyrbiev, an akyn-improvisator, is known far outside of Priishime. Legendary Kozhabergen Zhyrau and Segiz Sery created their fine songs there. Today the population of the regional centre is over 200 thousand people. The labour of many generations turned the city into a large centre of an economic and cultural life. The position of the North Kazakhstan on a joint of two major trunk-railways: Trans-Siberian and Transkazakhstan, the presence of such powerful industrial bases as Kuzbas, Ural Mountains and the Central Kazakhstan to the east, west and south of the region, and also a developing oil and gas complex of the frontier Tyumen region of the Russian Federation – all these factors are very important for its industrial development. During the last years the city of Petropavlovsk became the centre of the largest grain sowing and grain producing region of Kazakhstan, where more than 3 million hectares of land were sown with crops, and the gross grain makes 25 % of republican crop yields.

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