Blagoveshchensk

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Alternative meaning: Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan

Blagoveshchensk (Russian: Благовещенск) (pop. 221,900 in 2001) is a city in Russia, capital of the Amur Oblast in the Far East of the country, 7985 km east of Moscow, at Template:Coor dm. In the Chinese language, the city is also known as 海兰泡(Hailanpao).

The city lies 110 km off the Trans-Siberian railroad on the left bank of the Amur river, which has formed Russia's border with China since the 1858 Aigun Treaty and 1860 Treaty of Peking. The area north of the Amur had previously belonged to imperial China (see Nerchinsk Treaty). The site where Blagoveshchensk now stands was and is known in China as Hailanpao (海兰泡).

Founded in 1856 as a military outpost, Blagoveshchensk received its current name two years later after the parish church of Annunciation (Blagoveshchenie in Russian). The city's growth was fuelled by a gold rush early in the 20th century and by its position on the Chinese border, less than a kilometre across from the city of Heihe.

In the course of the Boxer Rebellion Chinese insurgents shelled the city in July, 1900. According to the Orthodox tradition, the city was saved by a miraculous icon of Our Lady of Alabazin, which was prayed to continuously during the shelling which lasted almost two weeks. In those days, the police aided by Cossacks, decided to drive the entire ethnic Chinese community, from the Russian bank of the Amur river over to the Chinese side. Civilians were driven into the river at gunpoint and many of them drowned. In total about 3000 people died.

During the Cultural revolution the city was subject to the Maoist propaganda blasted from loudspeakers across the river 24 hours a day. Today the two cities form a free-trade zone and it is mainly the cross-border trade that keeps Blagoveshchensk alive.de:Blagoweschtschensk eo:Blagoveŝĉensk nl:Blagovesjtsjensk ja:ブラゴヴェシチェンスク ru:Благовещенск (Амурская область)

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