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From Port-Petrovska to Makhachkala: formation of the city

 © 2007 of M.N. Emirov, S.G. Kamyshov


Formation of the city of Makhachkala began in the second half of the 19th century during rapid industrial development of the region and promoted its transformation not only into the economic, scientific, but also political center of Dagestan. The successful geographical location, a texture of means of communication and some other factors created favorable prerequisites for growth of economic and cultural level of the city.

In 1844 on the place of present Makhachkala the military strengthening called Petrovsky in honor of stay in these places of Peter I (Persian campaign of 1722) was put.

In April, 1852 at a Petrovsky fortress the lighthouse built in connection with development of navigation on the Caspian Sea began to work. In two years the project of construction of port, the made engineer captain was approved by Falkengagen to whom charged his construction.

Cars for construction of port were bought in England in 1860, and works began in January, 1861 with the device of the southern pier, and were completed in six and a half years. On August 30, 1869 the construction of a northern pier and the harbor was finished. Construction and the equipment of port cost one and a half million rubles.

On October 24, 1857 the settlement formed at a fortress was officially brought to the level of the city and the Port-Petrovsky is called [1, page 3].

Construction of port contributed not only to the development of Petrovsk, but also involvement of Dagestan in the common market of the country. However the lack of the railroad sharply affected goods turnover of port and constrained entry of products of agriculture of area into the broad market and also development of its natural wealth.

A push to further development of economy of Dagestan and first of all Petrovsk was construction of the railroad Rostov-Baku. In 1892, works on continuation of the Vladikavkaz railroad to Grozny - Petrovsk - Derbent and Baku were begun. Passenger traffic on the site of the railroad from the Sulak River to Petrovsk officially began on May 17, 1894. The same year society of the Vladikavkaz railroad open depot of the station Petrovsk for repair of engines and cars.

The first passenger train from Petrovsk arrived in Derbent on October 25, 1899, and the constant movement on this site was established since April 1, 1900 [2].

With construction of the railroad Pat-rovska value as transport hub considerably increased. Within the country goods from Petrovsky port went generally to Central Asia and the Areas of Volga region. In turn from Central Asia imported cotton, industrial raw materials and dried fruit here.

With closing of navigation on Volga the activity of port reached a maximum as cargoes from Central Asia went to Russia mainly through Pat-rovsk.

Due to the transportation of a large number of oil cargoes in Petrovsk there were a railway commercial agency and oil warehouses and also several offices and the agencies of various oil societies. Rapid growth of goods turnover of the railway and sea transport and also the general development of Petrovsk were contributed by development of fishing industry in Dagestan. In 1892 the large Astrakhan fishery manager Vorobyov constructed slightly to the north of Petrovsk several fisheries. In October, 1901 in the city the telephone exchange on 41 subscribers was open, at a payment of 75 rub a year "at the state device" [3].

Contrary to the colonizer policy of a tsarism constraining economic and cultural development of the national outskirts of Russia, Petrovsk though slowly, but nevertheless grew and gradually from a remote place turned into the city. By 1917 there were already a seaport, the railway junction, Tagiye-va cotton-mill, the cooper's plants of Naumkin, tobacco factory and Mikhaylov's printing house, factory of steel ropes Percy Clark, the fridge and the cooper's plant Tagiye-va, the gvozdilny plant of Petrosov, a salt warehouse of RSA-pova, Veynera brewery, oil refinery of Akhverdov, the agency of transport companies "Caucasus and Mercury", Russia and "Plane", 4 plants of soft drinks, etc. [4, page 156].

Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century Petrovsk became the industrial center of Dagestan. Products, the semi-handicraft nature of production, its total amount and the number of the workers occupied in it were still insignificant. But at the same time political life of the city became more active.

In 1917. The port-Petrovsk along with Temir-Khan-Shura and Derbent became the center of revolutionary movement in Dagestan. There were the first Bolshevist organization and the Dagestan's first Council of working and soldier's deputies. From here the Soviet power on all area extended. Despite cruel repressions, the strike movement of portpetrovsky workers which began in days of revolution of 1905 - 1907 did not stop up to 1917. Working class the Port-Petrovska passed severe school of revolutionary fight. In it dozens of talented revolutionaries - Ulluby Buynaksk, Fistfight Dakhadayev Mukhtadir Aydinbekov, KA - zi - Magomed Agasiyev, Oscar Leshchinsky, Garun Sai-dov, Vladimir Lyakhov, Ivan Kotrov grew and became tempered; Soltan-Said Kaz-bekov and many others [1, page 29].

The Port-Petrovsk was renamed by the resolution of the Dagestan Revolutionary Committee of November 14, 1921 in memory of the outstanding fighter for the Soviet power in Dagestan of Fistfight of Dakha-dayev into Makhachkala, a number of the central streets is called by names U. Buynaksk, N. Ermoshkina, I. Kotrova, I. Malygina, Markova, etc.

History and economy of Makhachkala are closely connected with development of all republic and Russia in general.

In pre-revolutionary Russia and furthermore in Dagestan the construction industry as the independent industry did not exist. Small, semi-handicraft type of the enterprise and small houses in the cities of Dagestan were under construction seasonal workers, artels or private contractors.

From first years of the Soviet power the situation changed. In the 90th of the 19th century the laying of the irrigation canal from Sulak to Petrovsk was conceived. In 1921 when the ruin reigned, thousands of hungry, half-naked mountaineers and residents of Makhachkala came for the republic's first national building and in record-breaking short time built the 70-kilometer irrigation canal Sulak - Makhachkala, called by the name of the October revolution (BOX). M.I. Kalinin and K.E. Voroshilov who visited construction of the channel called come true by miracle. For this outstanding labor feat the Dagestan ASSR in February, 1923 was awarded the order just founded the Labour Red Banner. The same year the award of the Labour Red Banner for heroic work was handed also to staff of leading enterprise of the city - factories of the III International.

At the same time the municipal economy still remained at exclusively low level. In it there was still no adjusted water supply system, the sewerage, lighting, city transport, but the railroad ran here, the seaport worked, about 10 semi-handicraft manufacturing enterprises worked.

At the end of March, 1920 at retreat from Port-Petrovska the denikinets decided to destroy completely the port, the railway station and the part of the city adjoining to them. The station filled to the full with echelons with various cargoes among which there was also a structure with explosive was for this purpose set on fire. Thanks to dedication of the driver Magomed Hutinayev and his companions who managed to remove in time this structure out of borders of the station, the terrible threat which hung over the city was prevented. For dedicated actions M. Hutinayev was awarded the order the Battle Red Flag [5].

The power economy of Dagestan before the October revolution consisted of 14 small power plants with a general power of 1100 kW. Electricity consumption per capita was about 5.6 kWh a year. Power of the power plant Port - Pat-roveka was defined in only 60 kW. However even this primitive power economy fell in 1920 into full decay. V.I. Lenin's ideas about electrification of the country found the fertile field for

practical realization in Dagestan. Works on restoration and further expansion of power economy began from the very first days establishments of the Soviet power here. By 1924 the power of the power plants of Makhachkala, Derbent, Kizlyar, Khasavyurt reached 460 kW, and in 1927 surpassed the level of 1913 by 1.8 times and in electricity generation - by 1.2 times [1, page 162].

Progress in development of the industry and all other economy of the city became possible only thanks to creation in Makhachkala of the construction industry and the construction organizations.

Building of Makhachkala by large capital buildings began approximately since 1928. In five years were built the building of present agricultural institute on Andzhiark's ridge (originally this building intended under the House of Soviets), the building of the Ministry of Trade on Buynakskogo Street, a superstructure over shops on the same street (the building occupied by the association "Dagvino"), mail at V.I. Lenin Square and some other.

In 1932 - 1940 were constructed: on Buynakskogo Street - a 40-apartment house for experts, buildings of Dagestan hotel, the State Bank, etc.; on Lenin Street - Stroybank building, Republican library of A.S. Pushkin, houses of oil industry workers and sheep-breeding trust; on Markov Street - buildings of the Supreme Council, the Supreme Court, road technical school, Pedagogical Institute, the Ministry of Agriculture; at V.I. Lenin Square - the building of medical institute and two houses; on Oskar Street - three houses; on 26 Baku Komissarov Street - the frontier school building (nowadays pedagogical university), etc.

In the first decades of the 20th century Makhachkala from the backward provincial town turned into the large modern city. But all these years speed of construction of industrial, residential, public and municipal buildings and constructions in Makhachkala considerably lagged behind rapid development of the city and needs of the population.


1. A.N. Kazhlayev. Emergence and economic development of Makhachkala. Makhachkala, 1967.
2. N.A. Asvarov. The history of construction of the Dagestan site of the Vladikavkaz railroad and its role in economy and social development of Dagestan (the end of XIX - the beginning of the XX century): Yew.... edging. east. sciences. Makhachkala, 1998. Page 6
3. E.I. Kozubsky. Dagestan sb. 1904. Issue 2.
4. Essays of history of Dagestan. T. 2. Makhachkala, 1950.
5. Unprecedented feat//Dagestan truth. 1977. March 27.

Dagestan state pedagogical university On June 14, 2006

Michael Harris
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