For the villages in Azerbaijan, see Sarov, Azerbaijan and Bəyimsarov.
Sarov (English)
Саров (Russian)
-  Town[citation needed]  -
Map of Russia - Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in Russia
Sarov is located in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
Coordinates: 54°56′N 43°19′E / 54.933°N 43.317°E / 54.933; 43.317Coordinates: 54°56′N 43°19′E / 54.933°N 43.317°E / 54.933; 43.317
Coat of Arms of Sarov (Nizhny Novgorod oblast).png
Coat of arms
Administrative status
Country Russia
Federal subject Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
Municipal status
Urban okrug Sarov Urban Okrug[citation needed]
Representative body Sarov City Duma[citation needed]
Area 232 km2 (90 sq mi)[citation needed]
Population (2010 Census,
92,073 inhabitants[1]
Rank in 2010 185th
Population (2002 Census) 87,652 inhabitants[2]
Rank in 2002 187th
Density 397 /km2 (1,030 /sq mi)[3]
Time zone MSD (UTC+04:00)[4]
Founded 1939[citation needed]
Previous names Arzamas-16 (until 1991),[citation needed]
Kremlyov (until 1995)[citation needed]
Postal code(s) 607188[citation needed]
Dialing code(s) +7 83130[5]
Official website

Sarov (Russian: Саро́в) is a closed town in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia. Until 1995 it was known as Kremlyov (Кремлёв).,[6] while from 1946 to 1991 it was called Arzamas-16 (Арзама́с-16). The town is off limits to foreigners as it is the Russian center for nuclear research. Population: 92,073 (2010 Census preliminary results);[1] 87,652 (2002 Census).[2]



Sarov Monastery in 1910

The history of the town can be divided into two different periods. In the earlier history of Russia it was known as one of the holy places of the Russian Orthodox Church, because of its monastery, that gave Russia one of its greatest saints, St. Seraphim. Since the 1940s it has gradually become the center for research and production of Soviet and later Russian nuclear weapons.

The history of human settlement in the area around Sarov goes back at least to the 12th–13th centuries, when a large Mordovian settlement was founded on its spot. In 1298, the town was taken over by Tatars.

The modern town took its name from being the site of the Sarova monastery next to the Sarovka River. In 1664, an Orthodox monk Theodosius first settled on the Sarov hill. The first Church of Sarov tenement was founded in 1706. Saint Seraphim was living in Sarov from 1778 to 1833. In 1903, the monastery was visited by the Tsar Nicholas II and other members of the royal family. At that time the monastery had nine churches, including one underground. Around 320 monks lived in the monastery.

In 1923, the monastery was closed, the monks faced Bolshevik repressions, and many were executed. During WWII, the monastery buildings were used as factories for producing rockets for BM-13 "Katyusha" rocket launchers.

In 1946, the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics—a nuclear weapons design facility that would become known in the West under the acronym VNIIEF—was built. The town, initially called Arzamas-75, later renamed into Arzamas-16, was removed from all unclassified maps. In 1954, Arzamas-16 was given a town status.

Model of the "Tsar Bomba" in the Sarov atomic bomb museum

Much of the town was built by German prisoners of war and its architecture has a definite German/European flavor. The town is home to the Russian Federation Nuclear Center and "Atomic Bomb" museum which has a number of casings of Soviet-era nuclear weapons and photographs of those involved in their production. The main access is by train, which, after a security stop and inspection, is allowed into the town to disembark passengers. A small airport on the facility is generally for government aircraft only, and visitors usually fly to Nizhny Novgorod airport and then drive.

The town is surrounded by fences patrolled by the military. Foreigners, and even Russians who do not live in Sarov, are not allowed to enter the town without permission. Foreigners who visit on business must surrender their passports, phones, and cameras to security while they are in the facility, though some documentary filmmakers have shot footage inside the town walls.

The location of the closed town is difficult to find on the maps. This is because a large portion of it is located on the grounds of the P.G.S. State Park in adjacent Temnikovsky District of the Republic of Mordovia.

In 1993, the town became a sister city to Los Alamos, New Mexico, the home of the U.S. nuclear weapons design laboratory (Los Alamos National Laboratory, or LANL). Scientists from LANL and VNIIEF have cooperated on various arms control and nuclear safeguards programs, under which the Los Alamos scientists learned, to their amusement, that their Russian colleagues paid homage to their American rivals by irreverently calling their own laboratory "Los Arzamas."[citation needed]

Boris Yeltsin changed the town's name back to Sarov at the request of the residents in August 1995.

Today the Russian Federal nuclear center is responsible for important decisions concerning the development, production, storage, and utilisation of nuclear weapons; the recycling of radioactive and other materials; and research in fundamental and applied physics.

International relations

Twin towns/sister cities

Sarov is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ a b Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2011). "Предварительные итоги Всероссийской переписи населения 2010 года (Preliminary results of the 2010 All-Russian Population Census)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2010). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  2. ^ a b Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  3. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
  4. ^ Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication).
  5. ^ Sarov (Russian)
  6. ^ Государственная Дума Российской Федерации. Федеральный Закон №145-ФЗ от 14.08.1995 «О переименовании города Кремлёв Нижегородской области в город Саров». (State Duma of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #145-FZ of August 14, 1995 On Changing the Name of the Town of Kremlyov of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast to the Town of Sarov. ).

External links

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