Administrative center: Inta
Area: 30,100 km2
Bordering districts: Usinsk, Pechory and Vorkuta Districts of the Komi Republic, Yamalo-Nenets and Nenets Autonomous Areas, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area ― Yugra, Tyumen Region.
Major industries: coal mining, electric power.
Official website of the municipal district: http://www.adminta.ru/
The Inta Urban District is located in the northeast of the Komi Republic and borders on the Usinsk, Pechory and Vorkuta Districts of the Komi Republic, the Yamalo-Nenets and Nenets Autonomous Areas, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area ― Ugra, the Tyumen Region. Founded: March 16, 1944.
The site of the modern Inta Urban District plays an important role in the history of initial settlement in the North. On the border of the Inta Urban District and the Nenets Autonomous Area, archaeologists made a remarkable discovery; they found a stone object resembling an old stone artefact (pebble tool) possibly made 100,000- 120,000 years ago. If further studies confirm this dating, the artefact found by the side of the Adzva River (Kharuta Findspot) will be the oldest evidence of human habitation in the North. In the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic, 10,000-8,000 years ago), people came to the banks of the Usa River between the mouths of Adzva and Kosiyu, where researchers discovered four sites of the era. There are also more recent sites and findspots discovered on the banks of the Yagel, Adzva, Merkush Rivers. Of peculiar interest to scientists is Adak Cave, an ancient sanctuary, where inhabitants used to make sacrifices to the gods for many centuries, from the second half of the 2nd millennium BC up to the 12th century AD. Stone and bone tools, remains of clay vessels, images of animals and birds were discovered in the cave.
These were ancestral lands of the Nenets reindeer herders travelling around the north. The routes of nomads, sacrificial places were located there. One of them was near what today is the settlement of Petrun; the Nenets made sacrifices to the statues of their gods (the Komi called these statues "bolbany"). It was not before the 19th century that the first settlements appeared here. Most of the settlements were founded by the Izhma Komi. As the years passed, the Nenets settled near the Komi.
The locals had horses, cows, sheep, deer, hunted mainly partridges, as well as foxes, hares, ermines, fished, made oil, farmed: cultivated potatoes, turnips, radishes, tried to grow barley, but failed. In the late 19th ― early 20th centuries, Petrun was a kind of trade center for reindeer herders moving around. In the early 20th century, founder of Adzva I. Belyaev was one of the largest merchants in the Usa Basin: he delivered products and goods (flour, cereals, salt, sugar, tea, kerosene) along rivers from Izhma to sell them to residents of Usa villages and reindeer herders; he bought large quantities of deer skins, fish, game and poultry to further sell them.
In the early 20th century, coal was discovered in Inta. The first information was obtained from a resident of Petrun I.Sorvachev, who found coil deposits on the Bolshaya Inta and Neche Rivers. In 1912, P. Mataftin examined these fields. In 1915, a collection of Inta coals was delivered to the Geological Museum of the Academy of Sciences. But during World War I and the Civil War, geological surveys were suspended.
In 1921, the lands of the Inta Urban District became part of the Izhmo-Pechorsky Uyezd (district since 1929) of the Komi Autonomous Region. In 1930, the district was renamed Izhma. In March 1932, the Ust-Usinsk District (with its center in Ust-Usa) including the entire Usa Basin was established. The village of Rudnik B. Inta was also founded in 1932.
In February 1935, the Ust-Usinsk District was abolished, including the entire territory of the Izhma District, but soon returned to its former state. On March 11, 1941, the Kozhva District was established outside the Ust-Usinsk District, which included the territory of the future Inta District. Over the past two decades, this region has completely changed. The reason for this was Inta and Vorkuta coal deposits with a railway running along the Inta District.
On March 16, 1944, after drawing up repeated petitions, it was decided to establish the Inta District, which was located along the railway built. Inta was granted the status of the worker’s settlement. On October 4, 1954, Inta became the town under republican subordination.
Water Tower, the historical symbol of Inta
The most unique building on Polyarnaya Street is the Water Tower. In the 1980s, it was included in the logo of Inta. It was much admired for its beauty and peculiar design. The tapered round base with long loopholes has fan-shaped half-columns, with oval windows placed symmetrically in between. The upper level of the Tower has brick merlons, crowned with an openwork metal spire with open petals resembling a lotus. A red star growing from the flower. And all this is made of plain brick and metal.
Designed in 1953-1954, the Tower was destined to be an architectural jewel of the city center. The construction site was dictated by the location of the water well for the city's water supply. The high-rise building (more than 50 m tall) stands down Polyarnaya Street.
The construction completion was timed to coincide with the 37th October Revolution Anniversary. The building was designed by Artur Tamvelius, a political prisoner, with contributions from the architect I. Khomenko and P. Vasyuta, director of construction.
It was built by prisoners of Inta camps. After the construction was completed, A. Tamvelius proposed to put an envelope with a message for future generations in a cylindrical time capsule at the base of the spire needle. In 1957, during the reconstruction of the spire (a star was installed at the top of the spire), B. Kholostov, General Foreman, took the envelope .In 1991, the time capsule was transferred to the Inta Local History Museum. In addition to the message for future generations, the capsule contained several photographs of the construction period and the key plan of the central village of Inta. The building was used until the late 1990s.
The Water Tower is the historical symbol of Inta.
In 2014, on the day of the 60th anniversary of Inta, the Museum of the History of Political Repressions was opened in the Tower.
Dzimtenei Monument (To the Homeland)
Dzimtenei (To the Homeland), the first monument to Gulag prisoners in the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and the USSR, was erected in July 1956, when the Gulag system was still operating. It was built by Latvian political prisoners before they returned home in memory of all Latvians deported to Intu.
The monument to fallen compatriots was erected at the former camp prison cemetery at camp site No. 2 of the Minlag (Tsentralnaya Street, Vostochny Residential Area, Komi Republic, Russia).
The monument depicts the distant Motherland and grief for those who will never see it again. The sculptor Edward Sidrabs, who was then still in prison. The coordinator is a former prisoner Adolf Puntulis sent to Inta for “eternal settlement”. Unveiled on July 29, 1956, the monument was consecrated by a Latvian priest, a prisoner of the Inta camp, with about 200 people present. The Latvian national anthem was played at the opening. In the same year, Lithuanians and Estonians failed in their attempts to erect a monument to fallen compatriots due to the decision made by state security officials. In 1989, the monument was reconstructed. In August 2012, it was partially renovated, with the inscription restored.
The concrete-cast monument consists of 7 parts. A short concrete pedestal is inscribed in metal letters: “DZIMTENEI”. The pedestal has a monumental stele, which is more than 2.5 meters high, with a life-size bas-relief of a woman wearing the national Latvian costume on its front side. This is a symbol of the Motherland. She holds an oak branch in her right hand, a symbol of the firmness and memory of all buried here, and a ball of yarn in her left hand, a symbol of an uninterrupted connection with the homeland. A funeral urn and eternal flame are the symbols of sorrow and eternal memory. Three vertical eight-pointed stars above the urn are a sign of awakening from darkness, hope for a better future.
Gulag Women Monument
The monument is a monolithic concrete pedestal with a pylon made of polished quartzite sandstone towering in the middle. The front of the pylon is inscribed “To unknown and countless women ― victims of Stalin’s terror. Your names are immortal.”
“Khorol Zinaida Osipovna. 1908-1954. In the memory of the dear mother, who was brutally murdered by the Gulag.” is inscribed on the towering rectangular stele. It is located at the junction of roads to Verkhnyaya Inta station and the settlement of Yuzhny.
In the spring of 1990, Iosif Khorol (1929-2010) came to Intu from Israel. In 1951, he, an Odessa University student, was sentenced to 25 years in labor camps as a member of a Jewish nationalist youth group. He served his sentence in Vorkuta.
His mother, Zinaida Khorol, tried to help her son, but was arrested in 1952. She was convicted of anti-revolutionary agitation and banditry and was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 5 years of deprivation of civil rights. Zinaida served her sentence in the Inta Minlag. She survived only a year in the Gulag. She managed to send only one letter to her son in Vorkuta before she died. Iosif Khorol learned from the letter that his mother was in camp site No. 5 in Inta.
Zinaida did not receive his response. Iosif Khorol received a reference from the archive reading: “Zinaida Khorol died in Inta on February 18, 1954. Buried in the cemetery of the central hospital. ”
In 1990, he came to Inta to try to find his mother’s grave and erect a monument. But it was impossible to find where exactly Zinaida Khorol was buried.Today the burial place of camp site No. 5, where the central hospital used to be in the 1950s, is in the forest. Grave posts with numbers are long rotten, only grave mounds remained. The access roads to the cemetery are worn-down. There is scrap metal and waste from the poultry farm damped there. The cemetery was located near the camp. The place where the residential area of camp site No. 5 used to be is clearly visible from the roadway.
Iosif Khorol was authorized by the city architecture department to install a memorial in memory of his mother there, on a flood-free road section. The Mramor (Marble) local cooperative brought quartzite-sandstone from the Subpolar Urals at his expense. The stone was polished and inscribed.
“I want it to be a monument not only to my mother, but to all the women who died in Inta camps.”
The monument was erected on September 2, 1990. The monument is located a kilometer away from the Minlag camp cemetery. Representatives of Inta and Lvov Memorial Associations attended the official opening.
Rūpintojėlis Memorial (Rūpintojėlis ― Pensive Christ)
The eastern cemetery of the Inta camp appeared in the mid-1940s at camp site No. 2, 1.5 km away from the camp. Prisoners were buried in individual graves, with numbered posts installed. From the second half of the 1950s to the mid-1960s, it was a city cemetery for the residents of Inta including exiles, with dead miners buried here in mass graves. This cemetery houses one of the most valuable historical monuments.
On August 8, 1990, the Rūpintojėlis Memorial (Mourn Savior) was unveiled in the old cemetery of Vostochny settlement. The project was initiated by the Vilnius Association of Political Exiles, who made an expedition to the burial places of their fellow Lithuanians who fell victims to political repression.
Rūpintojėlis is a popular Lithuanian artistic image. It depicts the figure of a contemplating Jesus, sitting with his head supported by his right hand. Pensive Christ is a symbol of the Christian mindset of the Lithuanian people. This sculpture is usually carved from wood, but there are also stone artefacts found.
On the front of a three-meter concrete stele is a wooden bas-relief of an old man in a mournful posture. According to Lithuanian traditions, Rūpintojėlis symbolizes a prayer for granting peace to the departed and Christian humility to the living. There is an inscription in Lithuanian, Komi and Russian under the bas-relief on the plate:“Ne csižusįems. Тiянлы, кодъяс эз воны бöр. To those who never came back. Lietuva”.
The memorial was consecrated by the former prisoner of the Minlag, priest Kazimieras Vasiliauskas. The sculptor is Jonas Joudisius, the son of Brigadier General I. Joudisius, who died in custody in Abez.
Memorial to those who died in the Great Patriotic War of 1941 ― 1945 ― Glory Memorial “Oath”.
One way or another, the Great Patriotic War affected every family: thousands of mothers never saw their sons again, millions of children were left without fathers, tens of thousands of families lost their loved ones. As the time passes, the war is becoming a thing of the past, but terrible military days cannot be forgotten.
The Komi Republic, like all of Russia, has a fond memory of its defenders who died in the War, ended up in concentration camps, died in hospitals and went missing.More than 560 Inta residents fought in the Great Patriotic War, and 162 of them never came back from the battlefield. They died a hero's death for their homeland. They never came back, but they are remembered.
There are monuments to fallen heroes, monuments to Glory, memorial complexes throughout the Republic, in every city, town and village. Extensive research is underway to bring historical events to light.
Glory Monument “Oath”, a sculptural group (sculptor F. Bondar, architect A. Klein) is located on Komsomolskaya Square..
This is a tribute to the Inta residents who never came back from the front line. The monument was first mentioned in the document "On Perpetuating the Memory of Inta Residents Killed in the Great Patriotic War" (dated February 13, 1970, No. 50).The Executive Committee of the Inta City Council of Workers' Deputies applies to the Council of Ministers of the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to authorize erection of an obelisk in memory of the Inta residents killed in the Great Patriotic War on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, at the expense of the city budget.
It took a few years to design the memorial.The foundation stone at the site of the monument was laid on Komsomolskaya Square in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War on May 9, 1975.
The monument was unveiled on November 6, 1977 to mark the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution. Sculptures of soldiers were also erected in 1977. Eight years later, on the 40th Victory Anniversary on May 9, 1985, memorial stones with the names of the Inta residents killed in the war and mobilized from the Inta District were opened.
Newlyweds traditionally visit the monument on their wedding day. On memorable occasions ― May 9, June 22 ― festive volleys are launched here, young Inta residents are on guard of honor, veterans lay garlands and flowers. People honor the memory of those who fought for our Victory.
Monument to V. Lenin
In Inta, one of the first monuments was the one to the founder of the Soviet state V. Lenin put up behind the Culture Center. It was brought from Leningrad in 1957. This mass-produced monument was designed by sculptor Makhtin and made of bronze. In 1982, the monument was relocated to the square near the city administration building.
Monument to S. Kirov
In 1960, a sculpture of Sergey Kirov was installed on Kirov Street. This is an author's copy of the sculptor Nikolay Tomsky. Kirov is the pseudonym of the revolutionary Bolshevik Kostrikov, Lenin’s ally. The monument to Kirov was set up on the initiative of the city’s leaders in honor of the friendship of Inta and Leningrad, which originated in the years of the Great Patriotic War.
P. Tchaikovsky Monument
A mass-produced white marble bust of Pyotr Tchaikovsky was installed in 1967 in the park by the suspension bridge over the Bolshaya Inta River. The bust’s author is unknown. Once the street that bears the name of Tchaikovsky was named Prigorodnaya. There used to be a music school on the first floor of the five-storey building. The bust of Tchaikovsky, which used to be part of the music school, remained in the park, blending seamlessly into the architecture of the intersecting streets.
Science and Labor Sculpture
The sculpture of three figures was set up in 1967 on a hill at the entrance to the town. The unfinished composition is made of aluminum with a plastered brick pedestal. It symbolizes the growing importance of science and technology in the era of the construction of socialism.
During your visit to Inta, do not miss the famous "Inta terems" on Kirov Street ― buildings No. 12 and 16. You will not find anything like the fanciful “terems” anywhere else in the north of Komi. Carved cornices, window trims, fancy frames of small attic rooms on the third floor, neat balconies. Building No. 12 with traditional patterns of northern wooden architecture and fairytale-style building No. 16 with towers and small attic rooms were designed by architect I. Khomenko.
Faith, Hope, Charity Alley Square
The park behind the central cultural center of Inta plays an important role in the life of the city. Nowadays, the park behind the Cultural center is named Teatralny Square. During memorable days, Inta residents come to the foundation stone “To Pioneer-Coal Prospectors of 1931-1991”.
The cultural center’s team have created a hotspot for loving hearts and newlyweds to breathe a new life into Teatralnaya Square.
This corner of lovers now has stone-block pavement, seats and a heart-shaped bench, a tree of love and an arch of happiness in honor of faith, hope and charity. Initially, the square design was announced in Syktyvkar. It won the contest in the Republic and became one of the four projects that represented the region in Moscow. Inta’s project, however, did not win a grant at the all-Russian stage. The idea was financially supported at the city level. The square was set out in 2012-2013.
Places to visit
Kino kafe Max.
42a Mira Street, Inta.
Tel: +7 (912) 567-57-72
Inta Local History Museum
The Inta Local History Museum was established in 1969. In 1971, it became a branch of the Komi Republican Museum of Local History, with the status of an independent institution officially granted in 1992.
The complex houses several repositories, including a special storehouse, a quarantine room, a storage vault, a scientific archive, a library with a reading room, a lecture hall and a restoration workshop.
The rarest archaeological exhibits are finds dating from the 1st-3rd centuries AD, including bronze pendants, mirror and rings found during expeditions in 2001 and 2003 near Pozhem-ty Lake.
The paleontological collection of paleofauna and paleoflora materials of the Upper Paleozoic, partially Lower Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic is of great interest to visitors.
Museum of the History of Political Repression.
The Museum of the History of Political Repression located in the Water Tower was opened on October 4, 2014, on the 60th anniversary of the city of Inta, the Komi Republic. The museum consists of two tiers. The exhibition of the first tier tells about the construction of Inta and its symbol ― the Water Tower; about the fate of political prisoners ― architects, planners, builders. It presents genuine household items and personal belongings of prisoners ― the first builders of Inta and the Water Tower. Here you can view a complex displaying publications and pictures of the tower as a universally recognized symbol of the city and a model of this engineering structure. An interactive map of the modern town supplements the exhibition.
The second floor offers a fragmented reconstruction of the living environment in a separate camp site: a watchtower, a camp commander’s office, prison barracks. A webcam broadcasts the panorama of this part of the exhibition to the screen on the first floor. The exhibition on the first and second floors includes photographs of streets and buildings of the town of the 1940s-1960s and photographs of the Soviet political leaders and leaders of Inta during the period of political repression.
Address: 28 Kuratov Street, Inta, Komi Republic.
Tel: +7 (821) 456-21-95
Yugyd Va National Park
Covering 18,941.33 km2, Yugyd Va is the largest national park in Russia and Europe.
The park was established on the western slopes of the Northern and Subpolar Urals in 1994. In 1995, the Park was put on the World Heritage List as part of the Virgin Komi Forests (together with the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve).
The national park’s key mission is to preserve the unique natural complexes of the Ural North, as they have a special environmental, historical and aesthetic value, and are intended for use in environmental, educational and scientific purposes and for regulated tourism.
The Vuktyl District is partly located in the Yugyd Va National Park (which is Komi for “clear water”), the first natural site in Russia included in the UNESCO World Heritage List under the umbrella name “Komi Virgin Forests” together with the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve (1995).
Yugyd Va is a land of numerous mountain lakes, unique glaciers (glaciers at such a relatively low altitude cannot be found anywhere else in the world), the highest and the most beautiful peaks of the Urals: Narodnaya, Sablya, Managara, Kolokolnya The Yugyd Va National Park is situated on the western slopes of the Subpolar and Northern Urals, on the territory of three regions of the Komi Republic (Vuktyl, Pechory and Inta).
The Adak area is located in the Adak Nature Reserve and can be translated from the Izhma dialect of the Komi language as "a deep whirlpool between high banks." Adak outcrops has many niches and caves. This is also an interesting historical site. In 1968, archaeologist V. Kanivets discovered a sanctuary of the Mesolithic in the cave. The area boasts an amazing plant life. Although it is part of the extreme north taiga subzone, ordinary northern taiga plants ― wild rose, fescue, golden rod, cloudberries can be found at the foot of the rocks and on gentle slopes beside arctic species, such as alpine bluegrass, glacial sedge, alpine clustered saxifrage, and plants of southern origin, including royal helleborine, spotted lady's slipper and lady's-slipper orchid. The Usa River is a protected area, every year a salmon runs there to breed. Forests are inhabited by bears, squirrels, capercaillie, black grouse, hazel grouse and other animals.
Inta has an airport. Komiaviatrans Airlines offers regular Inta-Syktyvkar flights. The flight takes about 2 hours.
The road network is underdeveloped, there are no roads connecting Inta with other regions of the Komi Republic and Syktyvkar, the capital of Komi.
The main transport means is the railway. You can get to Inta-1 railway station:
from Moscow ― by Moscow – Vorkuta train (travel time ― 42 h)
from St. Petersburg ― by St. Petersburg ― Vorkuta train (travel time ― 43 h)
from Syktyvkar ― by Syktyvkar ― Vorkuta train (travel time ― 19 h 26 min)