Barnaul is one of the first cities founded in Siberia the Russian Empire began to settle about five centuries ago. The city is a gateway to the natural wonders of the Altai directly to its south, an area of mountain gorges, snaking rivers and breathtaking waterfalls.
The city situated 3,400 kilometers east from Moscow is located on a high bank of the river Ob. It owes its fortune to pioneers who came to exploit the natural resource. In 1730 the wealthy Demidov family founded the city of Barnaul, picking the area for its proximity to the mineral-rich Altai Mountains and a major river. In addition to the copper which had originally attracted the Demidovs, substantial deposits of silver were soon found in the area. Within a couple of decades, the Demidovs' factories were taken over by the Crown, soon becoming Russia’s key silver center.
The legendary Gorno-Altai region is a beautiful area filed with mountains, streams, gorges, natural springs and lakes. The Barnaul summer is one of the warmest of any Siberian city – thanks to the microclimate created by the nearby mountains.