The area of Stavropol and its surroundings has become inhabited since ancient times. More than 20 sites of ancient towns and settlements from the epoch of Eneolithic (lat. aeneus) till the Middle Ages found by archaeologists prove it. The oldest site was discovered on the left bank of the river Tashla at the northern foot of the Fortress Hill.
The Tatar site of ancient town which is situated in the outskirts of Stavropol in considered to be the largest one in the Pre-Caucasian territory. It used to be the centre of our region, its ancient capital, a big Medieval city. With the arrival of the Polovts the settled way of life was broken off.
The Kalmyks and the Nogaits roamed from place to place there before the Pre-Caucasian territory was joined to Russia.
The modern history of Stavropol started in 1777 when a fortress within the Azov-Mozdok defensive line was founded. Soon the settlement became a town which was very important as the main “Gates” of Russia at the Caucasus. The development of the town promoted successful opening up of the vast uninhabited territories at the southern borders of Russia, economical cultural rise of the local peoples.
In 1556 the Russian army captured Astrakhan and opened the way to the North Caucasus, to the Caspian sea.
The interests of Turkey, Iran and Crimea Khanate met in the Pre-Caucasian territory. Russia has always been interested in the fate of the Caucasian peoples, stood guard over its southern borders, has felt concerned about the outlet to the Black and the Caspian Seas. England and France supported Turkey and Iran. The people of the Caucasus set their hopes on Russia.
The Russian-Turkish war broke out in 1768. It was over in 1774 and the Kuchuk-Kainardzhiyskiy peace treaty was signed According to this treaty a new border was established from the mouth of the river Terek till Mozdok and farther to the North-West till the fortress of St. Dmitry (now Rostov-upon-Don) and Azov. And here appeared the necessity to build a number of strong holds along the southern border of Russia.
Implementation of this task was put on duke Potyemkin who ordered war specialists to make maps and describe the frontier. As a result of this work the duke submitted Empress Catherine the Great a report on erection of 10 military installations from Azov to Mozdok.
The report was approved and on the 24-th of April 1777 an order was issued about building Azov-Mozdok defensive line.
Cossacks from the Volga and the Don regions moved to the Caucasus to build strong holds and to serve in garrisons. Regular military units protected the construction: Vladimirskiy dragoon regiment and Kabardinskiy infantry regiment, 2 chasseur battalions and several Cossack regiments from the Don region. All these regiments formed the Astrakhan corps. General-major, Governor of Astrakhan Yakobi became the commander of the corps and the manager of the Azov-Mozdok defensive line construction.
On the 22-nd of October 1777 fortress №8 was founded on the right flank of the defensive line to protect the Russian settlements from the hostile Highlanders instigated by Turkey.
The building of the fortress was finished in 1778.
It was a five-cornered strong hold fortified with artillery, the area of it was 10 hectares.
In 1779 the fortress was attacked by the Highlanders. The attack was repulsed, the fortress didn’t suffer.
In 1809-1811 the earthen constructions were replaced by stone defensive barracks.
At the same time to the east of the fortress there appeared the Stavropol stanitsa (a large Cossack village) of the Khoperskiy Cossack regiment with its staff. In the centre of this stanitsa there was a square which is occupied by the city market nowadays.
A bit later the retired soldiers began to settle down near the Stavropol fortress. They were supplied with weapon, oxen and horses. Thus the Soldier’s settlement appeared and in 1782 494 retired soldiers lived there.
Creating the Azov-Mozdok defensive line at the period of strained relations with Turkey the tsarist government aimed to reinforce the borders and to keep peaceful relations with the Circassians who lived behind the Kuban River and other Caucasian peoples. The military authorities of the Caucasus tried to establish economic relations with them, to promote the exchange and selling of goods, especially in the towns of Ekaterinograd, Georgievsk, Stavropol.
Thus, nearly 6 years passed since the foundation of the fortress and Stavropol became one of the centres of economic relations with Caucasian peoples, the centre of transit trade, the main gates of Russia at the Caucasus. The Great Cherkaskiy Highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg passes through the town, the Great Salskiy Road leading to the Volga River, high roads to Rostov and Ekaterinodar were also built.
In 1809 Emperor Alexander I invited 50 Armenian families to settle down on the territory between the fortress and the stanitsa. They were supposed to promote trade.
In 1816 General A.P. Ermolov, Commander-in-Chief at the Caucasus, visited Stavropol. The town becomes the centre of military maintenance and management. In 1819 the commissariat was accommodated in the fortress which was occupied with supplies of the Caucasus corps.
The administrative and economic importance of Stavropol increases and beginning with middle of the 19 century Stavropol plays a great role in the cultural life of the Caucasus.
In 1816 the first printing-works appeared in Stavropol.
After the defeat of the Decembrists uprising a lot of is participants people of great culture and morals were exiled there. A.A. Bestuzhev-Marlinskiy, A.I. Odoevskiy, A.E. Rozen, M.A. Nazimov, H.I. Lorer, V.N. Likharev and others visited Stavropol. The Great Russian poet. M. Lermontov visited Stavropol several times there he met Doctor N.V. Mayer who became a prototype of doctor Verner in the novel “The Hero of Times”.
On the 18 of October 1837 the Government established the Caucasus classic men’s school.
In 1845 the first in the Caucasus Russian theatre was founded in Stavropol. At the end of 1849 the first women’s secondary educational institution was set up there.
In 1850 the first local news paper was published. In 1851 Armenian school began to work. On the 29-th of December 1852 the first public library was opened. Many great people of Russia visited Stavropol. The Commander of the Kuban corps A.V. Suvorov, writers A.S. Griboyedov, A.S. Pushkin, L.N. Tolstoy, General N.N. Rayevskiy, a composer A.A. Alyabiev, a great Russian surgeon N.I. Pirogov, Osetian poet and enlightener K. Khetagurov were among them. In 1894 the great Russian singer F.I. Shalyapin gave a concert in Stavropol.
When the Kuban and Terskaya Cossak provinces were established and the war at the Caucasus was over the political military and economic importance of Stavropol was greatly reduced. This tendency was aggravated by the building of the Rostov-Vladikavkaz railway. And Stavropol which used to stand on the main mail highway of the Caucasus, appeared to be far from the main line.
However Stavropol remained one of the centres of grain trade. In 1897 it was connected with the Kavkazskaya railway station .
Stavropol used to have telegraph communication with Moscow, which was of great importance. Stavropol was a link point in communicating with Teheran, London, Bombay. In 1897 the town telephone network began to develop.
At the beginning of the XX century there were 27 Orthodox parishes, a Polish Roman-Catholic church, a synagogue, a Protestant church and a mosque. In 1920-1930 a lot of churches were closed, but for the Uspenskaya Church, built in 1849.
Stavropol was involved in the events of the Russian revolutions at the beginning of the XX century. The Soviet power was established in the Stavropol Province on the 1-st of January 1918 and on the 5 of July 1918 the Stavropol Province was included into the North Caucasus Republic.
On the 21-st of July 1918 Stavropol was occupied by General Denikin and on the 28-th of the October 1917 it was recaptured by the Taman army. But on the 15-th of November the situation changed and the town was captured again by the army of Denikin, which held the power until 1920.
In 1925 interurban bus service began to develop and the first interurban bus service began to develop and the first interurban line connected Stavropol and Krasnodar, another one connected Stavropol and Pyatigorsk in 1928.
In 1935 the 15-th anniversary since liberation of Stavropol from the White Guards Army was marked and in honour of this event on the 5-th of May 1935 Stavropol got the name of Voroshilovsk.
In 1937 the first taxi-cars appeared on the roads of the town.
In 1938 the urban and interurban telephone exchanges began to work.
According to the general census of the population in 1939 there were 85000 citizens in the town.
World War II (1941-1945) brought a lot of severe trials to the inhabitants of the town. On the 3-rd of August 1942 the town was captured by the fascists and was occupied till 1943.
In 1943 the town got its former name of Stavropol and became the centre of the Stavropol Territory.
During the post-war period Stavropol was rebuilt and began to develop its industry. Several natural gas deposits were found in the surroundings of Stavropol. But only in 1946 the first industrial gas deposit was found near Sengeleevskoe Lake.
In the middle of the 50-th the building of the urban gas – main was completed and at the end of the 50-th the problem of the town gasification was solved.
In 1951 Stavropol got first prize among the cities of the Russian Federation for the organization of public services and amenities and for the planting of greenery. The central park of the city several times won the title of “The best park of Russia”.
There are 3 administrative districts in the city nowadays: the Industrial district, the Lenin district and the October district.
More than 60% of the Stavropol Territory’s industry consists of mechanical engineering, metal-working, chemistry, electric power engineering and oil and gas.
One of the biggest branches of industry is the food and processing industry.
For many ears agriculture has been the main branch of the Stavropol Territory’s economy. Within the Russian Federation the Stavropol Territory is the 4-th biggest supplier of agricultural products.
The Stavropol Territory is famous for medical mineral springs. This area houses a world famous recreational complex which is called Kavkazskie Mineralny Waters.
In 1993 by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation the Head of the city administration was appointed.
In 1994 the first elections of the deputies to the city Duma were held and in 1996 the elections of the second convocation took place as well as the first democratic elections of the Head of the city administration.
In September of 2000 a Stone Cross was erected on the Fortified Hill “Krepostnaya Gora” to commemorate the foundation of the city and in honour of the third millennium.
The active cooperation between the sister-cities (the city of Pazardgik and Stavropol) was resumed. The plan of cooperation for the period of 2001-2002 was signed at the Fortified Hill.
In 2002 Stavropol marked its 225-yh anniversary. A new square with a monument of angel the Savior was built in honour of this important event.