The Complex of the Voskresensky Copper Smeltery

Russian Federation
Date of Submission: 07/02/2023
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Category:
Submitted by:
Delegation Permanente de la Fédération de Russie auprès de l'UNESCO
State, Province or Region:
Republic of Bashkortostan, Meleuzovsky district, Voskresenskoye village
Coordinates: 53°7’35’’N 56°8’17’’E
Ref.: 6648

Description

Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant is located in the Meleuzovsky district of the Republic of Bashkortostan of the Russian Federation. The complex was built in the 1740s and consist of 12 objects.

It is located 210 kilometers away from the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan – Ufa city and 1 540 kilometers away from Moscow, 35 km from R-240 Ufa – Orenburg Highway.

Complex is located within an eponymous village of Voskresenskoye formed due to the construction of the plant. It is surrounded by picturesque landscapes of the foothills of the Southern Urals with a favorable environmental condition due to the proximity of specially protected natural areas and the absence of large industrial facilities. Natural sites, rich cultural traditions, unique historical monuments, and museums contribute to great interest from tourists throughout the year.

The Complex of Voskresensky plant has the most preserved appearance of the most objects. They have high scientific and historic-architecture value. The Complex provides the best opportunities for museumification and demonstration of copper smelting technologies of the 18th–19th centuries.

In addition to the complex, in the vicinity there are one of the best rural archive libraries throughout the Russian Federation and a unique art gallery (now a branch of the Bashkir State Art Museum named after M.V. Nesterov). It opened in 1971 in the mansion of surgeon Ergard Ivanovich Korleis, that was built in the second half of the 19th century.

Active local population and the representatives of the culture of Bashkortostan carry out activities to promote the Complex of the plant. Artists and performers became guides in the world of the architecture of the unique plant, offer to watch the texture of the brickwork and the line of the chimney, show the scenes from the live of the village.

Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant, located in the Meleuzovsky district of the Republic of Bashkortostan near the Tor River, is a unique object of industrial architecture of the Southern Ural of the mid-18th – early 19th centuries. The Voskresensky factory complex is the best preserved and most complete example of a copper smelting plant.

The complex was built in 1745 and became the first and one of the largest metallurgical plants in the Southern Ural. It featured the highest performance, ranked in the top five of the similar plants. The products of the plant were used throughout the Russian Federation as well as abroad. Its construction became the starting point in the mining development of the Bashkir lands. Based on the positive experience of the Voskresensky copper smelter the Senate and Collegium of Mining gave permissions to build private mining plants in Orenburg province. They also granted the right to purchase the Bashkir lands for everlasting possession or quit rental usage for a fixed period.

Voskresensky Plant was the first metallurgical plant in the Southern Ural and the first private factory in the Orenburg region, which at that time included the territory of modern Bashkortostan. Also, it was the first of 11 plants (6 copper-smelting, 5 iron-smelting and iron-making), founded in less than 20 years in the south and center of present-day Bashkortostan by the Tverdyshevs mining company (brothers Ivan Borisovich and Yakov Borisovich Tverdyshev, and Ivan Semenovich Myasnikov). The area of all factory lands of the company at the end of XVIII century was almost 12 500 square kilometers. The Tverdyshevs – Myasnikov company ranked first in Russia among private industrialists in terms of the amount of smelted copper (23% of the total Russian). The products were in demand both in the Russian Empire and beyond its borders. Since 1756 copper from the Tverdyshevs – Myasnikov mining company was sent for coinage at the Yekaterinburg mint.

Out of 500 mining factories in Russia the Voskresensky Smelter Plant was one of the biggest in the Ural, it had 7 melting furnaces, 3 fining and reverberatory hearth, 2 stretching hammers.

The plant and the village were well fortified. In 1769 German scientist Peter Simon Pallas wrote about Voskresensky factory: "The factory building, in which there are a few hundred houses and the church, is surrounded, as well as all the factories in that side, by a wooden fortress of logs lying in the manner of an irregular polygon with towers and batteries", on which the cannons were set. The Chief Mining Director of the Ural plants, Anikita Sergeevich Yartsov, noted the presence at the Voskresensky factory of two very large for the XVIII-XIX centuries, dams 540 and 277 sazhens (old Russian measure of distance) long (1 150 and 590 meters), fragments of these structures survived to this day.

During the Peasants' War of 1773-1775 led by Yemelyan Pugachev, the factory was seized. Here they founded guns for the rebellion. In 1774th the rebels burned down the factory, it was restored from the ruins only in 1777.

After the death of the founders, in 1783 the Voskresensky plant has been signed over to the daughter of Ivan Semenovich Myasnikov - Darya Ivanovna Pashkova by inheritance, and until 1903 the plant belonged to a noble family of the Pashkovs. With the funds received from this factory, the Pashkovs built a number of famous buildings in Moscow, including the "Pashkov House". In 1870-1891 the plant was sold to the British company "Progden, Lubbock & Co" (the Russia Copper Company, Limited, the main part of which belonged to members of English Parliament Alexander Brogden and John Lancaster), which carried out its substantial modernization. They brought wet copper-extracting process to the plant, paved the rail tracks for haulage, reconstructed shaft furnaces into conical ones. According to mining officials, two of company’s plants (Voskresensky and Preobrazhensky) produced more than 40% of all southern-urals copper. And the Voskresensky plant held the lead among the copper smelting plants of Orenburg and Ufa province.

Mr. Lancaster soon resold his share of ownership to British residents Beaumont William Lubbock and Frederick E. Blackett Beaumont. The established company of three owners of two southern-rural plants received the name “The Russia Copper Company, Limited”.

“The main goal for the purchase of the Voskresensky ... plant was to develop the production of Russian copper with modern technical improvement of production and, not sparing the cost of capital and labor, expand this industry in the local region in the form of mutual benefit, both to the interests of the company and the population of the region”, explained the intentions of the Russian Copper Company, its British manager Thomas Rickard in 1873.

The plant operated until 1902. For 150 years of work at the Voskresensky Plant, about 1.7 million poods (27.7 thousand tons) of pure copper were smelted, the maximum productivity reached 18,000 poods per year. In 1895-1902, iron foundry production from local ores was launched at the plant, which ceased due to unprofitability. Later, until the second half of the 20th century, various small and temporary industries were located in the factory buildings.

South Ural plants played a major role in establishment of trade relations of Russia with Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Persia and Turkey. Copper was in the greatest demand among the Central Asian merchants, including the Voskresensky Plant. Remarkably, that the Voskresensky plant served as a bridge to cooperation in the field of mining industry of Russian and British empires. After working as a manager of the Russian Copper Company at Voskresensky plant for 10 years, Mr. Thomas Rickard, opened a consulting firm for the extraction and processing of copper, when he returned to London.

The complex of Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant is a monument of urban planning and architecture of federal significance in the Russian Federation, registered in the Uniform State Register of Cultural Heritage Objects (historical and cultural monuments) of peoples of the Russian Federation under No. 021520261710006 by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 176 of February 20, 1995.

In the Voskresenskoye village there are still well preserved the fragments of planning structure of the factory and its settlement, partially ruined complex of its buildings and underground passages, as well as the remains of hydraulic structures. The degree of preservation of the buildings of the factory complex is well-preserved, the state of some of the buildings allows their economic use at the present time: for example, the Voskresensky Art Gallery is located in the residential building of Ergard Ivanovich Korleis, and the utility room is located in the former flattening building.

The Voskresensky factory complex is exceptionally interesting from the point of view of the history of mining and factory business and the history of industrial architecture of the Ural in the middle of the 18th - early 19th centuries. It has a high scientific and historical-architectural value, the majority of the 12 objects are preserved.

  1. The main factory building.
  2. Church.
  3. Plant management.
  4. Plant owners' dwelling-house.
  5. Hospital.
  6. Production building (flattening).
  7. Production building (foundry).
  8. Production building.
  9. Auxiliary production building.
  10. Store (warehouse) of supplies.
  11. House of Ergard Ivanovich Corleis (Voskresensky Art Gallery).
  12. The dam of the factory pond.

The buildings of the plant are made in the style of industrial architecture. The walls are made of bricks, Flemish masonry with lime mortar is used throughout. Window and door openings are made in an arched way.

Since the priority was given to strength and functionality during construction, there are practically no external elements of decor, only on some buildings denticles (rows of small rectangular ledges arranged in the form of an ornament on the cornice of the building) are used. The walls of the buildings are reinforced with buttresses to increase strength and compensate for vibration and shock loads on the supporting structures.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

The Voskresensky Plant is the first industrial enterprise of the Russian state in the South Ural. In fact, its construction marked the beginning of the final entrance of the Southern Ural into Russia and its inclusion in the emerging all-Russian market.

The Voskresensky plant is the first private company in Russia to smelt strategic raw materials – copper, the first industrial enterprise of the Tverdyshev-Myasnikov mining company. For a quarter of a century after the construction of the complex in the Southern Ural about 20 metallurgical plants were built under the same scheme, that is, the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant became the starting point for the formation of the system of industrial development of the Southern Ural for at least 100 years ahead.

For the existence of Voskresensky Plant a unique for the entire Ural-Volga region logistics system was created, when the plants were located not at the mines, but at a considerable distance from them (the closest is Voskresensky, the minimum direct distance is 130-140 km to the south), in a favorable ecological niche. Communication between the production and the mines was carried out by permanent cartage, which involved a significant number of local people. It formed a new branch of the economy.

The local population (the Bashkirs) took an active part in the operation of the plant. They knew how to search for ore deposits, knew their properties, as well as ways to extract and use minerals for the needs of that time.

Smokestacks for steam boilers were built with necessary resistance: inside to the effect of high temperatures, outside to the influence of wind. At the same time the quality of masonry and the correctness of all lines are mesmerizing even today.

Separately it should be noted good preservation of the Voskresensky Plant complex, which is still the town-forming center of the village; high attractive significance of the object, its incorporation into the surrounding landscape, the functioning of some of the historical buildings according to their original or close to it purpose. The Complex of the plant is one of the oldest preserved complex of copper smelting plant, partially functional – the building of art gallery. There is a possibility of creating on the basis of the complex of the Voskresensky Plant a museum center of an industrial heritage.

The practice implemented on the Voskresensky copper smelter was appreciated and later used in mining industry in foreign countries, including Great Britain. A high interest to the technologies used on the plant is reflected in the newspaper “The Saturday Review” (August 5, 1871).

The activities of Voskresensky copper smelter greatly contributed to strengthening of trade and economic relations between countries of Europe and Asia.

Criterion (ii): At present, metallurgy is widely developed on the territory of the Southern Urals. The complex of the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant shows a consistent development of architecture and urban planning. Today it includes the dwelling house of Ergard Ivanovich Corleis, where the Voskresenskaya Art Gallery locates, the Church of the Resurrection of the Word, built during the Catherine era between 1769 and 1788, as well as the hospital and nine other buildings of varying degrees of preservation.

Criterion (iv): The industrial heritage site demonstrates an exceptional example of an influential eighteenth- and twentieth-century industrial complex that retains important technological remains. In addition, the site is a compelling testimony to the identity of the Ural's rich industrial heritage. The complex of the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant illustrates a key stage in the development of industrial architecture in the Southern Urals and is evidence of the historical processes that took place on the territory of the Southern Ural in the 18th century, when the Russian state was ruled by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. For the rapid development of metallurgy, she decorated the creators of the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant Complex (and other plants) Ivan Borisovich Tverdyshev and Ivan Semenovich Myasnikov with the titles of hereditary nobles. The construction and operation of the complex were decisive in the history of Russia and Bashkortostan, especially during the war led by Yemelyan Pugachev.

The development of the copper-smelting industry in Russia in the 18th century, the center of which was located in the Urals, made it possible to meet the country's needs for copper in full, and to reach the forefront in copper production in Europe. In the first half of the 19th century. the industrial revolution began at the mining plants of the Urals. One of the first upgrades was carried out at the Voskresensky Plant – ore was beneficiated, the section of the working space was changed from rectangular to round in the melting furnaces, the increased height of the melting furnace and the force of blown air contributed to high production volumes and savings in raw materials. So, for example, if in 1840 at the Voskresensky Plant after reconstruction the daily production was 360 poods at the cost of 20 poods of flux and 3.4 boxes of coal, then at Perm plants – 245 poods at the cost of 30 poods of flux and 3.6 boxes of coal. As a result, it was decided to extend the experience of the Voskresensky Plant to the rest of the Ural copper smelting plants.

At the same time, copper was not only smelted here, but also subjected to further processing: there was a flattening machine for two mills for rolling sheet copper, hammers for forging copper, turning and drilling machines. Copper of the Voskresensky Plant was used in different years for minting coins, making cannonballs, for export – it was highly valued not only in domestic, but also in foreign markets, especially in Central Asia. Only in 1840, 438 poods of copper were exported from the Orenburg line to Central Asia in the amount of 331,170 rubles in silver, which indicates that the activities of the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant contributed to the strengthening of trade and economic ties between European and Asian countries.

Criterion (v): The complex of the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant is an example of the influence of industrial development on the diversity of peoples' cultural traditions. Thus, after the arrival of workers in the 18th century, products and seeds of cultivated plants were brought into the complex of Voskresensky Plant, which subsequently spread in this area and became ingrained in the use of the local population. Habitants of Voskresenskoye village were even called "noodlemen" in the olden days. Because when they went on a long journey, they took dried noodles with them, boiled it in water and ate. Some locals have preserved the cooking technology to this day. Thanks to this development, the village has become a powerful cultural center, preserving the cultural traditions of the 18th-20th centuries.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The proposed World Heritage Site of the complex of the Voskresensky Copper Smeltery is an integral system within which architectural objects closely related by their common origin and development history have been preserved in a sufficiently stable condition over a long period of time.

In 2020 a project of improvement of the Voskresensky village won a grant: villagers and tourists got a promenade, that unites the Complex of the plant, the bridge across Tor River and the Square in front of Art Gallery. At the same time, walls of factory buildings, which are original examples of industrial architecture of the 18th century are highly preserved in its historic appearance.

The UNESCO World Heritage status will allow to further increase the guarantees of the integrity of the complex and protect it from possible threats to its integrity from the human economic and recreational activities.

The complex of Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant is a monument of urban planning and architecture of federal significance in the Russian Federation, registered in the Uniform State Register of Cultural Heritage Objects (historical and cultural monuments) of peoples of the Russian Federation under No. 021520261710006 by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 176 of February 20, 1995.

Comparison with other similar properties

The closest sites on the World Heritage List are: Engelsberg Ironworks (Sweden), Völklingen Ironworks (Germany), Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (UK), Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (UK), Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija (Spain and Slovenia).

All of the above objects have common features: the architecture of buildings is difficult to attribute to a particular style, it is "industrial architecture", which is characterized by minimalism, the scarcity of decorating elements, the priority of durability and reliability of buildings, the presence of additional structures to increase strength; also, all objects played a big role in the development of the metallurgical industry in their region.

Compared with similar sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant Complex has the most common features with the Metallurgical Plant in Engelsberg (Sweden), the Cornwall and West Devon Mountain Landscape (UK): these buildings are similar in architecture, the same economic specialization (metallurgy), leading positions in the production of products, which played a significant role in the development of metallurgy and the entire economy of their country as a whole.

Unlike the Middle Urals where the construction of factories went both at the expense of the state and private individuals, in the Southern Urals, the initiative was given to private entrepreneurs. The Voskresensky copper smelter, built in record time, became the first private enterprise in the South Urals. The mining and metallurgical empire of the Tverdyshevs and Myasnikov, created later, is comparable in scale only to the Demidovs' possessions, but even then it was created in more favorable economic, military and social conditions. The plant held a leading position in the production of copper, the introduction of new equipment and technology. Unlike many plants and contrary to the general trend, the Voskresensky plant increased its capacity until the last decade of its activity. Other copper smelters of that era, which worked for a shorter amount of time - due to the rapid depletion of ores, the abolition of serfdom, and other economic reforms - did not survive, for example, the Taman smelter, the Egoshikhinsky copper smelter, the Pyskor smelter, etc.

Despite the fact that the Voskresensky Plant ceased to function at the beginning of the 20th century, the buildings and structures are well preserved. In world practice, there are examples when the factory territory was transferred to the category of a museum complex almost immediately after the cessation of production activities (Völklingen Metallurgical Plant), which made it possible to preserve in its original form not only the buildings of the structure, but also technological lines. In the case of the Voskresensky Copper Smelting Plant Complex, in the same way, it was possible to completely preserve the residential building of Ergard Ivanovich Korleis in good condition – now it houses the Voskresensky Art Gallery, thanks to which the building has the maximum safety among the 12 objects of the plant complex.