Cherepovets is an industrial centre in northwestern Russia. The city lies on the right bank of the Sheksna River where it flows into the Rybinsk Reservoir of the Volga River. The city's iron and steel plant Severstal is the biggest producer of rolled stock in Russia. Shipbuilding, fertilizer production, and timber working are also important. Strategically located at the intersection of major Volga-Baltic waterway, West-East railroads, gas pipelines and between two Russian federal cities - Moscow and St. Petersburg, Cherepovets is considered an ideal place for natural resource-consuming industries. However, the city is also noted for its architectural monuments and works of art.
The history begins with a monastery on the hills by the banks of the Sheksna River founded in 1360 by two monks - Afanasiy and Feodosiy. Some centuries later, it developed into a center of trade, manufacture and transportation. It was given the official town status in 1777 by the order of Empress Catherine II. Milutin's mayorship (1861-1907) led to the rapid expansion of the city. Educational institutions sprouted up everywhere. The city achieved fame as "Russian Oxford".
The Mariinskaya water system connecting the Baltic Sea and the Volga was put into action in 1810. It gave boost to economic and cultural development of Cherepovets. In summer marine propulsion in the Mariinskaya system was large here. Cherepovets was enjoying great prosperity. Since that time facing brick was the most common building style in the city. The cathedrals, churches and mansions of the city which survived in its original form witness the thriving city.
Beyond the monuments, Cherepovets' history is also the story of many exceptional men and women. The great battle-painter Vasili Vereshchagin (1842 - 1904) who was born in Cherepovets made a tangible contribution to the Russian art. He was the first Russian artist to be widely recognized abroad. Princess Yekaterina Dashkova was sent into a brief exile in Cherepovets. The poet Igor Severyanin (1887-1941) and the pilot Valery Chkalov lived in the city.