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Stavropol, the centre of Stavropol Territory, lies 1621 km to the south of Moscow.

The area is 242 sq. km. The territory is spread from the southwest to the northeast to 30,5 km and from the south to the north to 16,5 km. One of the city streets is called 45th Parallel Street that reflects its exact latitude. Thus Stavropol is equidistant from the North Pole and the Equator. Stavropol is the gate of Caucasus.

Stavropol was founded in October 22, 1777 as a fortress, and in 1785 it already became a city. In Greek Stavropol means "the city of cross".

Stavropol became the marginal capital again. Since 1994 the staff of the largest Caucasian special boundary district was stationed here. Again Stavropol plays the main role in formation of the Russian statehood at its southern borders. Today Stavropol is the administrative, economic and cultural centre of Stavropol Territory.

In 1995 the Charter of the city was accepted, and several months later were held the elections to the local authorities (February 25, 1996). Head of the city and new duma consisting of 22 deputies were elected. Actually this date can be considered to be a starting-point of local self-management.

The population of the city is about 350 thousand people.

The majority of the working population is concentrated on 62 large and middle-scale enterprises that make the basis of the city industrial potential. The economy is represented by such branches as the food, chemical, light, polygraphic, medical, wood-working industries, machine-building, metal working and construction, etc. There are about 450 small-scale and subsidiary industrial enterprises that make 6,8 % of total production volume. In total there are 25000 entrepreneurs in Stavropol.

The sphere of trade has changed considerably during last years. There are 14 markets, 1960 stationary shops, more than 2500 stalls, booths and pavilions, several modern trading complexes.

In Stavropol the percentage of housing construction has reached the level of 160-200 thousand sq. m. per year that essentially exceeds the all-Russian level. The city transport system develops too.

Total length of city roads makes 348 km, 255 km of them are asphalted.

The city public health services are represented by 23 medical institutions. Among them are 6 hospitals and 14 polyclinics, including 4 stomatologic clinics, and 14 regional specialized clinics and hospitals.

Stavropol is one of the centres of education, science and culture. The establishments of culture total 20 libraries, 6 museums and 15 clubs. There are 2 theatres, 2 recreation parks, the philharmonic society, circus and organ hall in the city. 5 municipal musical collectives and the children's choreographic ensemble "Raduga' win the international recognition.

The educational system of the city includes 48 secondary educational establishments, including 4 grammar schools, 7 licea and 12 schools. Besides there are 69 children's preschool establishments, 57 of them are municipal; 5 children's homes, 27 establishments of additional education: clubs, houses of children's creativity, etc.

Stavropol is the city of students. Here are 16 higher educational institutions, 9 of them are the state ones.

Sport and physical training are the essential attributes of the city. Stavropol is the world centre of acrobatics and track and field athletics. Some sports such as basketballs, handball and equestrian sport gain popularity here. In total there are 309 sport constructions at the disposal of the population. These are training halls and pools.

Stavropol is a twin city for Des Moines (USA), Pazargik (Bulgaria), Besier (France), Santa-Margarita (Spain). Stavropol is included in the list of 115 historical cities by the Government of Russia. The city and its inhabitants carefully keep monuments of the past, people are proud of the traditions and outstanding people. Stavropol keeps on studying, working, composing verses and music, trading. It has entrusted its destiny and history to people living there.



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