Nizhny Novgorod, colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is a city in the administrative center (capital) of Volga Federal District and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast in Russia. From 1932 to 1990, it was known as Gorky, after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there. The city is an important economic, transportation, scientific, educational and cultural center in Russia and the vast Volga-Vyatka economic region, and is the main center of river tourism in Russia. In the historic part of the city there is a large number of universities, theaters, museums and churches. Nizhny Novgorod is located about 400 km east of Moscow, where the Oka empties into the Volga. Population: 1,250,619 (2010 Census); 1,311,252 (2002 Census); 1,438,133 (1989 Census).
The city was founded in 1221 by Prince Yuri II of Vladimir. In 1612 Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky organized an army for the liberation of Moscow from the Poles. In 1817 Nizhny Novgorod became a great trade center of the Russian Empire. In 1896 at a fair, an All-Russia Exhibition was organized.
During the Soviet period, the city turned into an important industrial center. In particular, the Gorky Automobile Plant was constructed in this period. Then the city was given the nickname "Russian Detroit". During the World War II Gorky became the biggest provider of military equipment to the front. Due to this, the Luftwaffe constantly bombed the city from the air. The majority of the German bombs fell in the area of the Gorky Automobile Plant. Although almost all the production sites of the plant were completely destroyed, the citizens of Gorky reconstructed the factory after 100 days.
After the war, Gorky became a "closed city" and remained one until after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990. At that time the city was renamed Nizhny Novgorod once again.
In 1985 the metro was opened. In 2016 Vladimir Putin opened the new 70th Anniversary of Victory Plant which is part of the Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation.
The Kremlin – the main center of the city – contains the main government agencies of the city and the Volga Federal District.
The demonym for a Nizhny Novgorod resident is "нижегородец" (nizhegorodets) for male or "нижегородка" (nizhegorodka) for female, rendered in English as Nizhegorodian. Novgorodian is inappropriate; it refers to a resident of Novgorod, on the north-west.