(Russian Нижний Новгород
) (sometimes written in English Nizhniy-Novgorod
or Nizhni Novgorod
), is the third largest city in Russia
, with a population of 1.5 million. It lies in the Privolzhsky District
, at the confluence of the Oka
and the Volga
rivers, and is the economic and cultural center of the vast Volgo-Vyatski region. Nizhny Novgorod was known from 1932
(Gorky), after the Russian
writer Maxim Gorki
, who was born here in 1868
. During Soviet
rule, Nizhny Novgorod was closed to foreigners.
According to an old saying, Saint Petersburg was the head of Russia, Moscow was the heart and Nizhny Novgorod was its pocket. Some say that Nizhny Novgorod is more Russian than both Saint Petersburg and Moscow are, because of the foreign influence to them. Many famous Russians came from the city. The physicist and the Nobel laureate in Peace for 1975 Andrei Sakharov was exiled there until 1986.