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Поволжская археология

Plan of the Golden Horde Bolgar town: history and perspectives of research

Badeev D.Yu., Valiev R.R.

page 127–136

UDC 902/ 904


(827.95 Kb)
The paper presents findings of an extensive research into the urban plan of Bolgar. The authors present evolution of scholars’ perceptions (from the early 20th century to the present) regarding the structural plan of this Golden Horde town. Some first ideas about the urban plan of the medieval Bolgar developed in the beginning of the 20th century. They were based on localization of then surviving ruins of large buildings and landscape features. Once some systematic archaeological research began (in 1938), it allowed the researchers to accumulate a vast amount of data about different elements of Bolgar’s urban planning. The territory of this fortified place revealed fragments of streets and squares with different types of paving, new monumental buildings and some buried structures. This allowed the researchers to advance a few versions regarding the development of its urban planning. Thus, A.P. Smirnov (1974) suggested a fan pattern for the development of its urban communications. The principle of historical landscape zoning of the urban territory into districts was formulated by T.A. Khlebnikova (1987). Thus, Kh.G. Nadyrova, a researcher of architectural history, classifies the Golden Horde town of Bolgar as a linear town, with distinguishable estates and urban districts (2013). Geo-information systems (GIS) offer new opportunities for research of urban development of medieval hillforts. The article examines the newest elaborations concerning Bolgar, including their results and prospects.


archаeologyhistoryMiddle Volga RegionBolgarGolden Horde townurban planninghistory of researchgeo-information system (GIS)

About the author(s)

Denis Yu. Badeev,Research Scientist, Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russian Federation);

Address: Dmitry Ulyanov St., 19, Moscow, 117036, Russian Federation

Renat R. Valiev,Candidate of Historical Sciences, Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology named after A. Kh. Khalikov, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan (Kazan, Russian Federation);

Address: Butlerov St., 30, Kazan, 420012, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation