Gorno-Altaysk or Gorno-Altaisk (Го́рно-Алта́йск; Altay: Туулу Алтай, Tuulu Altay) is the capital of the Altai Republic, Russia. It is situated 3,641 km east of Moscow. Population: 53,538 (2002 Census).
This only town of the Republic lies in a narrow Mayma Valley in the foothills of the Altay Mountains. Russian Orthodox missionaries arriving in the valley in 1830 stumbled upon the tiny settlement of Ulala, consisting at that time of nineteen indigenous and three Russian families. The next year Ulala was chosen as the site of the first Orthodox mission in the Altay and Russian settlers started migrating to the village.
When the Oyrot Autonomous Oblast was created in 1922, Ulala became its capital. In 1928 the village became a town and in 1932 its name was changed to Oyrot-Tura. However, in 1948 the authorities finally realized that the indigenous tribes of the area do not actually call themselves oyrots, the name of the autonomy was changed to Gorno-Altai Autonomous Oblast (i.e. the autonomous oblast of the Mountainous Altay), and with it the name of its capital.
Former Soviet Union: That Summer: Altai Mountains, Russia, 1995: Siberi a, Where Even Bears Have Bad Breath We'd Planned a Trip to the Mountains and Lake Teletskoye - but We Hadn' T Bargained on Getting So Close to the Wildlife
Jul 17, 1999; "PHOO, MISHA, phoo!" The usual Russian response to irksome animals wasn't working: Misha, a three-month-old bear, and looking as...