About Catherine II

On May 31, 2019, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed the decree on assignment of names of outstanding Russians to 44 airports of the country. During a national vote, the name of Empress Catherine II was assigned to Krasnodar International Airport.

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Portrait: F. S. Rokotov, 1780s

The history of Krasnodar is closely connected with Empress Catherine II. On June 30, 1792, Catherine II issued a Grant-Charter to the Black Sea Cossack army for eternal possession of the land between the Kuban River and the Sea of Azov. In the east, the border laid from the mouth of the Laba River to the Yeysk town.

In 1793 the Black Sea Cossacks founded the city of Ekaterinodar, initially as the military camp. It received the name in honor of Empress Catherine II and the patroness of the city – St. Catherine.

Catherine was born on the 2nd of May 1729 in Alt-Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland) as Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg. Her father, Christian August, was Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst. Her mother, Johanna Elizabeth, princess Golstein-Gottorpskaya, was a cousin aunt of Peter III.

Parents provided to the future Empress Catherine worthy education. She, as many girls of her social class, knew several European languages, was able to dance and sing, studied history, geography and theology.

When she arrived to Russia, she began to learn Russian and customs. For a marriage engagement, she had to change religion to Orthodoxy. After the baptism and acceptance of a new name - Ekaterina, on September 1, 1745, she was engaged to Peter III.

Catherine II was crowned on September 22, 1762. Her reign became known in the history of the country and world as the true sample of Enlightened absolutism – "Golden Age" of the Russian Empire. There was state building based on fair, "fundamental" laws to which both the governor and all citizens had to adhere.

Catherine II continued the reforms which were begun by Peter I. In the period of reign of the Empress the country had boosted cultural and political life which Catherine II lifted up to the European level.

During this time there was management system reforming:

  • Senate reform

  • Legislative Commission establishment;

  • Provincial reform;

  • First issuance of banknotes (paper money).

Due to the diplomatic victory of Russia during the Turkish war, Novorossiya, the Crimea and a part of the Caucasus were annexed to the Empire. As a result of the division of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the western borders of the country were extended.

Catherine II paid a lot of attention to education of people, especially - to female education:

  • The women's institute - Smolny Institute of noble maidens –was opened.

  • According to her order 316 national schools for children of both sexes and different class were established. Although education for children of low class was still almost not available because all schools were in the towns and were expensive.