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Kursk (aka Kyrsk) is an agricultural based city in Russia's south, sitting where the Kur, the Tuskar and the Seym Rivers meet. This area was the turning point in the Soviet-German struggle of World War II where the largest tank battle in history took place, the "Battle of Kursk" at the village of Prokhorovka nearby. The Soviets outnumbered the Germans 3 to 1. The Russians had 300,000 civilians construct nearly 5,000 miles of trenches and put over 7,300 tanks on the battlefield, whilst the Germans employed 3,253 tanks. The result of the battle left 200,000 Germans and 863,000 Soviets dead, wounded or missing.

First settled in the 4th or the 5th Centuries according to the archaeologists, the settlement was fortified at least by the 8th Century. In 1508 Kursk joined the centralized Russian State and became its southern border province as an important trade center of corn. The city has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times throughout history, but it developed due to its geographical position as the shortest route from Moscow to the Crimea and from Kiev to the Crimea.

The oldest building to be found in Kursk is the Trinity Monastery and the oldest lay building is the Romodanovsky Chamber. The elaborate Elizabethan Baroque style of the city's cathedral (circa 1752-1778) is an impressive monument built at the request of the imperial family. It has 2 stories; the lower consecrated to St Sergius of Radonezh and the upper one to Theotokos of Kazan. You can see delicate icon screening which took 16 years to complete. If you like checking out museums, then you should head to the Command Station Bunker & Museum after doing your architecture tour and check out the T-34 tank on display. You can go for a joyride on one of the trolleybuses or trams just for the fun of it, or check out the Russian Chamber Orchestra at the Kyrsk State University. Alternatively for a bit of culture, take in a show at the Pushkin Theater.

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