History of Altai land
The rich land of Altai interested Russian Dukes for a long time, but only in the end of the XVI century, after Ermak’s victorious campaign and the defeat of Siberian Khanate, they succeeded in entering Altai. Merchants, peasants and militaries rushed here first of all. Already in the beginning of the XVIII century they built their fortresses to protect themselves from Dzungarian wanderers. Soon after the ore deposits were found there and that initiated the development of the metallurgy industry in that region.
By the second half of the XVIII century there was formed the Altai mountain district, a huge territory, which included the contemporary Altai land, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, partly Tomsk and East Kazakhstan regions. In the first half of the ХIХ century Altai took first place on the silver production in Russia, second place on the production of copper, third one on the production of gold and became the second industrial district in the east of the country, after Ural.
In July 1917 Altai province with its center in Barnaul was established. It had been existing till 1925. From 1925 to 1937 the Altai territory was part of West-Siberian land. In 1973 Altai land was formed. Now Altai land is part of the Siberian federal district and West-Siberian economical region.