Verkhnyaya Gubakha – Russian Ghost Town

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Verkhnyaya Gubakha – Russian Ghost Town

A Russian ghost town called Verkhnyaya Gubakha (Upper Gubakha) was once a thriving workers’ settlement, but now only the ruins of the former industrial and residential buildings can be seen. Another unofficial name for the city is Staraya Gubakha (Old Gubakha).

The city is located about 220 kilometers from the large city of Perm in Russia and is situated on the right bank of the Kosva River, on the slope of the mountainside.

During its heyday, several thousand inhabitants lived in the city of Upper Gubakha. To accommodate such a great number of people, eight two-story residential buildings, a school, hospitals, the Kalinin Palace of Culture, a cinema, and similar institutions were built in the city.

Initially, this location was settled in 1755 when iron ore deposits were discovered. After that, a settlement was built and developed over the years. At this time, the land belonged to the Stroganovs. There wasn’t much iron ore, and what was mined was poor, but it was enough to keep the settlement going.

Then, at the beginning of the 19th century, coal was found here. By this time, the land was owned by two industrialists: Lazarevs and Vsevolod Vsevolozhsky. The coal mined here was sent to Lazarevs’s Chermoz plant. Initially, the mined coal was sent to the plant via the river, but in 1879, a railway was built, which led to an increase in coal production.

One mining engineer named Dmitry Zakharovsky entered into a 15-year lease agreement with the Vsevolozhskys to mine coal in this area. However, he also chose to burn coke. To accommodate this part of the industry, he built special furnaces, barracks for his workers, houses for managers, and administrative premises. This became known as the Gubakhinsky coke-chemical plant.

By this time, there were various settlements in this area, and in 1941, they were united to form the city of Gubakha. The population was about 20,000 people, and the primary employers were the plants Metafrax and Gubakhinsky coke.

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