Kharkov region's second largest town, one of the oldest towns in the region, it is situated in a picturesque bend of the Seversky Donets, at the foot of the famous Mount Kremenets. When one goes by the road Kharkov - Donetsk, one passes Izyum town.

The first mention of the Russian fortification "Izyumskaya Sakma" is found in written sources dated back to 1571. In the records of 1680 the settlement is referred to as Izyumsky town. In the 1680's, a fortress was built in the place of the present Izyum. The fortress consisted of the "big" and the "small" towns. At present the central part of Izyum occupies the spot where the "big" town used to be. The five-domed Preobrazhensky cathedral is an extant representative of architecture of that time.

Izyumsky Slobod regiment created in 1685 with the headquarters in Izyum comprised 13 towns and districts. The regiment took part in Russian- Turkish campaigns, stormed Ochakov, Bendery, Izmayil under the command of Suvorov, fought near Borodino, victoriously paraded along the streets of Paris. Here are lines from a regiment song:

           Paris in its glorious walls

            Was once  in disarray

           And saw your red dolman

           And your blue braided overcoat

The wide tarmac road from the centre of Izyum goes up to Mount Kremenets. The mount is the highest point in Kharkov region (218 metres above sea level). This mount is a geological natural wonder. It is interesting because of its outcrops of higher cretaceous and Jurassic strata with numerous organic fossils. At the same time Mount Kremenets is an interesting historical site. "Izyumsky pass" is a convenient ford across the Seversky Donets at the foot of the mount - many experts see a connection with Prince Igor's army's march against the Polovtsi in 1185, the famous story that became a minstrel's song and later a masterpiece of Old Russian literature. The famous battle near the Kayala river was also fought in the vicinity of Izyum. 

Hundreds of years ago the way of the Tartars' raids passed across the mount or around it. Izyumskaya Sakma is the eastern branch of the notorious Muravsky Road. In Turkish languages "long mount" is pronounces as "uzyun-kurgan" (or "izyum-kurgan"). The hill near the river gave name to Izyumsky Road and later to the town. In the XIV century there was a Tartar fortification called "Kermen" on the top of the mount. The ruins of this fortification were still visible until the end of the last century. Its name seems to have been transformed into similar Russian words "Kremlin", "kremen (flint)" and gave name to Mount Kremenets. Later this place was used by Russian watch patrol men. And in 1681 here was started construction of "the small town" - the fortress whose rampart and ditch are still extant in some parts.

In the second half of the XIX  - the beginning of the XX century, rapid industrial development begins in Izyum. In 1910, the railway line Kharkov - Donbass was built that went near Izyum, and two years railway shops began to be constructed. In 1917, optical glass plant was started to be built (currently Device Construction Plant). Izyum's working class was noted for its revolutionary sentiment. Soviet power was established in the town on 22 December 1917.

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