First Mention and Destruction
Lipetsk was first mentioned in 1283 although the reason it was mentioned concerned its destruction by Mongol-Tatar raiders. Later on the same site the selo (village) of Malye Studyonki Lipskie is mentioned again in chronicles and from this selo the present day city would later originate. The word Lipskie and Lipetsk comes from the Russian for linden trees - lipa in Russian.
The official date of the foundation of the Lipetsk is 1703 when Tsar Peter the Great ordered ironworks be founded where the River Lipovka flows into the River Voronezh. The ironworks were significant in producing iron for the needs of the army and navy during the Northern Wars. In 1709 the settlement was organised into the sloboda (settlement) of Lipskie Zavody (Zavody being the Russian for factories). In 1779, the city of Lipetsk was officially created by a decree of Empress Catherine the Great and it became part of the Tambov Governorate. In 1781 a coat of arms was granted to the city, depicting a linden tree - the symbol of the city and a sign of prosperity.
In addition to its ironworks, Lipetsk was also famous for its natural springs and the Lipetsk Mineral Waters resort was opened in a city park by a decree of Emperor Alexander I in 1805. This event marked Lipetsk's rise as a spa town which was visited by the elite of the time to recuperate and to drink the beneficial water. In 1879 members of the Land and Liberty (Zemlya i Volya) clandestine revolutionary organisation met secretly in Lipetsk and named themselves the executive committee of the organisation and recognised the importance of terror in achieving their aims. Shortly afterwards the group split into two; the terrorist wing formed in Lipetsk became known as the People's Will (Narodnaya Volya) and went on to assassinate Emperor Alexander II in 1881.
In 1917 Soviet power was established in Lipetsk. The redevelopment of Lipetsk's metalwork industries resulted in the economic growth of the city. In 1931 work started on opening the massive Novolipetsk Metal Works which started production in 1934. During the Second World War a tractor factory was constructed and commissioned in record time to meet the war needs. In 1944 Lipetsk became the administrative centre of the newly-established Lipetsk Region.