In 1740 the explorer Vitus Bering reached Avacha Bay and laid the foundation stone for the port of Petropavlovsk, named after his two ships, the St. Peter and the St. Paul. In the summer of 1741 Bering's ships put to sea. Their goal was the coast of America. This voyage saw the discovery of the Aleutian Islands and the Commander Islands, where Vitus Bering died of scurvy in December 1741. Since then the largest of the Commander Islands has borne his name.
The city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the industrial, scientific and cultural center of Kamchatka. The city and its extremely large harbor are well-protected from all storms, and even from the dreaded tsunami tidal waves. The largest tsunami, the tidal wave of 1952, destroyed the town of Severo-Kurilsk on the island of Paramushir. Although the town is only 100 miles from Kamchatka, as the tsunami ran into Avacha Bay it died down to a harmless wave only a few feet tall.
Even its long-time residents make no claims about the city's beauty; its monotonous, Soviet-style 5-story buildings (there are no tall buildings in the city because of earthquake risks) are hard on the eyes, and pot-hole filled streets crowded with old, coughing cars do not add much. This matters little, however, since the city is surrounded by incredible natural beauty- the Avacha and Koryak volcanoes to the north, and huge Avacha Bay to the south.
To learn what some of the city's young residents have to say about it, click HERE!.