NIKOLAYEVSK, a town of Russia, in the government of Samara, on the right bank of the Irgiz, 40 m. from the Volga and loo m. S.W. of the town of Samara. Pop. (1897) 12,524. Its inhabitants are mostly Raskolniks (i.e. Nonconformists), who have numerous monasteries along the river, and members of the United Greek Church, with about 2000 Tatars. The chief occupations are agriculture and live stock breeding.
Under the name of Mechetnoye, Nikolayevsk was founded in 1762 by Raskolniks who had fled to Poland and returned when Catherine II. undertook to grant them religious freedom. In 1828 serious persecutions began, with the result that the monasteries were closed with the exception of three, which were handed over in 1829 and 1836 to the United Greek Church. In 1835 the name of the town was changed to Nikolayevsk.
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