PERM Russia

To learn more about how you can take part in and support this international partnership:
Please email us! Perm Sister Cities Committee - [email protected]
Perm Committee Chair: Tom Dumstorf

Sister City Relationship

Perm became a Sister City in 1994. The initial relationship was formed by Dr. Bruce Adams, Professor of History at UofL, and Dr. Victor Henner, Professor of Physics at the University of Perm, who realized the potential for exchanges between Louisville and Perm. Since the initial contacts formed, leaders in both communities have provided strong support in the political, cultural, educational, business, and medical arenas.
  • Over the years, Perm has become a base for introducing Louisville to Russian talent, culture, and business opportunities. The only professional extreme park in Russia is in Perm, modeled after the Louisville Extreme Park.
  • Through the Open World Leadership Center, the only international exchange agency in the U.S. Legislative Branch, SCL has hosted several delegations from Perm. Our most recent exchanges were in 2015 and 2017.
    • 2015 – Delegation from Vector of Friendship, a nonprofit organization in Perm that promotes youth engagement, volunteerism, and education, learned about the essential volunteerism culture in the US by meeting with organizations and government agencies.
    • 2017 – Delegation of business women came to Louisville to learn about entrepreneurship and business incubation; they met with local, state, and federal agencies, non-profits, law firms and businesses.
  • The Louisville-Perm Partnership has led to several university programs. A growing number of Perm graduate students are pursuing Masters Degrees at U of L in the fields of chemistry, biology, business, physics, and computer technology.

Existing Partnerships & Links

History & Culture

Settlement in Perm dates back to 1568 as the village, Yagoshikha. Its industrial history and more rapid growth dates back to the founding of a copper-smelting plant in 1723 with the support of Czar Peter I. Since 1756, Perm has been a center for Russia's military manufacturing. As Perm developed into a commercial center during the mid-19th century, it became a gateway to Siberia. The existence of Perm is closely connected with the discovery of the Permian system, a geological time period introduced to the scientific world in 1841. The city emerged on the Kama River thanks to the peculiarities of the regional geology that came from Permian Period.

Located at the foothills of the Ural Mountains, Perm is not far from the border separating Europe and Asia. Today, Perm is the administrative center of Perm Krai (province) and a port on the Kama River. Perm has the largest industrial output among cities in the Urals. Much of the city’s growth and history can be attributed to its success as an industrial center.

Perm is home to many cultural organizations and events such as The Perm Opera and Ballet, many theatres, the Perm International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, and Diaghilev’s Seasons Festival. Housed in a former cathedral, the Perm State Art Gallery has a renowned collection of religious wooden sculptures from the region, an outstanding phenomenon in Russian art. Together with icons and objects of decorative applied art, wooden sculpture constitutes an integral part of artistic ensembles of Russian churches and chapels.

Fun Fact: Permyak “salty ears” is the nickname for residents of Perm. The region was widely known for salt production. Carrying salt sacks on their backs to the river barges, workers’ ears were saturated by the salt, which caused them to redden and swell. In recognition, the “Permyak” sculpture, designed and cast in iron by Rustam Ismagilov, has become a city landmark.

Fast Facts
  • Population: 991,162
  • Language: Russian
  • Mayor: Dmitry Samoylov
National Holidays
  • New Year’s Day (January 1st)
  • Christmas (January 7th )
  • Defender of the Fatherland (February 23rd)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8th)
  • International Workers’ Day (May 1st)
  • Victory Day (May 9th)
  • Russia Day (June 12th)
  • National Flag Day (August 22nd)
  • National Unity Day (November 3rd)

Highlights/Tourist Attractions

  • Arts: Perm Opera and Ballet House, Perm Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Statues: Permyak Salty Ears statue, The Legend of Perm – Bear statue
  • Religious Sites: Holy Trinity Cathedral, All Saints Church
  • Museums: Motovilikhinskiy Plant History Museum
Interested in visiting Perm? These are helpful links:
  • The official website for Russian Tourism has helpful information on air, bus, rail, and sea travel. An excellent resource is also the blog Way to Russia, which has lots of advice on traveling to and around Russia as well.
  • How to get there: Aeroflot (Russian Airlines) and Delta Airlines both provide service from the US to Moscow. Aeroflot also flies to Perm!
  • For travel to Russia, you will need a visa; the Way to Russia blog has good advice on how to obtain one – here
  • For more helpful information on travel to and around Russia, as well as Russian culture, visit Russia Trek
  • For an interesting, quirky blog about lesser known history, people, and events, you should check out: English Russia
To learn more about how you can take part in and support this international partnership:
Please email us! Perm Sister Cities Committee - [email protected]