A S. Government Of Russia, bordering on Orel, Tambov, Saratov, the country of the Don Cossacks, Kharkov, and Kursk; area, 25,437 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 2,152,696. The surface is undulating, with a few ridges of slight elevation, and a general slope southward. It is drained by the Don and its tributaries, the Sosna, the Voronezh, and the Bityug, and the Khoper. The principal mineral productions are iron, saltpetre, limestone, and sandstone. The climate is good, but the winters are severe. The soil is extremely fertile, and the government is one of the most productive agricultural regions of the empire; wheat is the principal crop. The horses are generally of superior breed, and many of them are trained for hunting. The rearing of bees is extensively practised, and honey is an important article of export. Coarse cloths, iron ware, soap, tallow, and beet sugar are manufactured. The exports include timber, grain, horses, oxen, wool, hides, and fruits.
A City, capital of the government, on the Voronezh, near its confluence with the Don, 130 m. E. of Kursk; pop. in 1867, 41,592. It is built on a steep hill, and has a strong position. It consists of an upper and lower town, with extensive suburbs. There are over 20 churches, several convents and hospitals, a military and a naval orphan asylum, a gymnasium, and a school of cadets. The manufactures comprise cloth, soap, tallow, leather, and vitriol. The town has a large commerce by way of the Don, especially in the grain and tallow trade. Peter the Great founded a palace here, and erected extensive dockyards and arsenals for the construction of a navy on the sea of Azov; but most of these establishments were removed to Tavrov, in the same government, and Rostov, and the palace has been burned.