A Government Of Russia, partly in Europe and partly in Asia, consisting of two separated parts, and bordering on Perm, Tobolsk, the Kirghiz steppes (province of Turgai), the Caspian sea, Astrakhan, Samara, and Ufa; area, 73,985 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 840,704, including Cossacks, Tartars, and other tribes. The surface is diversified with plains, swamps, small lakes, and the Ural mountains, which traverse it from N. to S. The principal rivers are the Ural, Ilek, Sak-mara, Bielaya, Samara, Tobol, Ui, and Miyas. The annual range of the thermometer is very great. Gold, copper, iron, and salt are mined, and large numbers of horses and cattle are raised. The Orenburg line of border fortifications extends about 900 m. from the Caspian to the Tobol. The total number of Orenburg Cossacks is estimated at 60,000.
A City, capital of the government, on the right bank of the Ural, 370 m. S. E. of Kazan; pop. in 1867, 33,431. It is the strongest in the Orenburg line of defences. The streets are broad and regular, but ill paved; the houses mostly of wood. There are ten churches, including one Protestant and one Roman Catholic, and two mosques. The governor's house, the custom house, and the Bashkir caravansary are notable. Woollen cloth, leather, and soap are manufactured, and immense amounts of tallow are melted. Trade with the Kirghiz is transacted at a large caravansary 2 m. E. of the town. Orenburg was founded in 1742.