A military city situated on the shore of the Sea of Japan,
Vladivostok only recently opened to Western visitors. It shows a
fascinating blend of both European and Asian cultures. Vladivostok
is a key Russian port, but actually belonged to China until
relatively recently. Russia only acquired the land after the Treaty
of Beijing in 1860, and began to develop the area.
In 1903 the Trans-Siberian
Railway reached Vladivostok, which gave a greater
connection to Moscow and the rest of Europe, and boosted the local
economy. Following the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent unrest,
the city became a major port, and certainly one of great strategic
importance. Since that time, Vladivostok has grown into the
cultural centre tourists see today, now boasting a range of art
galleries, museums, theatres and restaurants.