From top: The skyline of the old town; the central train station; Grozney street; Pudovkin square; the St Floriań park; the royal castle
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Miersan: Where nations meet
|6 December, 1103 (traditional)
|6 December, 1607
|19 October, 1643
|1st in West Miersa
|UTC-1 (Miersan Standard Time)
|• Summer (DST)
|UTC+0 (Miersan Summer Time)
Krada (Soravian: Крада) is the capital and largest city of the Miersan Sotirian Republic, situated in the Święciżar voivodeship, of which it serves as the voivodal capital. As of the 2017 census, the urban area of Krada has a population of 891,411 people, making it the largest city fully under the control of West Miersa.
First founded around the twelfth century as a fort to deter bandits on one of the major trade routes, Krada was a minor settlement. Its fortunes began to grow when in 1607, it became the capital of the Święciżar voivodeship after Tarcław burned down. This growth only intensified when after the War of the Miersan Succession, it became the capital of the Soravian Miersan Governate in 1638. Due to this, it was officially granted city status by the Soravian authorities in 1643.
Over the next two centuries, Krada's stature grew, as government officials from Soravia moved to Krada to help administer the governate, and later, by internal migration as the city continued growing. This led to a flourishing of culture and arts, while Krada became a centre of education, with the opening of the University of Krada in 1753. By the turn of the nineteenth century, a sizable Soravian community existed in the city, forming a dominant minority against the majority Miersan population.
In the nineteenth century, Krada continued its growth, particularly after the 1870s as a result of the Industrial Revolution. This attracted more people from across the Miersan Governate, but also from across Soravia, which led to an influx of Soravian residents: by the eve of the Great War, around a third of the city's population were Soravian.
After the Great War, Krada would be affected by the Miersan General Strike, as the majority Miersan population demanded Miersan independence. As a result, the Godfredson Plan was drafted up, which saw Krada fall under the control of a sovereign West Miersa. Due to the fact that many government buildings were based there, Krada became the provisional capital until government buildings could be set up in the western neighbourhoods of Żobrodź. Thus, although many government buildings moved to West Żobrodź, Krada remained a major economic centre in West Miersa. During the Miersan War, the annexation of West Żobrodź into the East led to Krada to become the capital once again.
Since the end of the Miersan War, Krada has transitioned from being an industrial centre to being based on the service economy, with Krada becoming home to many companies and firms.
The name Krada is believed to derive from the masculine singular present transgressive form of the Proto-Marolevic word *kràsti, or "to steal," suggesting that the area around Krada was historically a hotspot for banditry, with bandits and other criminals based in present-day Krada preying on the trade routes going over the Środek connecting northern and southern Euclea.
The area around modern day Krada was believed to be first inhabited by modern humans around 15,000-20,000 BCE, as they continued their spread across the continent. Like other humans in Euclea, the inhabitants around Krada were hunter-gatherers and nomads, with evidence of agriculture only taking hold around 5,000-7,000 BCE.
From the start of agriculture in the region, the area around Krada was positioned along one of the major north-south trade routes, leading to artefacts being found in Krada that are obviously not of local origin. This continued even during the migrations of various groups, such as the Satro-Eucleans, who would ultimately settle in the area around Krada, and develop into the proto-Marolevs.
While the area of present-day Krada never came under direct control of the Solarian Empire, trade along this route led to the establishment of tribal settlements dependent on the trade routes, although archaeologists are uncertain if they were reliant on the maintenance of the trade route, or on banditry. However, as the Solarian Empire declined, banditry increased on the trade routes, to the point that it became dangerous for traders to traverse the region around Krada and the Środek Hills to its north.
Krada first appears in the historical record around 1100 CE, when either the King of Firencja, or the voivode of Święciżar ordered the construction of a fort to "guard the trade routes" into the Środek. Tradition gives the fort's construction as taking place on 6 December, 1103, or on the feast day of Saint Nicholas.
Despite its position on the trade routes, Krada never became a prominent destination on the north-south Euclean trade routes, as most of the goods tended to go towards the coasts, or towards TBD, where they could be transported west to Pavatria, or east towards TBD. Although throughout the centuries, Krada grew, by 1500, its population was recorded as only being around 15,000 people, with most of its residents working in the surrounding fields.
By the turn of the seventeenth century, Krada was still largely insignificant, but in 1607, the voivodal capital was moved from Tarcław to Krada, after a fire destroyed most of the community. This led to a slight population increase in Krada, as the voivode and their officials moved from Tarcław to Krada. However, Krada was still smaller than Tarcław by 1622.
During the Miersan Interregnum, Krada remained largely insignificant, although its position as the capital of the voivodeship of Święciżar did give Krada a more important status in the Miersan Republic than it otherwise would have experienced. However, with the outbreak of the War of the Miersan Succession between Miersa and both Gaullica and Soravia, who sought to take control of Miersa... (TBC)
Early Soravian rule
Following the conclusion of the War of the Miersan Succession in 1638, Krada found itself in the Soravian-occupied regions. As the Duchy of Żobrodź was created to serve as a buffer state between Soravia and Gaullica, the Soravian authorities needed to establish a capital for their occupied regions, in order to effectively administer the Miersan Governate.
While other cities were considered to become capital of the Miersan Governate, Krada's central location in the governate, combined with its location south of the Środek, in conjunction with the fact that there was ample room for expansion, meant that Krada was selected by the Soravian Empire to serve as the capital of the Miersan Governate.
This decision led to the rise of Krada as a major political centre, as government officials moved to Krada in order to set up the administration of the governate: thus, in 1643, Krada was officially given city status.
This influx of people led to economic growth, making Krada an important economic centre in the Miersan Governate, and by 1650, it was estimated that Krada's population had increased sixfold from what it was in 1500, to 90,000 people, of which a fifth were Soravian settlers.
Following the failure of the First Miersan Uprising in 1687, the Duchy of Żobrodź was partitioned, with the city of Żobrodź ending up under Soravian rule. While there were proposals to move the governate's capital to Żobrodź from Krada, the location of Żobrodź near the border with Gaullica led to concerns that in the event of a war between Soravia and Gaullica, the Miersan Governate would quickly fall to Gaullican control. Thus, Krada would remain the capital of the governate. By 1700, the population of Krada reached over 100,000 people, which although it was smaller than Żobrodź was at the time, meant that Krada was one of the major cities in the western regions of Miersa.
With the population and economic growth, Krada became a centre for culture and arts in the eighteenth century, initially among the Soravian officials and Soravian settlers who migrated there, but with increasing numbers of ethnic Miersans making their way to Krada, it also became a centre of Miersan culture, although Żobrodź continued to play a more important role than Krada in this regard. In 1753, the University of Krada was opened, which became a centre of learning in the region, especially relating to mathematics and astronomy. By the end of the century, the Kradian dialect first enters the historical record.
By 1800, Krada's population had risen to approximately 120,000 people, with a quarter of the city's population being ethnic Soravian. While much of the Soravian population in Krada formed the upper class, few of the Miersan majority were part of the upper class, with substantial inequality existing between the two communities. In the early nineteenth century, Krada continued to grow, albeit slower than what it had been, as there was now a substantial government presence in the town, but the region had yet to industrialize. Thus, by 1850, its population had only risen to 135,000 people.
Beginning in the 1850s, the city of Krada began to industrialize, as although it was poorly connected to the rest of the Soravian Empire, it was relatively near to the coal mines situated in Malomiersa. Despite setbacks caused by the First Soravian Civil War between 1857 and 1861, by the mid-1860s, the population began rising, and Krada became firmly industrial. Railways began to be built, connecting Krada to Zhobrodzh, but also to Ottseda (in present-day Radushia) and to TBD (then in Gaullica, today in present-day TBD), although this network was not connected to the rest of Soravia.
As Krada industrialized, it led to rapid population growth: while in 1850, Krada's population was only around 135,000 people, by 1877, it was at 213,697 people, and by 1887, it had risen to 446,798 people. Most of this growth was due to migration from rural areas, but also migration from other parts of Soravia, helping foster a diverse community, albeit one still dominated by a dominant Soravian minority. Despite this, many Miersans began getting rich during this period, breaking the traditional divide between wealthy Soravians and poor Miersans.
By 1897, Krada was the second largest city in the Miersan Governate, only behind the traditional Miersan capital city of Zhobrodzh, with Krada having 528,704 people. However, Krada was by far more diverse than Zhobrodzh, with the 1897 census showing that although 57% of the population were ethnic Miersan, 28% of the population were Soravian, and the remaining fifteen percent were a wide smattering other ethnic groups, predominantly other ethnic groups based in Soravia.
In the early twentieth century, Krada's population growth slowed, but it emerged as a centre for the labour movement, particularly for factory workers, and for miners, but also, to a lesser extent, farmers. Thus, when Tadeusz Czyzewski became the President of Soravia in 1913, many in Krada saw him as hope for a more liberal Soravia. However, by 1914, Krada became a centre of the Great Strike of 1914, though the strike in Krada dissipated after news of the Olsov Square massacre reached the residents of Krada, out of fear that it may happen to them.
Thus, by the 1920s, standards of living among the working classes in Krada remained poor, with the labour movement having been kneecapped. By 1927, the population of Krada had reached 618,697 people: at that point in time, the Miersan population was at 49% of the population, or 303,162 people, while the Soravian population was at a third of the city's population, or 204,170 people, with the remainder being from other ethnic groups, such as Lemovicians and Vedmedians.
With the independence of the Miersan Sotirian Republic on 3 October, 1936, Krada became the provisional capital of the newly-founded country, as although the western neighbourhoods of the city of Żobrodź was to become the capital of West Miersa, as Krada had been the administrative centre of the Soravian Miersan Governate, many of the government buildings were in Krada.
In the immediate wake of independence, around half of the city's Soravian population left, as they were largely employed with the Soravian government. Despite this, the 1937 census still shown 527,396 people residing in the city of Krada, of which 87,883 people were Soravian, or about one-sixth of the local population, while 394,498 people, or 74%, were Miersan. This left Krada with brain drain, as many of those with experience in administering the city were Soravians who left for Soravia.
During this period, although most of the country's political institutions left Krada for West Żobrodź, it remained one of the three major cities in the fledgling state, alongside West Żobrodź and Sechia, and was relatively undamaged by the Great War compared to either Żobrodź or Sechia. This effectively allowed Krada to have an economically dominant role in West Miersa.
As well, with Krada's size, it became the centre of a fledgling service industry, although as the West Miersan economy was underdeveloped compared to that of East Miersa, Krada was by far poorer than Dyńsk, or even East Żobrodź. Compared to the rest of West Miersa, however, Krada was well off than nearly any other place in the country except for Sechia and West Żobrodź. However, Krada witnessed a setback when in 1953, East Miersa refused to pay further indemnities to the west.
Thus, in the 1960s, as Krada's service sector began to emerge, factories began to close, as they proved unable to compete with factories in both Soravia and the fledgling Euclean Community, leading to rising unemployment among the city's population, as well as the collapse of the city's moribund labour movement. While new jobs in the service sector were created, they could not be created fast enough, and many of those unemployed lacked the skills needed to find jobs in the service sector. Consequently, crime and other social ills emerged, with many residents blaming their unemployment on minorities, particularly Lemovicians and Savaders.
This trend continued into the 1970s, with the trend only coming to a close in 1979, when East Miersa invaded West Miersa, beginning the Miersan War. Although the West faced substantial losses and defeats in the beginning, the Battle of Krada in 1981 was an unexpected victory for western forces, which effectively halted the western advance.
After the Miersan War ended in 1982, Krada once again rebuilt from the damage caused by the Battle of Krada, and by 1985, had been substantially rebuilt. With West Miersa joining the newly-established Samorspi in 1983, Krada's position enabled it to become a centre of the West Miersan economy, as infrastructure was in place that could connect Krada to the rest of Samorspi in a way that West Żobrodź could not hope to imagine.
By the late 1980s, Krada had become an undisputed economic centre of the country, as West Żobrodź and Sechia were near front lines (the Miersan DMZ in the former case, and the Lemovician War in the latter), making investors more willing to invest in Krada. This helped further Krada's economic position, with many private companies basing themselves in Krada. This trend continued throughout the 1990s and 2000s, which was further helped by the dot-com boom, as internet usage began growing in Euclea.
However, in 2005, the global recession impacted Krada, as investors withdrew from West Miersa. This led to many companies closing down, and a spike in unemployment in the city, with the economy only recovering in 2008, thanks to the national government's policies that promoted a "just recovery." By the early 2010s, investors began to return to Krada, helping the local economy grow, although this growth has been criticised as little of the new wealth has trickled down to the ordinary citizenry.
The city of Krada is situated at the foothills of the Środek Hills, although the Old Town and the southern neighbourhoods of Krada are on flat ground, and is on the banks of the Andia River. The highest point of Krada is at a hill in the Południowe Hills, whose elevation is 258.4 metres above sea level, while the lowest point of Krada is at 185 metres above sea level.
Climatically, Krada has a humid continental climate, with average highs ranging from 2.9 °C in January 25.5 °C in July, while average lows range from -3.4 °C in January to 13.8 °C in July. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Krada was at 38.9 °C on 8 August, 2019, while the coldest temperature was recorded at -32 °C on 11 February, 1956.
Krada has a mayor (Miersan: prezydent miasta, Soravian: міський голова, misʹkyy holova), elected every five years alongside the twenty-two seat City Council (Miersan: Rada Miejska, Soravian: муніципальна рада, munitsypalʹna rada). Like other cities in West Miersa, the city council has the power to propose legislation and budgets, while the mayor has the final say over them. The current Mayor of Krada is Jakub Garczynski, elected in 2011, and re-elected in 2016.
The city of Krada is the capital of the Święciżar voivodeship, having served in this role since 1607. Thus, it is home to the institutions associated with the Święciżar voivodeship, and is represented in the voivodal legislature by sixteen of the seventy-seven seats.
As of the 2017 census, Krada has a population of 891,411 people, making it the largest city under the full control of the Miersan Sotirian Republic, with 1,129,050 people residing in its metropolitan area.
The largest ethnicity in Krada are the Miersans, who number 610,736 people, and make up around 68.5% of the population. The next largest ethnic group, at 120,341 people, or around 13.5% of the city's population are Soravians, while 41,597 people, or around 4.7% of the city's population, are Witterites. All other ethnic groups in Krada make up 13.3% of the population, or 118,737 people, including Radushians, Vedmedis, Tengarians, Lemovicians, and Savaders, among a whole range of smaller communities.
Religiously, 468,492 people, or 52.6% of the population, are members of the Miersan Episemialist Church. 21.5% of the population, or 191,653 people, are Solarian Catholics, while 14.2% of the population, or 127,384 people, are irreligious. As well, 40,194 people, or 4.5% of the population, are Witterites. Finally, 63,688 people, or 7.2% of the population, follow other religions, such as Marolevic neopaganism.
Linguistically, Miersan is spoken by 75.8% of the population, or 675,689 people, as a first language, Soravian by 15.3% percent of the population, or 136,386 people, as a first language, and other languages are spoken by 8.9% of the population, or 79,336 people, as first languages, such as Belonarodyn, Vedmedi, Lemovician, and Savader. While the Kradian dialect is legally considered to be a dialect of Miersan, and is unrecognised by the government, as of 2020, there are still 79 speakers of the dialect, although all of whom are elderly.
As the largest city under West Miersan control, Krada has become a major cultural centre of the country, particularly given most of its residents have origins across all of Miersa, and the city's recent growth from the seventeenth century onward, where prior to that point it had been a small village.
Kradian culture has traditionally been a blend of Soravian and West Miersan influences, as a consequence of the city's development during Soravian rule and the high numbers of Soravians who lived in the city, particularly between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries. This is especially noted in their cuisine, where bliny is a popular street food within the city. Due to Krada's continued status as the primary economic centre of West Miersa since independence, Krada has become a focal point of migration from rural areas to the city, in addition to migrants to West Miersa, which has made the city more diverse compared to the rest of the country.
As a consequence of Krada's geographic position in the middle of West Miersa, Krada has become a major tourist centre in West Miersa, with most tourists to West Miersa visiting Krada, particularly as it is home to the largest international airport in West Miersa, Krada International Airport. Krada is known for its nightclubs and bars, which have largely been influenced by Soravia and by the east. Famous sights in Krada include the Old Town, the University Museum, the Krada Zoo, and the Krada Opera House.