Volokolamsk was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle under the year of 1135. The town was built on a 5-kilometerportage (волок, or volok) on a waterway from Novgorod to Moscow and Ryazan. Hence, the name Volokolamsk (Volok on the Lama = Volokolamsk). In 1383, Tokhtamysh was defeated near Volokolamsk. In 1513, the Muscovy annexed the town. The Soviet authority in Volokolamsk was established in late October of 1917. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, a number of violent battles between the German and Soviet troops and partisans took place near Volokolamsk. In November of 1941, 28 Soviet soldiers of the 316th rifle division managed to disable 18 enemy tanks 8 km from Volokolamsk right before they reached the Volokolamsk-Moscow highway (see Panfilovtsy).
Volokolamsk is home to a number of architectural monuments of the 15th-17th centuries, such as Voskresensky Cathedral and Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery (17 km northeast of Volokolamsk).
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