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Petropapavlovsk-Kamchatsky is a small city, yet the largest on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was founded on Avacha Bay in 1703 by the Russian settlers to become a trade center for gold and fur. Along with trade, from the day one the city development was dictated by defense needs and up until today, the city remains one of the major military ports of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The center of the city is still occupied by old wooden buildings. It is very difficult on dark winter days to call this city beautiful but on the rare sunny summer days, when the surrounding hills are bright green, dotted with wild flowers, and the snow topped volcanoes jut out above an azure blue bay, it is easy to understand why the Kamchatkian people are so proud of their city.