Chapaevsk is located on the right bank of Chapaevka (feeder of Volga), 43 km southwest from the regional center. The railway Samara - Moscow runs through Chapaevsk and divides the town into two parts.
The population of Chapaevsk is 73.3 thousand persons. Industrial objects and warehouses occupy about 80% of all built up territory of the city.
The city district of Chapaevsk includes, along with Chapaevsk itself, such former villages as Titovka, Gubashevo and Bolshoe Tomylovo, as well as the suburban villages built up after 1917 (Nagorny and Sadovo-Dachny).
Chapaevsk is one of the most unsuccessful cities of Russia by many indicators. Environmental pollution and population morbidity rate exceed permissible limit many times. The main defense enterprises of Chapaevsk have been closed what caused the growth of unemployment. Many projects of salvation of the city have been suggested for last decades, even such as moving of Chapaevsk to other place.
From the very beginning of its history the city has developed as the military-industrial and chemical center of Russia specializing on making of defense production, including chemical war gases. Chapaevsk is the only city in Russia with such unique military-industrial and chemical specialization.
The history of the city began in 1909. That was a time of large-scale construction of munition-factories and several enterprises of chemical industry. At this time the construction of the powder mill began between villages of Titovka and Gubashevo (Samara region). It was the first explosives development works in Russia.
On September, 15th, 1911 the first stage of the factory was opened. In the same day the village named Ivashchenkovo has been opened near the factory. This significant day is considered to be a foundation date of the village.
On August, 23rd, 1927 the village of Ivashchenkovo was given the status of a city, which has been renamed in Trotsk.
In February of 1929 the city received a name Chapaevsk in honor of Vasily Chapaev, a great commander of Red Army.
From the time of city foundation the construction of industrial, residential and cultural objects has been developed at an accelerated tempo. In 1929 the House of a commune was constructed which is now an architectural monument in the constructivism style; the Palace of culture named after Vasily Chapaev was opened in the same year. In the early 1930's the sand-lime brick plant and the bakery were built. The clothing industry began to develop rapidly.
In post-war time some large enterprises were established in Chapaevsk, which are now the basis of city economy. Among many architectural monuments of Chapaevsk the most significant are: Sergey Radonezhsky Church included in 1995 into the list of cultural monuments of federal significance (1915, architect D. Verner); the House of a commune (1929); Palace of culture named after V. Chapaev (1929); monument to V. Chapaev (1949, sculptor V. Akimov). On May, 8th, 1985 in City Park the Monument of Glory was opened. It has been fixed up in honor of townspeople, who have died for Russia during the Great Patriotic War. One of the oldest educational institutions of Chapaevsk is the Provincial college (1922), the city vocational school is housed now in this building.
Chapaevsk is proud not only of many historical and architectural monuments, but also of its citizens. Many Heroes of the Soviet Union, as well as famous national actors, poets and writers have been born here.