An informal settlement was established in the area during the 16th century, when the Russians were attracted by the area’s resources of salt and fur and Perm gained city rights in 1723. The founding is still honoured by the White Night Festival every June that features many concerts and performances, parades and fireworks. Perm has earned an important space in Russian history through being a gateway to Siberia. Not only is the city’s most famous son the Russian hero Erma, whose army marched through the Urals and eastwards, but the construction of the Trans-Siberian Highway also started in Perm. When the Russian government decided to move much of its industry and cultural artefacts to Perm for safety during the Second World War, many writers, actors and artists followed, manifesting the city’s status as a cultural centre. During the Soviet era Perm was an important military fortress due to the artillery and rocket production in the area. It was one of the Soviet Union’s many well-kept secrets and few people abroad, or even within the country, guessed that the city was actually as prosperous and large as it was.