Astrakhan, Russia




Hotels, motels and where to sleep

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Interesting information and useful tips


Description of Astrakhan

Astrakhan is a city in Russia, the administrative center of the Astrakhan region. It is the oldest economic and cultural center of the Lower Volga and the Caspian region. Included in the list of historical cities of Russia. Forms urban district of the city of Astrakhan. Center of Astrakhan urban agglomeration.

It is located in the upper part of the Volga river delta, on 11 islands of the Caspian lowland. The distance to Moscow by road is 1411 km. The city is divided into 4 administrative districts: Kirovsky, Soviet, Leninsky and Trusovsky. Population: 533,925 people. (2018). Area: 208.7 km². It is inhabited by more than 100 nationalities, 14 religious denominations live in Astrakhan, 17 societies of national cultures operate here.



The center of Astrakhan is divided into several extremely dissimilar districts:

White City --- the oldest district of Russian Astrakhan with the Kremlin;
Spit - several blocks between the Kremlin and the Volga, reclaimed in the 19th century and immediately built up in the provincial style;
Mahalla (colloquially called "slums") --- wooden eastern settlements south of the May 1 canal with historic mosques and difficult roads;
The village is an area north of Kutum with original wooden houses, much better than in the south of the city.


Astrakhan Kremlin

1 Assumption Cathedral with the bell tower of the Prechistensky Gates, st. Trediakovsky, 2/3.
2  Trinity Cathedral, st. Trediakovsky, 2/18.
3 Bishop's house, st. Trediakovsky, 2/21.
4 Guardhouse, st. Trediakovsky, 2/9.
5 Cyril Chapel, st. Trediakovsky, 2/18.
6 Artillery storehouse, st. Trediakovsky, 2/24.
7  Artillery Yard.
12 Walls and towers of the Kremlin.
8 Crimean tower.
9 Zhitnaya tower.
10 Bishop's tower.
11 Artillery tower.
12 Red Gate Tower.
13 Nikolsky Gate.
14 Prechistensky gates with the cathedral bell tower above the gate.


Church architecture

15 Cathedral of Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, st. General Episheva, 4.
16 Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, st. Victory, d. 4.
17 Church of St. John Chrysostom, st. Donbasskaya, 61.
18 Annunciation Convent, st. Kalinina, 13/3.
19  Khachkar, Armenia square.
20 Tower of the Transfiguration Monastery, st. Communist, 11/24.


Civil architecture

21 The building of the former Azov-Don Bank, st. Nikolskaya, 3.
22 Gubin's mansion, st. Krasnaya Embankment, 7/1.
23  Indian trading courtyard, st. Volodarsky, 14.
24 Demidovskoe Compound, st. Sverdlov, 55.
25 House of the Astrakhan Cossack army, st. Akhmatovskaya, 7.
26 Armenian Compound, st. Soviet, 9/5.
27  Persian Compound, st. Sovetskaya d. 10.
28 Arc de Triomphe. Built in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Astrakhan province.
29 Astrakhan TV tower.
30  Swan Lake. A natural body of water left over from one of the former channels of the Volga. In the 2010s, the lake was equipped with granite shores, a snow-white gazebo was placed in the middle, where you can sail on a boat for a fee, and for greater persuasiveness, white swans were launched into the lake.
31 House of the pastor of the Lutheran church, Kazanskaya st., 100.
32 Coffee house Sharlau, st. Kirov, 26/9.
33 Exchange, Red Embankment, 1.
34 House of Tetyushinov, st. Communist, 26.



35 Monument to Peter the Great, Peter I Square.
36 Monument to Kurmangazy.
37  Monument to B. M. Kustodiev.



1 Museum of Culture of Astrakhan, st. Chernyshevsky, 4/3.
2 Astrakhan Museum of Local Lore, st. Soviet, 15/5.
3 Astrakhan Picture Gallery named after P.M. Dogadin V Kontakte Russian V.png , st. Sverdlov, 81/14.
4 Museum of the history of the city, st. Ulyanov, 9.
5 House-Museum of B. M. Kustodiev, st. Kalinina, 26/68.
6  V. Khlebnikov House-Museum , st. Sverdlov, 53.
7 Green Cellar (Powder Cellar), North-Eastern part of the Astrakhan Kremlin.



8 Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre, st. M. Maksakova, 2. ✉ ☎ 8 (8512) 51-50-61.
9 Astrakhan Drama Theatre, st. Soviet, 28. ✉
10 Astrakhan State Theater for Young Spectators, st. Musa Jalil, 4. ✉ fax: 8 (8512)51-41-25.
11 Astrakhan State Puppet Theatre, st. Fioletova, 12/7. ☎ +7 (8512) 52-40-21.
12 Astrakhan State Musical Theatre, st. Kalinina, 5.


History of Astrakhan

Medieval history

Astrakhan is in the Volga Delta, which is rich in sturgeon and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria and the Golden Horde. Astrakhan was first mentioned by travelers in the early 13th century as Xacitarxan. Tamerlane burnt it to the ground in 1395 during his war with the Golden Horde. From 1459 to 1556, Xacitarxan was the capital of Astrakhan Khanate. The ruins of this medieval settlement were found by archaeologists 12 km upstream from the modern-day city.

Starting in A.D. 1324, Ibn Battuta, the famous Muslim traveler, began his pilgrimage from his native city of Tangier to Mecca. Along the 75,000 mile trek, that took nearly 29 years, Ibn Battuta came in contact with many new cultures in which he speaks about in his diaries. One specific country that he passed through on his journey was the Golden Horde ruled by the descendants of Genghis Khan, located on the Volga River in southern Russia; which Battuta refers to as the river Athal. He then claims the Athal is, “one of the greatest rivers in the world.” ( Battuta, 79). In the winter, when the weather is very cold, the Muslim ruler, or Sultan, stays in Astrakhan. Due to this cold water, the King [Sultan Mohammed Öz Beg] orders the people of Astrakhan to lay many bundles of hay down on the frozen river. He does this to allow the people to travel over the ice. When Battuta and the King spoke about Battuta visiting Constantinople, which the King granted him permission to do, the King then gifted Battuta with fifteen hundred dinars, many horses and a dress of honor.

In 1556, the khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible, who had a new fortress, or kremlin, built on a steep hill overlooking the Volga in 1558. This year is traditionally considered to be the foundation of the modern city.

In 1569, during the Russo-Turkish War (1568–1570), Astrakhan was besieged by the Ottoman army, which had to retreat in disarray. A year later, the Ottoman sultan renounced his claims to Astrakhan, thus opening the entire Volga River to Russian traffic. The Ottoman Empire, though militarily defeated, insisted on safe passage for Muslim pilgrims and traders from Central Asia as well as the destruction of the Russian's fort on the Terek river. In the 17th century, the city was developed as a Russian gate to the Orient. Many merchants from Armenia, Safavid Persia, Mughal India and Khiva khanate settled in the town, giving it a cosmopolitan character.


Modern history

For seventeen months in 1670–1671, Astrakhan was held by Stenka Razin and his Cossacks. Early in the following century, Peter the Great constructed a shipyard here and made Astrakhan the base for his hostilities against Persia, and later in the same century Catherine the Great accorded the city important industrial privileges.

The city rebelled against the Tsar once again in 1705, when it was held by the Cossacks under Kondraty Bulavin. A Kalmuck khan laid an abortive siege to the kremlin several years before that.

In 1711, it became the seat of a governorate, whose first governors included Artemy Petrovich Volynsky and Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev. Six years later, Astrakhan served as a base for the first Russian venture into Central Asia. It was granted town status in 1717. In 1702, 1718 and 1767, it suffered severely from fires; in 1719 it was plundered by the Safavid Persians; and in 1830, cholera killed much of the populace.

Astrakhan's kremlin was built from the 1580s to the 1620s from bricks taken from the site of Sarai Berke. Its two impressive cathedrals were consecrated in 1700 and 1710, respectively. Built by masters from Yaroslavl, they retain many traditional features of Russian church architecture, while their exterior decoration is definitely baroque.

In March 1919 after a failed workers' revolt against Bolshevik rule, 3,000 to 5,000 people were executed in less than a week by the Cheka under orders from Sergey Kirov. Some victims had stones tied around their necks and were thrown into the Volga.

During Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the A-A line running from Astrakhan to Arkhangelsk was to be the eastern limit of German military operation and occupation. The plan was never carried out, as Germany captured neither the two cities nor Moscow. In the autumn of 1942, the region to the west of Astrakhan became one of the easternmost points in the Soviet Union reached by the invading German Wehrmacht, during Case Blue, the offensive which led to the Battle of Stalingrad. Light armored forces of German Army Group A made brief scouting missions as close as 100 km to Astrakhan before withdrawing. In the same period, elements of both the Luftwaffe's KG 4 and KG 100 bomber wings attacked Astrakhan, flying several air raids and bombing the city's oil terminals and harbor installations.



How to get in

By plane
The set of destinations in Astrakhan is typical for a Russian provincial airport - several times a day you can fly to Moscow, less often to St. Petersburg, and even less often to other major Russian airports. International flights are in the direction of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

Astrakhan International Airport (Narimanovo) (IATA: ASF, internal code ASR), Aeroportovskiy proezd, 1 st2 (southern outskirts of the city). ☎ +7 (8512) 39-33-17. The Astrakhan airport itself is also similar to a regular regional one - except that the clean zone is larger than usual, but two flights departing at the same time can still be crowded; before control is usually more spacious. You can eat both before the control and after, there are more souvenir shops in the clean area. The airport bears the name of the artist Boris Kustodiev, to whom a banner is dedicated with the quote “Now I would exchange ten Yaltas and the same number of Black Seas for Astrakhan”, addressed primarily to those departing (whether there is a deep meaning in this remains a mystery). A feature of the Astrakhan airport is Lukoil helicopters flying in the direction of oil rigs in the Caspian Sea.
How to get there: the airport is located within the city. A taxi to the center costs around 150₽ (2022) and takes about 15 minutes without traffic jams. You can also try to leave by minibus (5s, 80s, 86s are suitable), but please note that the intervals of movement are unpredictable, and Yandex is very optimistic in their assessment, which makes it difficult for them to get to the airport. Minibuses depart from the parking lot to the left of the terminal building, behind the barrier.

By train
Railway station Astrakhan I , st. Bering, 1A/2. The main passenger railway station of the city.

By bus
Bus station, st. Henri Barbusse, 29B (near the railway).

By car
Two routes come to Astrakhan from Volgograd - the federal R22 "Kaspiy" on the right bank of the Volga and the regional one on the left; There are no bridges across the Volga from Astrakhan to Volgograd. The road on the right bank is shorter (430 km between city centers), but on the left (460 km) there are more attractions, including Baskunchak. The roads to Elista (310 km) and Makhachkala (490 km) are of good quality, but the road to Atyrau (350 km) is traditionally known for poor coverage on the Kazakh side.

On the ship
From spring to autumn, Volga cruises come to Astrakhan. There is no regular intercity river communication.


Transport around the city

There is no normal public transport in Astrakhan - a tram and a trolley bus were successively killed in the city, and large buses exist purely nominally. Only minibuses run, the role of which is played by Gazelles and their no less shabby foreign relatives. The fare on each route is different, most often - 30 rubles (2022), payment only in cash. Some bus stops do not give themselves away on the ground, but maps and locals know them.


Hotels, motels and where to sleep

GK Gold Jin, John Reed St., 37G. ☎ +78512433-111. 1500-4000.


Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

Stolovaya N 100, Brestskaya st., 9a. ☎ +7 917 0833300. It just doesn't get cheaper.


Interesting information and useful tips

There are a lot of stray dogs, which is quite unusual for other Russian cities in 2020.