Ermak Travel Guide

 

Saratov

Saratov

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of Saratov

Saratov is a city in the south-east of the European part of Russia, the administrative center of the Saratov region, which is not included, being a city of regional importance, forms the municipal formation of the city of Saratov with the status of a city district. It has large cultural, economic and educational center of the Volga region. It is included in the twenty largest cities in Russia, not being a millionaire city, at the same time it is the center of the Saratov agglomeration, whose population exceeds 1.2 million people.

Saratov is located on the right bank of the Volgograd reservoir of the Volga River, 389 km from Volgograd and 442 km from Samara, 858 km south-east of Moscow.

Founded as a guard fortress to protect the southern borders of the Russian state in 1590, in the reign of Fyodor Ivanovich on the site of the medieval Golden Horde settlement. In the second half of the 18th century, it became a major transit point and a center for trade in fish and salt, and since the 19th century it has become one of the centers for trade in grain. Saratov is a provincial city since 1780. At the beginning of the XX century was the largest city in the Volga. In 1909 Saratov got its first university.

Saratov is a multifunctional center with numerous industrial, cultural, and educational institutions. In the historic center are the administration of the city and the region (a complex of buildings built in the late XIX - mid XX century); theaters: opera and ballet (1875), drama (1803), young spectator (1918), conservatory (1912), circus (1876), philharmonic (1937); museums: the Saratov Art Museum named after A.N. Radishchev (1885), the Museum of K.A. Fedin (building of the beginning of the 18th century), the museum-estate of Nikolay Chernyshevsky (the beginning of the 19th century); Trinity Cathedral (end of the seventeenth century); A large number of architectural monuments of the late XVIII - early XX centuries were preserved of federal and regional significance.

 

 

 

History of Saratov

Uvek, a city of the Golden Horde, stood near the site of the modern city of Saratov from the mid-13th century until its destruction by Tamerlane in 1395. While the exact date of the foundation of modern Saratov is unknown, all plausible theories date it to ca. 1590, during the reign (1584–1598) of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, who constructed several settlements along the Volga River in order to secure the southeastern boundary of his state. Town status was granted to it in 1708.

By the 1800s, Saratov had grown to become an important shipping port on the Volga. The Ryazan-Ural Railroad reached Saratov in 1870. In 1896 (26 years later), the line crossed the Volga and continued its eastward expansion. A unique train-ferry, owned by the Ryazan-Ural railroad, provided the connection across the river between the two parts of the railroad for 39 years, before the construction of a railway bridge in 1935.

During January 1915, with World War I dominating the Russian national agenda, Saratov became the destination for deportation convoys of ethnic Germans, Jews, Hungarians, Austrians and Slavs whose presence closer to the western front was perceived as a potential security risk to the state.

During World War II, Saratov was a station on the North-South Volzhskaya Rokada, a specially designated military railroad supplying troops, ammunition and supplies to Stalingrad in 1942-1943 the city was bombed by German aircraft the main target was the Kirov oil refinery bombarded heavily seriously damaging the installation and destroying 80% of its plant and temporarily interrupting its work. The Luftwaffe was able to destroy all the fuel stock at bases in Saratov and eliminate the oil plant in the city.

Until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet authorities designated Saratov a "closed city"—strictly off-limits to all foreigners due to its military importance as the site of a vital facility manufacturing military aircraft.

German community
The city of Saratov played an important role in the history of the Volga Germans. Until 1941, the town of Pokrovsk (present-day Engels), located just across the Volga from Saratov, served as the capital of the Volga German Republic. The ethnic German population of the region numbered 800,000 in the early 20th century, with some people whose families had been there for generations. Beginning with Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto promising land, freedom from military conscription and religious freedom, the Russian Emperors invited German immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries to encourage agricultural development.

The Volga German community came to include industrialists, scientists, musicians and architects, including those who built Saratov's universities and conservatories. After the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Soviet government forcibly expelled the Volga Germans to Uzbekistan, Siberia and Kazakhstan (September 1941); few ever returned to the Volga region, even after rehabilitation. Others were expelled to western Europe after World War II ended in 1945.

Beginning in the 1980s, a large portion of the surviving members of the ethnic Germans emigrated from the Soviet Union to Germany.

Reminders of the once prominent place of Germans in the city remain, with the Roman Catholic St. Klementy Cathedral (seat of the historic Diocese of Tiraspol) on Nemetskaya Ulitsa ("German Street") the most notable. The building was converted into the children's cinema "Pioneer" during the Soviet period. A new cathedral was built in 2000 elsewhere in the city: the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Saratov.

 

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

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