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In the late Middle Ages in the area of modern Saratov was the lively Golden Horde city of Uvek, founded in the 1240s, and probably built on the site of an earlier settlement.

Year of foundation-1591

Number of Universities-8

Population-0.9 million people

Subsistence minimum-9,000 rubles (90 euros)

Average temperature: -7 degrees Celsius in Winter and +21 degrees Celsius in Summer

Average cost of dormitory-1,000 rubles (10 euros)

Average cost of one-room apartment rent- 11,000 rubles (110 euros)


The Arabian traveller Ibn Battuta, who visited here in the 14th century, wrote about its beautiful palaces and abundance of goods in the city markets. In 1395 this prosperous city was wiped out by Tamerlane’s forces. Archaeologists have discovered its ruins south of Saratov in a suburban village and today is called «Uvek».

In the 16th century, Moscow Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich ordered to lay down a number of fortresses in the middle of the Volga and sent to carry out the task of the archer’s army led by voivode Gregory Zasekin of the family of Yaroslavl dukes. In the summer of 1590 a wooden outpost was laid down on the bank of the Volga River, which gave rise to Saratov. Linguists believe that the name of the city comes from Turkish "sary tau", which means "yellow mountain". 

The city blocks of Saratov stretch for 34 km along the west coast of the Volgograd reservoir. This man-made sea with busy navigation has spilled on 540 km. The depths on the fairway reach 20-40 meters, here the large passenger ships and cargo ships of class «river-sea» freely swim in the Caspian Sea. Saratov has a major commercial port and a river station, receiving passenger ships. The nearest major cities of the Volga region are Samara (442 km) and Volgograd (389 km). From Saratov to Moscow - 858 km to the north-west.

Opposite Saratov above the water rise picturesque islands with picturesque names - Oak mane, Cossack, Green, Intercession sands. There are beaches, convenient places for picnics by the water. On the opposite bank of the Volga at the mouth of the river Saratovka there is a satellite city Engels.

From the center of Saratov Street Sokolovaya and Bolshaya Gornaya converge on the automobile junction, leading to the automobile bridge across the Volga. This enormous structure has maintained the status of the largest bridge in the Soviet Union for a long time. Its length is 2825.8 m. Here passes the federal highway E-38. For many years the bridge ran an intercity trolleybus, which connected Saratov and Engels.

It is best to get acquainted with the welcoming Saratov by taking a walk through the city center where architectural attractions, museums and monuments are concentrated. There are many original sculptures in the city. One of them is dedicated to a memorable song for the older generation «Ogney tak mnogo zolotykh na ulitsah Saratova...» from the film «Business was in Penkov» (1957). The figure of the young man with a bouquet of flowers, waiting for a favorite under the clock on the basis of a stylized street lamp, personifies one of the «single guys». The left elbow of the statue is chivalrously retracted, the girls take a bronze admirer under their arm and take a selfie. The song that has become the unofficial anthem of the city sounds softly here. The sculpture stands in a stream of walking on the pedestrian section of Kirov Avenue. There are many fashionable shops and cozy cafes, tourists entertained by street musicians. Here you can also take a photo with a cheerful bronze harmonist sitting on a bench and stretching the furs of his instrument.

The Saratov hormone is a cultural symbol of the city. It is distinguished by its original shape, sound tones and bells which are attached to the body and accompanying the melodic ringing of each movement of the musician. Under this accordion are performed folk songs known as «Saratov’s love sufferings». The city has a Saratov harmonica museum and souvenir kiosks sell CDs with Russian folk songs that are performed by famous artists accompanied by this musical instrument.

On Theatre Square you can see another bright sculptural composition dedicated to the famous native of Saratov Oleg Tabakov and the characters embodied by his talent.

Be sure to visit the Saratov Art Museum named after Radishchev, located in a magnificent building built in 1883. The story of his creation is quite interesting. In the late 70s of the 19 century the marinist Alexey Bogolubov living in Paris, the grandson of the famous Russian writer-freethinker Alexander Radishchev, wished to donate to Saratov a valuable collection of paintings and other art objects. But the donor has put forward two conditions:

  1. For the museum it is necessary to build a decent building.
  2. To name the collection after his grandfather. 

After a few years, the demands were satisfied and in Saratov there was a museum with paintings of outstanding artists. Emperor Alexander III donated many paintings from his personal collection to the museum, shared the exhibits of the Petersburg Academy of Arts, contributed to the Hermitage and Tretyakov Gallery. Many priceless exhibits were handed over by private collectors. Among them - the famous French singer Polina Viardo The museum contains paintings by Brullov, Repin, Shishkin, Aivazovsky, Kypriensky and many other outstanding masters. In addition, there are collections of sculpture, porcelain, applied arts and antique furniture, rare books and manuscripts in the library. The museum has branches in Saratov, Engels and Khvalynsk.

Saratov houses one of the first stationary circuses in Russia founded by the Nikitin brothers in 1876. The modern building was built in 1931. On the manege of the Saratov circus, the famous clown Oleg Popov began his career. In front of the circus plays the fountain «Dandelion» with lush jets, creating in spectators rushing to the performance, the mood of the holiday. The fountain is surrounded by sculptures of four-legged circus artists - a seal, a lion, an elephant, a bear. In the square you can ride a pony, drive an electric car. The kiosks sell toys and sweets.

There are nine theatres in Saratov, among them three academic - opera and ballet, dramatic, young spectators. It is worth to spend one of the evenings at the performance of the theater of magic and tricks «Scoot». Both adults and children will be interesting to visit the performances «Feast of Tricks», «Akhalay-Mahalay», «Tricks without deception», «40 minutes of magic». All spectacular actions of illusionists are built in the form of a game with the audience, communication with magicians is humorous and funny. The cashiers work daily from 11:00 to 17:30. The cost of tickets - from 250 rubles.

On the banks of the Volgograd reservoir and on the islands you can swim and fish. Lucky fishermen catch bream up to five kilos. Catfish, carp, chub, gustera, crucian and a large redberry can be found in these waters.

In winter in the forest park Kumysnaya Polyana ski slopes and equipment rental points are opened, ice fishing lovers may come to the frozen reservoir. Saratov extremals gather at the club «Neptune» to engage in winter swimming. In January on the Baptism on opposite the club a cross hole is made and hundreds of townspeople watch the ritual bathing. In summer there are dozens of public beaches where all the citizens gather to relax from the work. 

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