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The Volga cruise

The most significant historical events, cultural and economic development of the country are connected with the Volga, ancient towns and monasteries stretches along its banks. The Volga (in antiquity it was called the Ra, in Middle Ages the Itil) is the largest river in Europe but in Russia it takes the fifth place, yielding to the great Siberian rivers and the Amur. Its length is more than 3.5 thousand km, for the space of 3,200 km it is navigable, and about 3,000 km of them we will pass during this voyage.

During spring flood, by herders statement, by boat, not once setting foot on land, one can reach Kalmykia, if, certainly, necessary paths between thickets of waterlogged poplars, willows and canes (in the Lower Volga it usually reaches height of 5 m) are known. And all around before your eyes the nature will awake. Delicate-light-green haze in bare branches will change into a shadow of emerald crowns for several days.

Southern thunderstorms with curtains of rains will rush past from the side of the Caspian sea. After each of them a rainbow will flash out in the amber-colored evening light. Inhabitants of the Volga have a folklore expression for this season when the river buzzes. Swimming by the Volga, when it buzzes, is an incomparable feeling.

The beginning of the Volga

The Volga is begun a thin stream on the Valday upland, and finishes a mighty current in the Caspean sea. Near the beginning of the Volga there is as tone with inscriptions and small chapel on the gangways, here there is a well, where a brown water is seethed. And the wish is appeared to pull down the hands at this well.

The Volga flows about the greatest East European or Russian Plain of the world. Making the voyage about it by motor ship, we will descend all the time but will lose very little height only about 200 m. In some places the river is encircled with heights, hills or even small mountains, but oftener we will see flat low banks.

Lock sesame is the most interesting sight during the trip. Locks create the unique atmosphere of mystery for the Volga voyage. On the lowland river change of pictures is so slow that each next view opens and enter you long before it spreads in the foreground. It is always known what in front is. And the lock is a designing pause. It isnt seen, it isnt known what river is there behind the wall. And one waits constrainedly for a moment when the sesame opens

Towns on the banks of the Volga

Ribinsk

Ribinsk town - a district city of the Yaroslav region is situated on the bank of the Volga and Ribinskoe reservoir and stretches along the bank for 22 km. Such configuration is peculiar for many cities of the Volga. The large city, the population of which is more than 250,000 people, with petrochemical industry and shipbuilding. The city has kept its old merchant color. Having come here, it seems as if you find yourself in the atmosphere of Itinerants canvas with their love to Russian landscapes and types.


In order to know the history of the town, one should visit the Ribnsk state art and historic architectural reserve museum, which is one of the best museums on the Volga.

Collection of foreign art is the biggest in the region. A part of West European graphic of XVI and XIX cent. is included at this collection. In the part of West European art are full represented the works from the Netherlands, France, German, Italia.

Collection of applied art includes the products models of leading ceramic centers of Europe. In the part of ceramic from the East are underlined a china of Ching and Ming epochs, models of Persian and Turkestan ceramics of XIII, XVI XIX cent., and bohemian glass of XVII XIX cent.

Collection of Russian painting art gives a full presentation of its developments.

Besides, at the museum are presented the collection of Russian Orthodox Culture, Russia Graphic art of XVIII XX century, Russian applied art of XVIII XIX cent. Here one can meet with the works of native art, and also the collection of flora and fauna.

Downstream we are leave the landing stage of Kuzminskoe settlement and entering the recreation zone of Yaroslavl with numerous sanatoriums and holiday villages.

Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl is the largest industrial city, cultural and educational, its heritage reaches about half million people. Yaroslavl reached out on 30 km along the Volga. A high quay and old mansion with churches cupolas are seen from the river.

Having done not long station, one can walk over the city, visit first private museum Music and Time with the unique collection of old watches and clocks, musical instruments and bells.

There are several places in Yaroslavl, where the holy relics are keeping: The state art and historic architectural reserve museum, old Spaso Preobrazhensky cloister and Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, and later Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple.

Further, almost to Kostroma, a low lying part of the Volga is followed with damp meadows.

Kostroma

Kostroma is original and unique monument of Russian town building of XVI XIX century with significant architectural monuments of the nature and history, one of the Russian cities, which is kept individual and various look. Kostroma is situated on the Volga's bank in the place of its confluence with the Kostroma river.

One of the main historical sights of the city is Ipatjevsky cloister. This cloister is located on the place of confluence the Kostroma and Volga.


The state integral art reserve museum of Kostroma. At this museum are represent the collections of Ancient Russian art, Russian art of XVIII cent., Native art of XX cent.

The Municipal art gallery of Kostroma, was created in 1996 year, it shows to the audience a wide range of modern art. This wide range consists of artists works from Kostroma and other regions of Russia and foreign countries, who finds new form in art, mastering of new materials, researching of new plastic and aesthetic ideas. Choice of authors and exhibited models is based on the principals of singularity and high quality.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is the largest machine-building center of Russia. Its population is about 1,500,000 people. Nizhny Novgorod is founded in 1221 by prince Yuri Vsevolodich near the place of confluence of two rivers the Volga and Oka. More than 600 unique historical, architectural and cultural monuments are in the city. Nizhny Novgorod was included in the list of UNESCO as the city, which has a large cultural and historical meaning.

The stone Kremlin is situated in historical center of the town of XVI century, it is two kilometers stronghold with 13th watchtowers. On the territory of the Kremlin there are many temples, but for the present time one temple is kept Michael Archangel cathedral. Besides, two largest medieval cloister Pechersky and Blagoveschensky.

For the first 50 km after Nizhniy Novgorod the Volga flows easily, not experiencing head of the next Cheboksarskaya dam.

Cheboksary

Cheboksary city is a capital of Chuvashia the population of which is more that 460 thousand people. Cheboksary city are situated on the steep high bank of the Volga. Modern Cheboksary is a large industrial, scientific and cultural center of Chuvashia. Cheboksary was founded in 1555 in the place of an ancient Chuvashia settlement which had been recorded in Russian annuals since 1469.

The city is an architectural monument of Russia.

The central part of the town is amphitheatre, stretched out over slopes and seven hills. Some constructions of XVII XVIII cent. are kept, in the number of Trinity cloister, Presentation cloister, Michel Archangel church and others.

In 1997 year In Cheboksary was opened the museum of beer is the only beer museum in Russia. In the exposition of this museum are included a peasant beer factory of XIX century. Necessary utensisl are exhibited on the stands of the museum.

Samara

Samara city was founded in 1586 by order of Theodore Ioannovitch for protection of the southern boundaries. Samara is the second Volga city after Nizhniy Novgorod the population of which is high (1,158,000 people). It is situated on the left bank next to the inflow of a wide Samara River branch. The Historical center of Samara is the museum in open air, consists of 1000 monuments.

Bunker of Stalin, erected in 1942 year and based in secret. Till 1990 year people didn't know about its existence. Iversky convent was opened in 1850 year and famed fancywork. This convent was situated on the bank of Volga, and always was a decoration and spiritual center of the city. The convent suffered past revolutionary destruction, and was revived in 1993 year.


Squares of Samara.

Khlebnaya square is a reference point of the history of Samara. In the second part of XIX century this square became the main bread market place of the Volga region. One of the oldest squares in Samara is the square of Revolution. Till 1918 year it was called Alekseevskaya, which was a heart of Samara in the middle of XIX century. There were living I. Repin, F. Shalyapin. Everyone who had came to the city, visited this square. The main square of the city is Kuibisheva. One of the best observation of Samara is the Fame square. In the center of this square there is a monument of fame.

Saratov

Saratov is separated from the Volga by a long sandy peninsula, or a spit. Under the Romanovs it became famous as a point of a light political exile. As the result firm cultural traditions formed and Saratov land acquired a reputation of intelligent one.

Population of Saratov is over 900,000 people. Saratov is one of the largest industrial centers of Russia. One of peculiarities of Saratov is a motor bridge. The bridge connects the city with Engels city, situated on the left bank of the Volga. This largest motor bridge in Europe, length of which is 2.8 km, was built in 1965.

One more outstanding architectural monuments of the town is the state university in the name of N. G. Chernishevsky.

Volgograd

Volgograd is placed on the right bank of the Volga. The town is stretched in 90 km along the river. Modern Volgograd is a largest industrial center.

There are no old monuments in Volgograd. After the Stalingrad battle here no safe building was left, among ruins it was difficult to determine direction of streets. The city was reconstructed by the whole country. The city lives mostly in the past and a little in the present as if here there are two peoples. One remembers and puts up with the present, clinging to memory for surviving in the present, the other lives by simple todays life. We are moving to the south-east by the principle arm, leaving water-meadows from the left. If you have a chance to make a trip in April, May or beginning of June, you will be able to observe flood. We are slowly moving to the last destination.

Astrakhan

Astrakhan is placed on 11 islands and is crossed by numerous channels and arms of the Volga, therefore the city is called Venice of the Volga. Town Sarai-Batu was founded in 1242 on the right bank of the Volga on the crossroad of caravan tracks the Great Volzhski and the Silk roads. The beautiful ancient Kremlin is seen from the Volga. The Kremlin of Astrakhan is considered the most ancient on the Volga. One can get to it through eastern Pretchistinskie gates. A Cathedral belfry towers above them. Behind the entrance from the left there is Uspensky cathedral. It is seen 25-30 km from the city. Near the Kremlin there is a museum of culture of Astrakhan city. One can walk along the picturesque Red quay. In the city there are many interesting places. One can return to the

River-boat station either by the quay of the Volga or by one of a street parallel to it where one can see monuments of architecture of 19 the beginning of 20 century. Astrakhan is also a large river and sea port.




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[2009-02-16 21:28:24]
WOULD LIKE TO BYE A TOUR BY VOLGA IN AUGUST, DON'T KNOW HOW TO REALIZE IT. THANK YOU!

     
 
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