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 isn’t
seen, it isn’t 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
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
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 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 – 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 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
For the first 50 km after Nizhniy Novgorod the
Volga flows easily, not experiencing head of the next Cheboksarskaya dam.
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
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 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 – 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.
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 today’s 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
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
WOULD LIKE TO BYE A TOUR BY VOLGA IN AUGUST, DON'T KNOW HOW TO REALIZE IT. THANK YOU!