Saratov has Much to Offer Tourists

The city of Saratov is a key port on the Volga River with a population of over 870,000. In addition to ethnic Russian, the inhabitants of this large city include people of Tatar, Ukrainian and German descent. Saratov is the administrative center of Saratov Oblast.

Several border fortification settlements were built during the reign of Tsar Feodor Ivanovich. The fortress of Samara was founded in the summer of 1586 and this was followed by the fortress of Tsaritsyn (now called Volgograd), which was built in 1589 in the region of the Don and Volga Rivers. In 1590 Saratov was built midway between Tsaritsyn and Samara.

In the 1800s Saratov developed into an important shipping port and its industrial development gained momentum after 1870 when a railroad linking Saratov to Moscow was complete. From Soviet times until 1991, Saratov was strictly off limits to all foreigners, mostly due to the military aircraft manufacturing industry and elements of the Soviet space program situated there. Saratov is also the home of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space and a Soviet hero. Many Russian towns have monuments in honor of Yuri Gagarin, as well as streets named after him.

Saratov was, at one time, home to the Volga Germans who numbered approximately 800,000 along the Volga River in the early 20th century. Although the Volga Germans lived in the region of southern European Russia, they maintained the German culture, traditions, churches and language. By the late 20th century, most of the Volga Germans had left the area.

Saratov today is rich in industrial and natural resources, as well as being renowned for its scientific centers, including the Russian Academy of Sciences, numerous research institutes and the Saratov State University. A prominent landmark in the city is the 19th century neo-Gothic Conservatory which was built in 1912. The famous Radishchev Art Gallery contains over 16,000 exhibits and includes works by many of Russia’s most prominent artists. There are also numerous excellent examples of ancient architecture and evidence of Saratov’s history throughout the city and surroundings.

Visitors touring through Russia should make a point of exploring the city of Saratov - it will be an enjoyable time well spent.


User Comments & Reviews: 1 Comment(s)

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christa smith - 2010-04-12 16:50:06

I would like to take the train from Berlin-Lichtenberg to Sartov. Which would be the best time of the year to visit there. I have been there 4 years ago. I fell in love with russia

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