Current weather in Astrakhan.


Astrakhan is situated in the upper reaches of the Volga River, about 100 km from the Caspian Sea. The city was founded by Russian troops in 1558 after the entire Volga River region was taken by Ivan the Terrible from Tatars. The original Tatar town was destroyed and a kremlin was built on top of the dominant hill on the east bank of the river.

The entrance to the kremlin is through the Belfry Gate built in 1912.

The Assumption Cathedral built in 1698-1710.

The 17th century Trinity Cathedral.

Lenin leans away from the gold-plated crosses. The statue is outside the kremlin.

On the opposite side one can see a statue of Lenin's father Iliya Ulyanov who was born in Astrakhan.

A modern administrative building.

Astrakhan is an imporatnt river-sea port.

The nice riverfront promenade with fashionable nowadays quirky statues offers a good strall.

A monument to Peter the Great who once visited Astrakhan.

Visit the fish market to pick up some delicious snacks.

Around astrakhan: Khazars aka ashkenazi jews

Long before 1556 when Ivan the Terrible defeated the Astrakhan Tatar khanate, two capitals once flourished in this area: Saray-Batu of the Golden Horde and Itil of the Khazar khanate. The nomadic Khazars adopted Judaism as their religion and evolved in what nowadays is called Ashkenazi Jews.  Jews of central or eastern European descent who preserve Palestinian rather than Babylonian Jewish traditions and some still use Yiddish. If interested you can visit the excavations of Itil and pick up some ancient artifacts as souveniors. The site is located in the Volga Delta next to the village of Samosdelka (Самосделка). To get there by car one has to take a ferry twice.

Jack Goldstein of Colombia has just picked up pieces of pottery he later smuggled out of the country.

The area is infested with snakes.

around astrakhan: saray-batu of golden horde

The replica of the ancient Golden Horde capital can be found north of Astrakhan on the left bank of the Volga River close to the village of Selitrennoуe (Селитренное). Once you drove through the village look for a sign showing where to turn. The last 5 miles is a dirt road. The current structures were built as settings for a feature film. Saray-Batu was levelled to the ground in 1556 and all bricks were used for the construction of the Astrakhan kremlin. Nevertheless, the place is photogenic.

Around astrakhan: the volga delta

The delta of the Volga River bursts into thousands of branches. It is home to flocks of waterfowl and over 100 spieces of fish and fields of lotus flowers.

There are numerous tourist bases in the Volga Delta easily reachable by road which offer quite comfortable accommodation, fishing equipment and where your catch will be cooked for your consumption in a fiendly atmosphere.