samara - самара

Samara was founded as a border fortress in 1568. Currently it is one of the most populated cities in Russia. The population exceeds 1,500,000 people. Samara is a major hub for air, river and rail traffic in the Volga middle reaches. There are not many sights of interest with big history. Except may be for Stalin's bunker built in 1941 when German troops were advancing towards Moscow but never used as the Germans were stopped and defeated at Moscow in December 1941. A good idea to while away the time after visiting the bunker and seeing the city's architecture is to take a stroll along the Volga River.

On hot summer days the riverbanks are full of bathing beauties...

... and beer drinkers.

samara oblast - самарская область

Togliatti - тольятти

The city of Togliatti is located 90 km west of Samara. The city was founded in 1737 as Stavropol-on-Volga. The city received its name in 1964 after Palmiro Togliatti - the late leader of the Italian communist party. It is a big industrial city mostly known as a place where LADA cars are produced.

A statue of Vasily Tatishchev the founder of Togliatti and an outstanding figure of the first half of the 18th century. He is also considered to be the founder of Yekaterinburg and Perm.