saratov - саратов

Saratov was founded in 1590 as a fortress forming a line of defense for the trade route along the Volga River. The city lacks tourist attractions but makes a good stop on the way south to Volgograd or on the way north to Samara.

The monument to Peter Stolypin, a prominent Russian prime minister assassinated in Kiev in 1911.

The monument to Nikolay Radishchev, the earliest revolutionary who instigated a revolt against the tsarist regime back in the late 18th century.

In the city's center.

The monument to revolutionaries fighting for the establishment of the Soviet power.

The Saratov theatre.

If you are a bad boy, welcome for shaving.

The bridge across the Volga.

saratov oblast - саратовская область

The town across the Volga bears the name of Friedrich Engels. A large community of ethnic Germans settled around Saratov in the 18th and 19th centuries and even got their own Volga German (Wolga Deutsch) autonomous republic within the Soviet Union in 1924. The republic was abolished soon after Hitler attacked the USSR on June 22, 1941. Deportation in 1941 and massive emigration of ethnic Germans in early 90-ss have significantly decreased the Wolga Deutsch population. But some traces remained. For instance, one can see a delicate Lutheran church in the village of Zorkino (former Zuerich) built in 1877 to the design developed by a well-known Berlin architect Johann Yakobshchtal the author of Alexander Platz metro station in Berlin and the railway station in Strasbourg. The village is 110 km north of Saratov on the left bank of the Volga River. The nearest town is Marx named after Karl Marx.

There is a rather cozy hotel next to the church.

The first man in space, cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, lived in Saratov and studied at a college and learned to fly a plane at the Saratov aeroclub. The statue of Gagarin with rather unusual rough facial features stands on the Volga embankment.

So came that Gagarin landed near Saratov after his first ever manned space flight. To get to his landing site one has to cross the Volga River and to head approximately 30 km south until one sees a direction board "Место приземления Юрия Гагарина". It is a 6 km detour from the main road.

The landing site is marked with a monument.

Again, so came that the second Soviet cosmonaut Herman Titov also landed in Saratov oblast. His landing site is also marked with a cute monument showing a falling parachute canopy right after touchdown, Titov’s face and statistic details of his flight. The landing site is about 10 km south of the town of Krasny Kut (Красный Кут). About 130 km east of Saratov towards Kazakhstan.

The spaceship “Vostok-2” piloted by Herman Titov landed here on August 7, 1961. The spaceship circled the Earth 17 times. Flight duration – 25.3 hours. Distance traveled in space – 700,000 km.

The village of Loginovka in the vicinity of Krasny Kut. An old unrestored church lends charm to the view. A rather interesting combination of stone and wooden architecture.