samara - самара

Samara was founded in 1568. Currently it is one of the most populated cities in Russia. The population exceeds 1,500,000 people. Samara is a major industrial center and a hub for air, river and rail traffic in the Volga middle reaches. There are not many sights of interest with big history but nevertheless the city has a pleasant look and tourist appeal due to many parks, monuments and early 20th century architecture. In 1935 Samara was renamed Kuibyshev to commemorate Valerian Kuibyshev a prominent revolutionary and public figure. The city was returned its historic name in 1991. The central square still bears the name of Kuibyshev and has a statue of Kuibyshev. So came that my grandfather and Valerian Kuibyshev were comrades in arms in the days of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

The building behind the statue is the opera and ballet theatre.

The local parliament.

The newly built Saint George Cathedral.

Per aspera ad astra.

The drama theatre.

A monument to heroes of the 1918-22 Civil War that followed the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Next to the drama theatre stands the academy of culture and art. In 1941, when German troops were advancing towards Moscow, Stalin's bunker was built below the academy but never used as the Hitler armies were stopped and defeated at Moscow in December 1941. Below is the entry door to the bunker. The bunker is open to visitors.

The Iberian monastery sits in the city center.

Lenin is placed a bit off city center.

In 1887 the Ulyanovs (Lenin's family) moved from Simbirsk (Ulyanovsk since 1924) to Samara. The house they lived in is in Leninskaya street, 131.

The same year young Vladimir Ulyanov (future Lenin) moved from Simbirsk to Kazan to study law at the Kazan university. Later Lenin joined his mother, brother and sisters in Samara. In 1890-93 he lived next door in Leninskaya street, 135 and worked as a lawyer.

The statue of Lenin nearby depicts him as a young attorney in his early 20s.

The Jesus' Heart catholic church.

This colorful building housed the Norwegian Embassy in 1941-43.

The famous Soviet composer Dmitry Shostakovitch.

It is always a good idea 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

SAMARA  bend - САМАРская лука

The city of Samara is located on the left bank of the Volga River. The right bank across the city has a hilly terrain - the Zhiguli Hills. The Volga loops around the hills making a peninsula. A big portion of the peninsula is taken by a national park. The highest peak of the Zhiguli Hills is Mount Strelnaya at 370 m ASL offers good vistas on the Volga. The access road to Strelnaya is via the village of Zolnoe.

vinnovka - винновка

The village of Vinnovka in the Samara Bend is home for a small monastery. The monastery sits right on the river bank and its bell tower is shaped as a light house which is rather unusual.

garibaldi castle - замок гарибальди

Once you are in the Samara Oblast, do not overlook the village of Khryashchovka (Хрящёвка) located about 40 km north from the center of Togliatti. You will be pleasantly surprised to find a medieval castle and a luxury hotel there. The area is still being developed, therefore, the number of surprises will grow with time.

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 Stavropol-on-Volga and an outstanding figure of the first half of the 18th century. He is also considered to be the founder of Yekaterinburg and Perm.