Samara

Samara is the sixth largest city in Russia. There are a lot of various historical buildings in Samara which make the city precious from the architectural point of view. In the city, there are a lot of statues, monuments and memorials, memorial boards as well as monuments to technical achievements.

Samara is an ideal city to enjoy the magnificent Volga River, the largest in Europe. The river is almost 2 kilometres wide here and has been a source of inspiration for poets and artists for centuries.

Samara, one of the largest cities in Russia, was founded in 1586. It was protecting the eastern borders of the Russian state from nomads. The town was called Samara as it stands on the banks of two rivers, the Volga and the Samarka which runs into the Volga.

After building the quay, Samara settlement became the economic and diplomatic center of Russia. The economy of Samara was growing quickly at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries (bread trading and milling business). It was large trade and industrial center of the Volga region of Russia. In 1935, the city was renamed by Soviet power after Valerian Kuybyshev (Bolshevik leader). Kuybyshev defense industry was developing fast after the World War II. Soon the city became so called “closed city” of the USSR. The spaceship of Yury Gagarin (first man in space) “Vostok” was built here. The historical name was returned to the city in 1991. Present time Samara is Russian large industrial and cultural center.

Now Samara is attractively situated on the bank of the Great Russian River Volga. That’s why the embankment is one of the most beautiful places not only in the city but also in the country. It’s a real pleasure to walk there in summer, to enjoy the beauty of the river, its wonderful sights, the variety of scenery.

The population of Samara is over one million people. Samara is rich in buildings of architectural, cultural and historic interest. The citizens are proud of the four theatres they have in the city. They are: The Drama Theatre, the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Children’s Theatre and the Puppet Theatre. The Drama Theatre is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Really, it is a fantastic piece of architecture. It is built in the Old Russian style.

If you walk round the city you’ll notice that Samara is full of different monuments to the countrymen, scientists and writers. Here you can find a monument to Chapaev, to Kirov, to Lenin, to Kuibyshev and some others. The monument of Glory may be called the symbol of the city. Samara is a typical Russian city. During the Soviet period from January 27th, 1935 to January 25th, 1991 the city had the name of Kuybyshev, in honor of the Soviet state and party figure Valerian Kuybyshev.

Samara is one of the largest in Russia transport junctions. The shortest ways from the Central and Western Europe to Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan run through it.

Cultural life is very rich in the region. There is a museum of natural history and local history studies, a city art museum and a number of art galleries and cinemas. Samara's regional museum of history and local study named after Pyotr Alabin is one of the largest museums in the Volga region. It possesses rich archaeological and science collections (paleontological, mineralogical, zoo and botanic), historical and ethnographical collections. Samara regional art museum named after Anneta is one of the largest museums in the Volga region. The collection was based on paintings of Samara artists of the 19th-20th centuries as well as works of Russian art masters of the early 20th century. Mikhail Frunze house-museum tells about Russian Civil War of 1918-1920. Municipal museum “Children picture gallery” possesses over 11,000 works of children from different countries, examples of applied and folk arts, world nations puppets, items of ancient life.

Samara often welcomes world-known performers and people of art: musicians, artists, actors, sculptors. Multiple music festivals, concerts and exhibitions are regularly held in the city.

Samara has rich cultural heritage. The well-known writer Alexey Tolstoy spent his childhood and youth in Samara. Maxim Gorky began his literary career in Samara; he worked in the "Samara newspaper". During the Civil war the well-known Czech writer Yaroslav Gashek worked in Samara. Famous artists Ilya Repin, Vasily Surikov, Ivan Ayvazovsky lived in the city. During the Great Patriotic war in Samara the great Seventh symphony of Dmitry Shostakovich was performed for the first time.