The history of today's 1.5-million resident city dates back to the 16th century. Founded in 1586 as a fortress to guard Russian lands against relentless nomadic forays. Samara was but a far-flung peripheral settlement until 1851 when the city became the center of the newly formed Samara gubernia (region).

Vibrant development of the ciry began in the second half of the 19th century with the construction of stonework mansions, banks, public buildings and industrial facilities. Most of them still stagger with (he diversity of architectural styles and the elegance of shapes.

It was then that Samara  received  its  theaters, museums and the public library.

The city, bearing the name of Kuibyshev at that time, owes its dynamic industrialization period to the 40s of the 20th century. Plants and factories, evacuated here from the frontline area of the fighting country, laid the foundation tor the national military-industrial complex.

In 1991 the city was given back historical name. Today's Samara provides a blend of antiquity and modern times. Visitors marvel at its ravishing embankment with parks and sculptures. Samara is home to the once famous brewery and one of today's most popular chocolate brands. Beautiful Orthodox temples create a wonderful ensembl with a Lutheran church and Roman Catholic basilica. But Samara's most precious treasure lis its hospitable people.

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