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From Moscow to Astrakhan – 3000 km
With the completion of the impressive Moscow-Volga Canal in 1937, the capital was finally linked to the great system of waterways that runs from St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland all the way to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea. As a result, it is possible today to follow the entire trade route along the Volga, from Moscow all the way to Astrakhan, the ancient capital of the Tatars. While cruising you will sail along almost the entire length of the Volga River to the edge of the Caspian Sea.
Welcome to the city that never sleeps, the third Rome, the place that does enjoy diversity, the capital of Russia – Moscow. Moscow is the largest city of the great country with almost 11 million inhabitants. During your stay in this heterogeneous metropolis you will get to know the history of the city and to visit the most prominent sights of Moscow- the breathtaking Red Square with the beautiful ensemble of St.Basil’s cathedral and GUM, the Kremlin and its famous insides, Tverskaya street and the Bolshoi Theatre. There is so much waiting for you in the city of Moscow.
Uglich of today used to be the seat of princedom back in the 13th century. Uglich is the town where one of the most momentous events of the Russian history took place in the 16th century. It was then that the last member of the Ruirik dynasty, the young Tsarevich Dmitry was murdered. That dreadful event gave rise to what later became known as the time of trouble and only after 15 years the Romanov’s dynasty’s succeeding to the throne. Today’s Uglich does cherish its history and you can still see the relics of the past. That is the Church of St Dmitry on the spilt Blood. Built in 1690 on the spot where Dmitry had been murdered it appears on the horizon with its red walls and blue domes as one sails north on the Volga.
Among the precious jewels of old Russian cities Yaroslavl shines with a par¬ticular bright, unfading light. Founded in 1010 by Prince Yaroslav the Wise, the city prospered as a trading port and a center of textile manufactur. No other city in Russia except Yaroslavl can boast such a wealth of the 17th - cen¬tury architecture. In 2010 the city celebrated its millennium.
Everything is unusual in Kostroma that is the central square is called "The Frying-pan" by the locals and the fire observation tower looks more like a church or palace in empire style. The city is justly considered to be the home of the Romanov royal family and the Ipatyev Monastery became the family's sacred place: it was from there that Mikhail Romanov was called to take the Russian throne.
At the confluence of the Oka and the Volga Rivers, Nizhny Novgorod (formerly named Gorky), founded in 1221, is the 3rd largest city of Russia is located. Although it dates back to the 13th century, the majority of its most interesting sights are from later periods. The first and foremost among these is the city’s great, brooding Kremlin, built during the 16th century. Today Nizhny Novgorod is a large river port, trade and cultural centre.
The capital of the Tatar Autonomous Republic (Tatarstan) is often called the “Pearl of the Central Volga Region”. Founded in the 13th century by the Mongols, who at that time occupied Russia, it served as the seat of the mighty Golden Horde or “Tatar” Empire. Presently, it is the city of 1 million inhabitants (half Russian, half Tatar) and absolutely charming with a unique blend of the Muslim and Christian cultures. Kazan is the birthplace of the Russian opera singer Fyodor Chaliapin and of the great ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev.
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 city 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 the diversity of architectural styles and the elegance of shapes. It was then that Samara received its theaters, museums and the public library.
Founded in 1590 by the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Saratov is the boyhood home of Yuri Gagarin, the world's first cosmonaut. Enjoy the landmarks of the city - the 17th-centuryTrinity Cathedral, built in Moscow baroque style, the greenery of "Lime Tree Park" where one avenue was reserved for boys and the other for girls, the calm pedestrian Kirov street, lined with elms. A city of almost 900,000 inhabitants, Saratov is very lively and the atmosphere there is cheerful.
First called Tsaritsyn, then renamed Stalingrad and eventually Volgograd, the city has a unique geographic location on the crossroads of land and waterways which link together Europe and Asia. It was established in the 16th century to defend the strategic point where the Volga and Don rivers meet. Volgograd acquired its sinister notoriety during World War II at the time of the Battle of Stalingrad (winter of 1942) which was the turning point for the Russian resistance to Hitler, and for the war as a whole. Mamayev Hill, the site of the battle's fiercest fighting is now a memorial dominated by a 70-m (239-ft) statue of Russia the Motherland wielding a sword.
From Moscow to Astrakhan – 3000 km With the completion of the impressive Moscow-Volga Canal in 1937, the capital was finally linked to the great system of waterways that runs from St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland all the way to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea. As a result, it is possible today to follow the entire trade route along the Volga, from Moscow all the way to Astrakhan, the ancient capital of the Tatars. While cruising you will sail along almost the entire length of the Volga River to the edge of the Caspian Sea.