Along the itinerary you’ll have a chance to get acquainted with ancient Russian cities. Each of them has its special face and you are welcome to see it!
At the confluence of the Oka and the Volga Rivers, Nizhny Novgorod (formerly named Gorky), founded in 1221, is the 4th largest city of Russia. Although it dates back to the 13th century, the majority of its most interesting sights are from later periods.
A unique monument of the 16th-19th – century town-planning, Kostroma is one of the few Russian towns which have preserved their distinctive character. 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 occupy the Russian throne.
Cheboksary, the capital of Chuvashia republic and a real gem in provincial Russia, is located on the right bank of the Volga River. Cheboksary is the administrative, economic and cultural center of the republic and it possesses excellent cultural opportunities. During a bus city tour you’ll have a chance to admire its numerous architectural monuments: Vvedensky Cathedral (the 1st Orthodox Church in Chuvashia), Saint-Trinity Monastery, the Assumption Church.
Kazan, the capital of the Tatar Autonomous Republic (Tatarstan) is often called the “Pearl of the Central Volga Region”. 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.
Known in the Soviet era as Kuybyshev, Samara was founded in the 16th century as an outpost of the Empire. Today, it is an important industrial and cultural centre famous for its broad, beautiful port and the Rossiya (Russia) chocolate factory. The bus city tour includes a visit to the splendid Fine Arts Museum which houses a good collection of Russian paintings from the 16th to the 20th centuries (Repin, Levitan, Malevich, Surikov and others).,/p>
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 century Trinity 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, lines with elms.
First called Tsaritsyn, then renamed Stalingrad and eventually Volgograd, the city has a unique geographical location on the crossroads of land and waterways which link together Europe and Asia. 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 for the battles fiercest fighting is now a memorial dominated by a 70-m (239-ft) statue of Russia the Motherland wielding a sword.
The largest river and sea port in the Volga-Caspian basin, Astrakhan is spread over 11 islands linked together by bridges. Founded in the 13th century by the Tatars, it is now a multinational city where Russians (70% of population), Kalmyks, Tatars, Kirghizes and Cossacks happily coexist. The bus city tour will include a visit to a 16th-century Kremlin grounds (Assumption and Trinity Cathedrals).