Volgograd, Russia

According to Homeagerly, Volgograd is located in the southeast of the European part of Russia on the right bank of the Volga River in its lower reaches. It stretched for 70 km along the river. In the area of the city, the direction of the Volga channel changes, forming an almost right angle. On the southern outskirts of Volgograd, the Volga-Don Canal begins, about 100 km long, which connected two rivers – the Volga and the Don. Volgograd, together with the nearby cities of Volzhsky and Krasnoslobodsk, forms a single agglomeration with a population of about 1.5 million.

The history of the city begins with the construction of the Tsaritsyn fortress on a small Volga island in the middle of the 16th century. For the first time in royal letters it was mentioned in 1589, this year is considered the year of foundation of Volgograd. Presumably the name Tsaritsyn comes from the Turkic phrase Sary-su, which means “yellow water”. The fortress served to defend the Volga route from the steppe nomads. In 1606, under False Dmitry I, an uprising against the tsarist troops broke out in the city, which was suppressed. At the beginning of the 17th century, Tsaritsyn burned down and was rebuilt in 1615 on the right bank of the Volga. In the period from 1667 to 1670, a detachment of the Cossacks of Stepan Razin stopped in Tsaritsyn more than once. At the beginning of 1670, Stepan Razin captured the local fortress and introduced a Cossack device, a few months later he left the fortress and moved further south. In 1717, Tsaritsyn was attacked by the Crimean and Kuban Tatars. This was the impetus for the construction of a guard line along the southern borders of the state, which began from Tsaritsyn. Outposts were built along it, guarded by soldiers and Cossacks. In 1721, the fortress, together with the settlements that appeared around it, was given the status of a city, although they attributed it to the lowest – the fifth category of cities with a small population.

To protect the Tsaritsyn guard line, it was decided to create the Volga Cossack army, in connection with which Tsaritsyn was fortified and became the center of the military line from the Volga to the Don. In 1774, Tsaritsyn was twice besieged by the troops of Yemelyan Pugachev. After the defeat of the uprising of Emelyan Pugachev, the Tsaritsyn guard line and the Volga Cossack army were abolished. In 1780, Tsaritsyn became a district town of the Saratov province, and trade and industry began to develop here. In 1862, a railway was laid through the city, Tsaritsyn became a major transport hub. Food products and oil products were reloaded here. In 1925 Tsaritsyn was renamed Stalingrad. During World War II, the famous Battle of Stalingrad took place in the city and its environs, during which a large group of Nazi troops was destroyed. The city suffered greatly from the attacks of the Nazis, numerous bombings almost completely destroyed it. In 1961, Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd. In 1965, for outstanding services to the Motherland, courage and heroism, which were shown by the city’s workers in the fight against the fascist invaders, Volgograd was awarded the title of Hero City. Nowadays Volgograd is one of the largest industrial centers of the Lower Volga region. In addition, it has preserved many memorable places and sights that reflect the history of this region.

The main attraction of Volgograd is Mamaev Kurgan. Fierce battles took place on this 102 m high mound during the Battle of Stalingrad. Mamaev Kurgan is located in the center of the city, on its slopes there is a park. In 1967, the historical and memorial complex “To the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad” was opened here.. The construction of the complex lasted 8 years. Now this place is one of the most visited in Russia. Thousands of tourists come here every year to bow to the heroism and valor of Russian soldiers and residents who defended their city from the Nazi invaders.

The memorial complex begins with the Entrance Square, where the composition – the high relief “Memory of Generations” is installed. The composition is a wall 17 m long and 8 m high, on which figures of people are carved, walking with wreaths and half-mast banners to the top of the mound to pay homage to the defenders of the Fatherland. Also on Entrance Square, 12 granite niches lined up in a row, each of which represents one of the hero cities: Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Odessa, Sevastopol, Novorossiysk, Kerch, Tula, Brest Fortress, Murmansk and Smolensk. The niches contain capsules with earth from hero cities.

Then you get to the Alley of pyramidal poplars, which leads to the square “Fighted to death”. The square symbolizes the most difficult stages of the Battle of Stalingrad. In its center there is a pool with a sculpture “Stand to Death” 16.5 m high. The sculpture represents the bare torso of a warrior who stood up to defend the Motherland “breast”. From the square “Stood to the death”, further up the slopes of Mamaev Kurgan, a granite staircase rises, framed on both sides by walls 18 m high. The staircase gradually narrows, and the walls on both sides hang over it. The creators of these walls conceived to embody in them the image of the ruins that the city turned into after the Nazi bombardments and numerous battles. The walls are painted with bas-reliefs with figured compositions, documentary inscriptions and are accompanied by sound design – reports of the information bureau of that time and military songs. The left wall symbolizes the oath of the Stalingrad defenders – “Not a step back!”, the right one – the battle itself – “Only forward!”.

Volgograd, Russia