Samara (Kuybyshev in 1935-1991) is a large city in Russia, the center of the Volga economic region and the capital of the Samara region, standing on the left high bank of the Volga River, in the place of its confluence with the Samara River (hence the name of the city). It is a major economic, transport, scientific, educational, and cultural center of the country.
Several matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held in Samara.
The population of Samara is about 1,172,000 (2015), the area - 541 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 846, the postal codes - 443000-443904.
The official foundation date of Samara is 1586. This year, a small fortress called Samara was built at the confluence of the Volga and Samara rivers. The main purpose of the fortress was to control the vast territory of the middle reaches of the Volga River and the mouth of the Samara River, to conduct the systematic conquest of the land, protect Russia from the nomads and to ensure the waterway from Kazan to Astrakhan.
After construction of a quay, the town became an economic and diplomatic center of the country. In 1780, Samara became the capital of the Simbirsk region. In 1850, the population of the town was about 50 thousand people. By the end of the 19th century, the population reached 90 thousand people, and, by 1916, there were about 150 thousand people in Samara.
The local economy was growing quickly at the end of the 19th - the beginning of the 20th centuries (grain trading and flour milling industry). Samara province was on the first place in the Russian Empire in wheat production.
More Historical Facts…
In 1877, the Orenburg railway passed through Samara. The local pier was one of the best on the Volga River, thousands of ships with different cargoes arrived at it during the year. In 1915, an electric tram was put into operation.
In 1935, the city was renamed after Valerian Kuybyshev, the Soviet state and party figure. During the Second World War, Kuybyshev was chosen to be the capital of the USSR, if Moscow would have been captured by the Germans. A special underground shelter was built for Stalin. During the war, the city’s population grew by half (from 400 to 600 thousand people). Kuibyshev aviation plants produced about 28 thousand of IL-2 and IL-10 ground attack aircrafts - more than 80% of the total number.
After the war, Kuibyshev became the largest industrial and cultural center of the Soviet Union: aviation, aerospace, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, electrical, cable, oil refining, and light industries. The city became a “closed city” (foreigners could not visit it). All Soviet and Russian cosmonauts, including Yury Gagarin, were launched into space on a family of launch vehicles R-7, manufactured by Samara Space Rocket Center “Progress”.
By 1979, the city’s population reached 1.2 million people. In 1986, Samara had its maximum population - 1,267,000 people. The historical name was returned to the city in 1991.
Since 2000, the building segment actively developed in Samara. But there was no overall strategy for the city development, which ultimately led to the obvious violations in the architectural style of the city, as well as significantly reduced the quality of infrastructure.
Samara modern architecture
Apartment buildings in Samara
The climate is temperate continental. The average temperature in January is minus 9.9 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 21.5 degrees Celsius.
Samara is a multi-faith city with a lot of Orthodox churches, monasteries, old believers’ churches, mosques, a synagogue, Catholic and Protestant churches.
Samara is a major center of mechanical engineering and metalworking, food processing, as well as space and aviation industry producing outer space vehicles and machinery, aircraft, power stations, equipment for oil refineries, cranes, etc. It is among top ten Russian cities by industry volume. Samara food industry is known for its chocolate, vodka “Rodnik”, and “Zhiguli” beer.
There are over 150 large and medium industrial plants in the city. About 25% of all bearings and 70% of all cables produced in Russia are made in Samara.
Samara is one of the biggest transport hubs in Russia, crossed by the shortest ways from Central and Western Europe to Siberia, Central Asia, and Kazakhstan.
The main airport of Samara - Kurumoch international airport - offers regular flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Surgut, Ufa, Novosibirsk, Perm, Saransk, Kirov, Kazan, Sochi, Dubai (UAE).
A bus stop and an entertainment center in Samara
Samara - the view from above
Samara - one of the centers of cruise tourism
Samara places of interest
There are a lot of various historical buildings in Samara which make the city precious from the architectural point of view. Samara has a lot of statues, monuments and memorials, memorial boards as well as monuments to technological advances.
Samara Embankment, the longest in Russia (about 5 km), is one of the main sights of the city. Kuibyshev Square is the largest square in Europe.
The building of Samara railway station is the highest railway station in Europe (its height with a spire is 101 meters). You can climb to the observation deck of the station, a large balcony around the dome, to look at Samara from above.
You will enjoy walking through the historic center of Samara, where the buildings of the 19th - the beginning of the 20th centuries keep the atmosphere of an old Russian merchant city.
Architectural ensembles of Kuibyshev and Leningrad streets, Glory Monument, the monuments “Lad’ya”, “Chapaev”, “The cat on a radiator”, “Comrade Sukhov”, “Pinocchio” and others are known in Russia and abroad because of thousands of photos made by Russian and foreign tourists.
The tourist infrastructure in the region is represented widely enough: more than 100 hotels, 50 health centers, 122 recreation centers, and 74 children’s health camps. On the territory of the Samara region, there are about 600 monuments of nature and 3,600 monuments of history, a large number of religious sites.
Monument to the Soldier in Samara
- Samara Regional Museum of History and Local Lore named after Pyotr Alabin - one of the largest museums in the Volga region with rich archaeological and scientific collections (paleontological, mineralogical, zoological, and botanic), historical and ethnographical collections (Leninskaya Street, 142);
- Samara Regional Art Museum. The collection is based on paintings of Samara artists of the 19th-20th centuries as well as works of Russian artists of the early 20th century (Kuybysheva Street, 92);
- “Stalin’s Bunker”. Construction of a secret shelter began at the end of February, 1942. This is the most fortified bunker among those taken off the security list, its depth is 37 meters (Frunze Street, 167);
- Samara Space Museum named after Dmitry Kozlov (a Russian aerospace engineer). You can find it in the pedestal of the rocket-carrier “Soyuz-U” (Lenina Avenue, 21);
- Samara Aviation and Space Exploration University Museum (Moskovskoe Highway, 34, building 3);
- Volga Region Museum of Railway Machinery (Litvinova Street, 332, building A);
- Military History Museum of the Volga-Ural Military District (Rabochaya Street, 1);
- Gorky Literature and Memorial Museum (Stepana Razina Street, 126);
- Frunze House-Museum. The exhibition tells the story of the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920 (Frunze Street, 114);
- The Memorial Museum of V.I. Lenin (Leninskaya Street, 131-135);
- The municipal museum “Children’s Art Gallery” possesses over 11,000 works of children from different countries, examples of applied and folk arts, world nations puppets, items of ancient life (Kuybysheva Street, 139);
- Modernist Style Museum - Kurlina House Museum (Frunze Street, 159);
- The Museum-Estate of A.N. Tolstoy (Frunze Street, 155);
- Zoological Museum named after D.N. Florov (Antonova-Ovseenko Street, 24).
Theaters and other cultural institutions…
Samara theaters and other cultural institutions
- Samara Academic Drama Theater named after Gorky (Chapaeva Square, 1),
- Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theater (Kuybyshev Square, 1),
- Samara Youth Theater “SamArt” (Tolstoy Street, 109),
- Samara municipal theater “Samarskaya square” (Sadovaya Street, 231),
- Social Experimental Theater “Wings” (Aurora Street, 122),
- Samara State Philharmonic (Frunze Street, 141),
- Samara State Circus named after Oleg Popov (Molodogvardeyskaya Street, 220),
- Samara Zoo (Novo-Sadovaya Street, 146).