Samara (from 1935 to 1991 - Kuybyshev) is an administrative center and capital of Samara oblast of Russia standing on the banks of the Volga River. During Soviet times, Samara was a city closed to foreigners. Today it plays an important role as large economic and cultural center of Russia.
Samara has the population of 1,169,000 (2012), land area - 541 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 846; postal codes are 443000-443xxx.
Several matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held in Samara.
The official foundation date of Samara is 1586. That time small fortress was built at the confluence of the Volga and Samara rivers. It was protecting the eastern borders of the Russian state from nomads.
After building the quay, Samara settlement became the economic and diplomatic center of Russia. In 1780, the town became the capital of Simbirsk region. The economy of Samara was growing quickly at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries (bread trading and milling business).
The population of Samara at the beginning of the 20th century was about 100,000. It was large trade and industrial center of the Volga region of Russia. In 1935, the city was renamed by Soviet power after Valerian Kuybyshev (Bolshevik leader).
During the World War II, Kuybyshev was chosen to be the USSR capital in case of Moscow fall. Special shelter was built for the USSR leader Stalin. Today it is known as Stalin’s Bunker and is open for visitors.
Kuybyshev defense industry was developing fast after the World War II. Soon the city became so called “closed city” of the USSR. The spaceship of Yury Gagarin (first man in space) “Vostok” was built here.
The historical name was returned to the city in 1991. Present time Samara is Russian large industrial and cultural center with multinational population and dramatic history.
Samara is a large industrial center of the whole Volga river region. The city is among top ten Russian cities by industry volume. It is producing various outer space vehicles and machinery, aircraft, power stations, refinery, cranes. 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 largest transportation junctures in Russia, it is crossed by the shortest ways from central and western Europe to Siberia, Middle Asia and Kazakhstan.
Among the main museums of Samara are:
- Samara regional museum of history and local study named after Pyotr Alabin. It is one of the largest museums in the Volga region. It possesses rich archaeological and science collections (paleontological, mineralogical, zoo and botanic), historical and ethnographical collections.
- Samara regional art museum named after Anneta. It is one of the largest museums in the Volga region. The collection was based on paintings of Samara artists of the 19th-20th centuries as well as works of Russian art masters of the early 20th century.
- Mikhail Frunze house-museum. The display tells about Russian Civil War of 1918-1920.
- Ulyanovs’ family house-museum. By the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin (1970) the furniture of the apartment was restored on the second floor, on the first floor there is a documentary display telling about Samara period in Vladimir Lenin’s life.
- Municipal museum “Children picture gallery”. The gallery possesses over 11,000 works of children from different countries, examples of applied and folk arts, world nations puppets, items of ancient life.
- Museum “Stalin’s Bunker”. The construction of the 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.
- Samara diocese historical church museum. The display shows the history of the Russian Orthodox church in Samara region.
- Municipal museum “Cosmic Samara” named after Dmitry Kozlov (Russian aerospace engineer who founded the Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center). The museum was opened in the pedestal of the rocket-carrier “Soyuz-U”. Beside the erected rocket there is a number of unique exhibits in the museum.
Samara is a multi-confessional city: there are a lot of Orthodox churches, monasteries, old believers’ churches, mosques, Jewish choral synagogue, Catholic and Protestant churches.
There are a lot of various historical buildings in Samara which make the city precious from the architectural point of view. In the city, there are a lot of statues, monuments and memorials, memorial boards as well as monuments to technical achievements.