The city of Astrakhan - what to see: photos and description of attractions
The ancient city of Astrakhan, located in the Delta of the Volga river, is a very popular destination among tourists. In this region come to experience the culture and history of the "South Venice", or explore the sights of one of the largest cultural centers of Russia.
Astrakhan on the map
Being a cultural and historical centre of the Lower Volga region, Astrakhan is not just beautiful but also strategically important settlement, where, from the founding to the present day where history was made.
Astrakhan — a major administrative center of Astrakhan region. It can be found in the South-East of Russia in 1,5 thousand kilometers from Moscow. The main geographical feature of this city is that he, like St. Petersburg, is situated on 11 Islands formed by the river and canals.
If you believe the stories, that originally the town was located on the right Bank of the river, but when it was conquered by the Russian people, it was moved to the left Bank, looking up at Bunny hill.
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The history of the city
The first mention of Astrakhan dates back to the XIII century, when the famous Arab Explorer of the lands Ibn Battuta noted in his archives, the capital of the khanate, located at the intersection of major trade routes. By the time the city owned, Khan's khanate, was already considered a major settlement through which ran the trade routes of merchants carrying a variety of goods here from the East in Europe.
In different centuries Astrakhan belonged to the Khazars, Polovtsy, Mongol-Tatars, and had the original name: Astarkhan, Astarhan, Haji-Tarkhan. According to history, these names went from aces – a warlike tribe that gave Khan Tarkhan – fiefdom, with special advantages.
The city is constantly destroyed, but again and again restored, because its value is undeniable. The last city was occupied by Russian troops, annexing it in 1557 to the Russian state, and in 1558, his first fortress here. During these four centuries Astrakhan was able to be a witness to important events in history.
Also at different times in the city there were such important princely and boyar clans of Russia:
Today, Astrakhan is a natural center of transit trade and a major transportation hub between Asia and Europe.
Attractions - photos, names, and description
Due to the turbulent history of Astrakhan were able not only to buy, but to keep to the present day cultural and historical attractions that will attract tourists.
The Astrakhan Kremlin
As an important Outpost, located in the South-East of the country, Astrakhan needed a fortified construction that can protect important Russian city from the incursions of the Turkish sultans, and other enemies. For this reason, in 1558, it was decided to build the Astrakhan Kremlin, and for its construction have identified a convenient area on hare hill – a safe place surrounded by marshes, the river and its canals.
With the Astrakhan Kremlin involves a lot of major events:
- Its walls twice besieged Crimean Turkish troops;
- Here was a peasant uprising led by I. I. Bolotnikov;
- Its walls hid the adventuress Marina Mnishek and ataman zarutskiy I.;
- The Kremlin was the residence of the rebels under the leadership of Stepan Razin;
- Here Peter I was actively preparing for the Persian campaign.
Originally the fortress was made of wood, so this fortification could not withstand a serious onslaught. After the Turkish Sultan tried to capture the Kremlin, but were put to flight, thanks to timely rescue militarythe support from Moscow, it was decided to erect a stone building. Realizing the importance of the South-East of the city and its marked remoteness from the capital, to strengthen the Astrakhan Kremlin was the best solution.
Replacement of wooden constructions on stone began under Ivan the terrible and continued it during the reign of Boris Godunov, by which the entire territory of Russia began the active construction of protective structures.
The walls of the Astrakhan Kremlin were performed in accordance with the latest achievements of military technology, therefore, the fortress became the most powerful building of the XVI century.
The construction of the walls was completed in 1589, and the construction of towers lasted until the 20-ies of the XVII century.
Important moments in the history associated with the Archangel Kremlin, lasted until the 1950's – until the moment when the fortress ceased to be the object of military values. Then it was closed for restoration, which continues in our days.
Today, the Astrakhan Kremlin is a beautifully restored complex of 22 buildings, among which of special interest are the beautiful Prechistenskie gate, Cathedral bell tower, the assumption Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral, Bishop's chambers and 5 towers:
- Bishops tower;
- Zhitnaya tower;
- Crimean tower;
- The tower "Red gate";
- The torture tower.
Very interesting story connected with the Water gate design, possessing a strategically important function. In the wall of the gate there was a secret passage which allowed during the siege to descend through it straight to the Volga in order to gain from it clean water. Thus over the gate there was a metal grille, pointed at the drum, which, according to the alarm, fell down, blocking the road to the enemy.
In the Astrakhan Kremlin you can walk around the very extensive grounds or visit the several museums allowing you to get to know the history of the castle and Astrakhan region in General.
They presented several interesting expositions, for example, there is a rich ethnographic Museum, opened the exhibition "History of corporal punishment" and "the History of the Archangel's garrison".
Outside Astrakhan Kremlin construction began in 1769, when the guidance was approved by the city plan. For a small period of time, there are interesting buildings in classical style, manor complexes in the Baroque style, luxury mansions, whose appearance dominated the style of art Nouveau.
Astrakhan is a pretty comfortable city for permanent residence. Read the article about where you can still move to live in Russia.
As in any city where there is a Kremlin in Astrakhan, after the construction of the legendary fortress around her began to build "Posad" on the left side were adjacent houses and buildings, which were of the metochion of the Eastern merchants and mosques. First, the new city grew spontaneously, but soon the layout was revised and it came together into a unified whole. This settlement gave the name "White city" and today it is an architectural landmark of Astrakhan.
Walk through the streets of the White city gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with interesting shots of the medieval Astrakhan. Here perfectly preserved:
- Old houses;
- tower of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery;
- Demidov farmstead;
- Trade area – the place from which began all the main streets of town.
Walking through the White city, you can find more recent city buildings, belonging to the XVIII-XIX centuries.
These include more modern and grandiose buildings with features of classicism, including the Governor's house and the Moscow trading house, as well as the variety of houses from the middle Eastern and Moorish architecture.
The architecture is interesting from the point of view of exploring the history of the city, also include the house of merchant Gubin – luxury mansion in eclectic style with Baroque elements. Outside is a three-storey building, designed in the shape of the letter P, it looks incredibly luxurious.
To Astrakhan can be reached by car from any region of the country. Read more about traveling in Russia by car in our article.
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In Astrakhan incredible many monumentsbelonging to different eras. Each of them deserves special attention, starting with those dedicated to the great people that were born or lived here for a while and ending monuments of the war years.
In the centre of Astrakhan was located a monument to Peter I – Emperor who issued the order on the basis of self-Astrakhan province. He honored the city with his visit in 1722 to create a military Navy, the shipyard and port. Thanks to such event, the city turned into a essential trade and military center of not only Russia, but alsoOf the Caspian sea. This status is preserved here to the present day.
The other most memorable monument of the city – a magnificent statue, erected "In memory of the lost ships in 1942". The monument consists of two large anchors, leaning against each other. In such important for Russia day come to him to lay hundreds of bouquets, which allows to perpetuate the memory of fallen comrades.
For creating such an important and magnificent creations, located in Astrakhan embankment, a hand of talented Russian architects.
There are in Astrakhan and funny monuments that are worth visiting:
- Monument "the shoeshine boy", created on motives of a film "cannot be";
- The sculpture "Golden fish", which is considered a symbol of the city;
- Fountain "Wedding waltz", dedicated to all lovers;
- The sculpture "Roach-nurse", erected to mark the anniversary of the city in 2008;
- The sculpture "the lady with the dog", reminiscent of the story of Anton Chekhov.
For many centuries Astrakhan was a cosmopolitan city (here is Armenian, Kazakh, Indian and Tatar Diaspora), then there are monuments reflecting the life of other peoples.
Especially revere the monument of Magtymguly – known Turkmen poet of the XVIII century. For his country he was a great man, comparable to A. S. Pushkin.
Popular river cruises on the Volga, it is often precisely why tourists choose Astrakhan. Read herewhere else to go to rest in Russia.
Temples, churches, cathedrals
Incredibly interesting, from the point of view explore the history and architecture of Astrakhan, its churches and temples located in the city centre. Walking near such interesting buildings, instantly get aesthetic pleasure.
First and foremost, attention travelers are attracted by the churches and cathedrals of Astrakhan Kremlin. Their design and construction involved the best architects of that time, as evidenced by the splendid views and well-preserved exterior.
- The leading role in the ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin is the assumption Cathedral – Church, which is included in the Golden Fund construction art in Russia. Not just because it is one of the most beautiful buildings, admiring their own elegance and grandeur. This architectural masterpiece was erected in 1710 on the place where previously was located the wooden Church;
- Near the assumption Cathedral adjoins no less beautiful Trinity Cathedral is a complex architectural complex, which is associated with many important historical events. Its construction involved the Abbot Cyril, sent by Ivan the Terrible in Astrakhan for construction of the temple of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker;
- Next to the Trinity Cathedral is a small Cyril chapel – tomb of Abbot Cyril, built on the site of his burial. The remains of the founder and Abbot of the monastery soon reburied, and on this site built first a wooden and then a stone building with a luxurious painted vaults. Unfortunately, the frescoes have been lost, so in our days there is the opportunity to see a small chapel of cubic shape without the altar.
Priceless pride of the Cathedral was majestic iconostasis, but after he was shot, the architects barely managed to recover only four tiers.
Outside of the Astrakhan Kremlin are other famous temples of the city:
- The Church Of St. John Chrysostom;
- Ivanovsky convent;
- Cathedral of St. Prince Vladimir;
- Church Of The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary;
- Annunciation convent;
- Cathedral Of Our Lady Of Kazan;
- The Church Of St. Panteleimon;
- Pokrovsky Cathedral.
All these buildings represent the unique buildings of different ages, which is quite impressive with its elegance and original appearance.
There is a great opportunity to get acquainted not only with the Orthodox religious buildings, but also mosques and churches.
Especially notable is the White mosque is the oldest Muslim building which has lasted until the present day. It was built in 1777 and since then her appearance has not changed. Today the mosque is a dominant religious structure of all Muslims in Astrakhan region.
Travelers have a great opportunity to get acquainted with the culture and history of Astrakhan, visiting one or several museums of the city. Each of these repositories of art is a veritable storehouse of important information. The convenience is that there is not so many museums and they are all next to each other – mostly near the Astrakhan Kremlin.
In the oldest Museum not only Astrakhan, but also the whole of Russia – the Museum – you can get acquainted with the nature and history of the city. In the nineteenth century, it was onlya small exhibition, and today it contains the largest exposure in the region. The Museum open 14 branches across the region, in which there are about 300 thousand exhibits.
In the Museum there is everything from numismatic values to the works of taxidermists.
Continue to update knowledge in the history Museum, the culture Museum or in the Museum. Dogadin, as well as in the Museum of military glory, which presents examples of military patriotism of Astrakhan. It is located in a historic building from 1907, which previously met the Board of the Astrakhan Cossack troops.
Among the collections of the Museum of fighting glory, there are items that are related to the art of warfare:
- Personal belongings of soldiers.
All these treasures of history are complemented with sculptures and paintings, which occupy nine halls.
Parks, squares, embankments
The pride of Astrakhan – luxury waterfront – the main walking area of the city, which starts from the Palace of marriage and continues until the square of Peter I. Its total length is about 2 kilometers. Up to 50-ies of the last century on this place was a port area, but in the middle of the 20th century, the area decided to Refine, placing a few concrete slabs and planting trees.
Only by 2009, in honor of the 450th anniversary of the city waterfront, widened, improving it into what we see today.
Now there are green lawns, are embossed lanterns and benches, and a couple of lookouts and access to water. Along the promenade there are statues, such as the "Lady with the dog", the fountain for lovers, "Fish" and "Water attraction".
Astrakhan is home to several beautiful parks, of which the primary role is brotherly Park is a beautiful area that I loved to walk the local secular society.
- The biggest Park in Astrakhan is the Park "the planet" – a place where there are a lot of outdoor entertainment. Here fun ride on different rides, take a stroll on real horses or ponies, jump on the trampoline, climb on the Ferris wheel, with which the city is visible as on a palm. There is also a unique café where the chef prepares delicious fresh fish, which the client himself caught in a small pond.
- The same fun, but a little older applies Park Arcadia – the Central Park where you can stroll in the beautiful surroundings or go on the rides.
Interesting sights in Astrakhan region
Among the natural attractions of Astrakhan, located in the outskirts of the city, it is worth noting the mountain Bogdo is the highest point of the Caspian depression, having developed underground and surface forms of karst relief. There are pits, grottoes and caves – all that can really interest fans of such places.
The natural attractions of the environs of Astrakhan include:
- The Volga-Akhtuba floodplain – the meeting point of the three Russian regions;
- Inder mountains is an upland region on the border with Kazakhstan;
- Volga ponizov'e – biosphere reserve in the Delta of the Volga river;
- Lake Baskunchak – a unique salt pond that rivals the dead sea.
Nature of Astrakhan unique, so it deserves special attention of tourists decided to explore this important region.
For example, in the Delta of the Volga river is the Valley-Lotus – a unique place where one can enjoy a splendid view of colors, whose height reaches two meters. As you know, the scent of Lotus has a beneficial effect on health. Therefore, inhaling the scent of these flowers, you can get a charge of vivacity and good mood.
Finally, only 120 km from Astrakhan is the major historical landmark of the Saray-Batu – the remnants of the ancient city that served as one of the capitals of the Khan of the Golden Horde. It was founded in 1250, and the population was about 75 thousand people.
Here there was everything for a comfortable stay, including water and sewer, and all the people actively engaged in various crafts, which brought significant income to the city. Also by this settlement took place the great silk Road, which further enhances the significance of such important to the history of the place.
What else to see in town and the surrounding area?
In the city and County has a great variety of natural and historical objectsthat played an important role in city life.
They say that to get acquainted with Astrakhan is best in the early morning, in that moment, when the bright rays of the sun make local streets are incredibly picturesque, emphasizing the special beauty of this city.
First and foremost, you should explore the main attractions thatapplies the Astrakhan Kremlin and its museums and nearby farmsteads.
Then move to the promenade or to go outside the city to get acquainted with beautiful nature of Astrakhan.
If to leave Astrakhan in the daytime't want to, then it's worth getting familiar with the architecture of the city , or head to one of the popular places:
- Astrakhan drama theatre;
- Astrakhan planetarium;
- Demidov farmstead;
- The house of the merchant Titushina;
- Wedding Palace;
- The house-Museum of Velimir Khlebnikov;
Fabulous and romantic is considered to be incredibly beautiful Park "Swan lake"in the middle of which directly in the lake is snow-white rotunda, and around her swans.
In the evening when it gets dark, you should go back to the waterfront to admire the musical fountain "Petrovsky" – the most important landmark of the city, so locals are proud of.
Astrakhan - a popular place for professional fishermen and Amateurs. Find out herewhere else to go fishing in Russia and not only.
A lot of interesting attractions and places for entertainment are also for young travelers, who arrived in Astrakhan to experience this city.
- The city is a circus – one of the most visited places in the city, where each day shows the clearest exclusive performances.
Here is Astrakhan city aquarium – Museum, which has just over 75 species of fish.
Many of this city associated with fishing, but this will be interesting to meet with living representatives of sturgeon.
Sturgeons are represented in the aquarium:
In addition, the aquarium presents the exotic inhabitants of rivers and lakes, a variety of amphibians, invertebrates and mammals, including crocodile, iguana and monkey.
- 30 km from Astrakhan, you'll ostrich farm "Baba Frosya", where the children can look around the mini-zoo, including peacocks, bobcats, pheasants, camels, boars and sheep. Their parents, meanwhile, can go from the sauna, located at the farm, or take a swim in the pool.
Astrakhan – the perfect destination for touristswishing to spend unforgettable days exploring the variety of attractions of this unique city.
We recommend you to watch a video about the attractions of Astrakhan: