CHAPTERS OF HISTORY
Volgograd is one of the largest cities in the South of Russia and the administrative center of Volgograd region. From 1589 to 1925, the city was known under the name of Tsaritsyn, and from 1925 till 1961 - as Stalingrad. In 1961, Stalingrad was renamed into Volgograd. The 2nd of July 1589 is officially considered the date of the city’s foundation: on that day the name of the Tsaritsyn fortress was first mentioned in a document issued by a Tsar. The fortress in question was situated a little bit to the North from the place where the river Tsaritsa merged with the river Volga, on a high right bank. In 1607, the inhabitants of the fortress started a riot against the Tsar’s military unit but the riot was suppressed within half a year.
In 1608, the first stone church was built in Volgograd: the Church of John the Forerunner. By the beginning of the XVII century, the fortress garrison amounted to 350-400 people.
In 1670, the fortress was captured by the troops of Stepan Razin – a Cossack leader who started a major uprising against Tsar – but they abandoned it a month later. The situation repeated in 1708, when the fortress was taken by the rebelling Cossacks of Kondraty Bulavin. Later, in 1774, the leader of another Cossack insurrection, Yemelyan Pugachev tried to take over the fortress too, but to no avail.
At first, the city was in the jurisdiction of a Kazan governor, then – of an Astrakhan governor. According to the census of 1720, the city’s population amounted to 408 people. In XVIII century, the city was considered a district town.
Its population was growing rapidly: if in 1807 there were less than 3,000 inhabitants, by 1900 their number reached 84,000. The first railroad appeared in the city in 1862. The first theatre was opened in 1872, the first cinema – in 1907.
Internationally, Volgograd (Stalingrad) is mostly famous for the Battle of Stalingrad, which became the turning point of World War II, and for and for the Mamayev Hill with the Statue of Motherland, which is one of the highest in the world, with its overall height of 85 meters and the overall weight of 8,000 tons.
During World War II, the city was almost completely destroyed. But immediately after the war it was reconstructed and literally rose from the ashes. For outstanding merits to the Motherland, on the 1st of May 1945, Stalingrad was awarded an honorary status of a hero-city, and on the 8th of May 1965 received the Order of Lenin and a “Golden Star” medal.
However, there is more to Volgograd than its heroic past.
Материалы по истории города и фотоальбомы здесь
Today’s Volgograd is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. It is a large industrial, transport, scientific and cultural center in the South of Russia. One of Volgograd’s main peculiarities is its formidable length: it stretches on the bank of the Volga for 90 km. The city’s population is over 1 million people. Due to its profitable geographic location, Volgograd is a multifaceted city with an important strategic role in the social and economic development of the South of Russia. Volgograd is a city through which the legendary Silk Way used to pass. Today, it is a port of five seas. After the construction of the bridge over the Volga, it became gates to Kazakhstan and China, too. Moreover, it is a transport nod on the Privolzhskaya Railway (the railway along the Volga River), the European route E40 and a federal highway “Caspium” M6. Interregional and international traffic is managed by the Volgograd River Port, the international airport of Volgograd, an intense railroad nod, the Volga-Don Channel opening into the 9th International Transport Corridor. The city features all the means of transport characteristic for a megapolis: suburban trains, electro- and auto transport, as well as the only in the world speed underground tram.
Volgograd is a large industrial center
In the city, there are more than 160 large and medium enterprises in numerous industrial spheres (fuel, chemistry, food production, wood processing, machinery, metallurgy, defense, consumer goods etc.) The city accounts for about 11% of the industrial output of the South Federal District and for 46% of the industrial output of the Volgograd region. More than a third of the city’s economically active population is employed in the industrial sector.
Volgograd is a multinational and tolerant city
The representatives of more than 120 nationalities and confessions live here in peace and harmony. The city is developing dynamically and is aimed at future: almost a third of the city’s population is made up by young people aged from 14 to 30.
Volgograd is one of the largest educational centers in Russia
There are over 50 institutions of secondary and tertiary education, uniting more than 100,000 young people not only from Russia, but from many other countries too.
Volgograd is a founder of the world twinning movement. International people’s diplomacy originated on the Volga banks when, in 1944, Stalingrad started the first in the world twinning relations with the British city of Coventry. Against all political contradictions, different historic and cultural traditions, they laid a great foundation for the rapprochement of cities and their citizens on all the continents.
In 70 years’ time Volgograd has accumulated a unique experience of international activity and people’s diplomacy. In the list of cities with the greatest number of friends-cities, Volgograd comes immediately after two Russian capitals – Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Volgograd has 44 twin and partner cities in Russia and abroad, 33 out of them being European cities.
In 2014, Volgograd became the only Russian city to receive for its international activity a Plaque of Honour of the Council of Europe – an award attributed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe within the framework of the international competition “Europe Prize”. This bright golden plaque with an allegoric picture of Zeus abducting Europe on the top and the European map on the bottom, was referred to Volgograd by the representative of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Mr. Erich Georg Fritz on the first World Cities Day.
The recognition by the PACE resulted from the enormous work performed by the Volgograd City Municipality for the development of the twinning movement and international relations in general.
Volgograd is a cultural and sport center of the South of Russia
There are 8 theatres, 5 museums, a Central Concert Hall, art galleries, a planetarium, a Palace of Sport, 4 recreation parks, as well as 190 historic sites, 18 sites of monumental art, and 304 sites of architectural art. Sport facilities of the city include 11 stadiums, 250 gyms, 260 premises for physical exercise and sport, 15 swimming pools, 114 sporting grounds and football fields, and an indoor arena for football and filed athletics.
Volgograd is a host of the Football World Cup in 2018
By FIFA’s decision, Volgograd joined the list of Russian cities that are to host the games of Football World Cup in 2018. This resulted from the combination of formidable preparatory work by regional and city municipalities, and the unique conditions Volgograd offers. While planning the concept of the city’s preparation for the World Cup, its designers’ main idea was to preserve the unique spirit of the city and make the premises as accessible as possible. Nearly all the grounds of the World Cup are situated within the 4 km’s radius from the central object: the stadium. Moreover, numerous premises are located within a walking distance from each other.
Taking into consideration the interest in football shown by Volgograd citizens and their unstoppable love towards their “Rotor” football team, one may be sure – the new stadium “Arena of Victory”, built for the World Cup, will be in high demand even after the end of the event. Especially because its infrastructure includes the exposition and concert premises that are absolutely necessary for Volgograd citizens. The new stadium, situated in the park zone of the central part of the city and equipped with well-planned transport drives, promises to become another center of the city’s cultural and sport life.
Volgograd is a dynamically developing touristic center
Annually Volgograd welcomes on its territory up to half a million tourists. In 2009, the city was visited by 456 thousand tourists, in 2010 – 474 thousand tourists, and in 2011 – 648 thousand. The enlarging of the network of hotels on the territory of Volgograd region is a most important constituent of the region’s touristic infrastructure. Currently, the hotels, hostels, touristic bases and resorts of Volgograd region hold 7,329 rooms and can host 18,310 visitors. The premises include:
- 123 hotels;
- 184 touristic bases and resorts;
- 28 health stations.
By the beginning of 2012, the capacity of Volgograd hotels was 2,445 rooms, i.e. 4,792 visitors. In order to stimulate the development of touristic industry, new changes were introduced to the regional legislation. Moreover, an accreditation was carried out by Russian Hotel Association with the aim to give the owners of hotel property an opportunity to avoid extra expenses in the procedure of classification. All this will play in important role in the development of the touristic sphere of the region.
Already today we can notice the growing interest of international hotel operators towards the sphere of hotel construction in Volgograd. There are projects for building a network of economy and business class hotels of various international brands and by world-known hotel operators: Hilton Worldwide, The Rezidor Hotel Group.
"Strong of Spirit", "Peremena" magazine (France)