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About Saratov

HISTORY

Saratov's history began in the second half of the 16th century, when, after completing the formation of a centralized Russian state, Tsar Ivan the Terrible finally defeated the remnants of the Golden Horde on the Middle and Lower Volga. Following his plan, a series of fortified towns, including Saratov (1590), were built on the southeastern edge of the extended state boundaries.
The history of the Golden Horde city of Ukek (Uvek) is closely tied to the history of Saratov, whose name is said to come from the Tatar words sary tau (Yellow Mountain). Thus, in a way, Saratov can be considered one of Russia's oldest cities.
The coat of arms of the governorship-three silver sterlets [a kind of sturgeon] on a light blue field, symbolizing the abundance of fish and water was approved in 1781. The fish are arranged in the form of the letter "Y" symbolizing the choice of the proper path.
Saratov turned into a major commercial and industrial center of the Volga region. According to the census of the 19th century, Saratov was the eighth-largest city in the Russian Empire and the third-largest Russian city after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

 

WALKING ALONG SARATOV

 

A walk along the well-designed Cosmonauts Embankment with its modern buildings blending well with the scenery alongside the river will reward you with unforgettable impressions of the Volga. Saratov is a large river port. In summer many liners come up to its river-boat station and bring passengers from different parts of the country.
Theatre Square is considered one of the most beautiful in the town. On the central square of Saratov is a symbol of Soviet period - Lenin Statue executed in bronze and a small chapel, the sign of new Russia.
One of the favorite places of recreation and sightseeing in Saratov is Kirov, or Nemetskaya, Avenue which is a traffic-free zone. With its refaced and repainted buildings it maintains its character as a picturesque town street. The finest restaurants, cafes and shops are situated in this street also. This avenue stretches for probably 8 blocks and is full of shopping. Recreation facilities are also provided in the Lipki town garden and the Park of Culture and Rest with its attractions. Museum Square is an interesting architectural ensemble with the Trinity Cathedral, a fine monument of Moscow baroque dating from the 17th century.
Present-day Saratov is one of the important cultural centers in Russia. It possesses many museums, a rich picture gallery, libraries, theatres. On July 26, 1885, a picture gallery was opened to the public. It was the first open-door exhibition in provincial Russia. Now it is one of the largest picture galleries in towns of the Volga area. The Fine Arts Museum contains more than 15.000 outstanding works of Russian, Soviet and European art, old furniture, bronzes, tapestries and porcelains. In the Western European division the Museum exhibits fine pictures by C.Corot, P.Rubens, A. Van Dyck and many other eminent artists. The permanent exhibits in the Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy acquaint visitors with archaeology, history, ethnography, flora and fauna of the region. The Park of Victory on the Sokolovaya Hill and a huge monument with cranes at its top honour the memory of Saratov citizens who perished in the Great Patriotic War. The monument which is 40 meters high can be seen from any point in the town. You also can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the town from the Sokolovaya Hill. The Museum of Victory which is situated there contains real weapons of Soviet and Russian armies. Saratov is a great centre for theatre, opera and ballet. The Opera and Ballet Theatre which stages Russian and world classics, the Drama Theatre, which presents classical and modern plays, the Theatre for Young Spectators, the repertory of which is interesting for children, grown-ups and adults, are among the most popular. There is also a musical comedy and a puppet theatre for children in Saratov. Music in all its forms has a substantial following. The wide-spread interest in classical and modern music, jazz is reflected in large audiences of concerts in the L.V. Sobinov State Conservatoire and Philarmonia.

 

CULTURE

Saratov is one of Russia's most important cultural centers. Its theaters have already played and continue to play an enormous role in educating people living in and visiting Saratov and introducing them to the world of art and literature. Saratov residents especially enjoy the Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, the Academic Drama Theater, the Theater of Young Spectator (the first in Russia), the puppet theater, the oldest circus in Russia, and the Conservatoire.
At the turn of the 20th century, the theater companies of M.M. Borodai and N.I. Sobolshchikov-Samarin gave numerous performances in Saratov, and famous actors performed on Saratov's stages. Sobolshchikov-Samarin himself was a talented actor who did a lot to develop the national theater. D.M. Karamazov, one of the most interesting representatives of the provincial actor's art in the decade before the Revolution, acted in Saratov for many years. Another actor, V.I. Kachalov, began his stage career in Saratov, appearing on the stage of the City Theater for three years.
Saratov was the native city of composer Alfred Shnitke and artists Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Viktor Borisov-Musatov, and Pavel Kuznetsov. The Saratov Conservatory has created a dynamic piano school in the years since it was founded. Distinguished professors like I. Slivinsky, A. Sklyarevsky, I. Rosenberg, P. Egert, K. Radugin, A. Satanovsky, A. Shchapov, S. Benditsky, and B. Goldfeder have worked is Saratov at various times.
The organizers of the Governor's International Piano Competition in Saratov invite musicians from various countries to take part in it.
Saratov is regarded as a city with solid academic traditions, and many actors seek to come here.

 

ECONOMY

 

Saratov Region is a part of the Volga economic region and is on the third place within it in the scale of industrial development. Engineering and the chemical, oil refining, and food industries account for the largest share of production.
The largest companies in Saratov Region are the Balakovo Nuclear Power Plant (Balakovskaya AES), the Saratov Aircraft Plant (Saratovsky aviazavod; produces Yak airplanes), and the Khimvolokno Production Association (PO Khimvolokno).
The Volsk-16 chemical warfare test range, a major air base (Engels), and part of the Kapustin Yar test range are located in the region.
The region's leading engineering companies are located in the cities of Engels and Saratov. Their main products include machine tools, trolleybuses, farm machinery, bearings, diesel engines, and refrigerators.
The chemical and petrochemical industries are concentrated in Balakovo, Saratov, and Engels. They produce chemical and other fibers, general rubber goods, and mineral and phosphate fertilizers.
The building material industry produces bricks, stone, and building blocks.
AO Saratovneftegaz explores for and produces oil and gas from the region's fields. Companies like AO Kreking, which produces refined oil, fuel oil, and bitumen for regional needs, is representative of the fuel industry.
Along with the Balakovo Nuclear Power Plant, the regional power base also includes the Saratov Hydroelectric Power Plant (Saratovskaya GES) on the Volga River. The parent company is OAO Saratovenergo.
The electronics and instrument-making industries are characterized by a high concentration of original technologies and specialists skilled in high-end production. These enterprises have associated research institutes and experimental design offices that work on high-level scientific developments.
There are nearly 100 joint ventures with foreign companies registered in the region.

 


Welcome to Saratov!