Volgograd city is situated on the bank of the Volga River and has attracted thousands of tourists since long ago. This is because the city is steeped in history, times of war and the Soviet past. You’ll be surprised and amazed by all the sights of the city.
You’ll find the city, which stretches 50 kilometers along the Volga, truly incredible. Like many Russian cities it changed its name several times. Since the foundation in 1589 it was Tsaritsin. From the earliest soviet authorities the name was Stalingrad, after the former military chairman I.V.Stalin. And only in the early 1960s was it called Volgograd.
The turning point in the World War II was Stalingrad’s defense from the Fascist. The city held against the enemy at the cost of great number of lives and blood. It succeeded and turned the course of war to a victory against the Fascist.
Do you want to plunge into heroic Soviet times? Gain a better understanding of all the wartime hardships and experience it? Then this city is waiting for you.
“The Motherland Calls”
It’s quite obvious why this statue is the first among Volgograd sights. “The Motherland Calls” can be seen from any spot in the city, being located on the top of the Mamayev Kurgan hill. During the construction the statue was declared the highest in the world. At any time of a year with green grass carpet or with white snow all around the statue it is still stunning. If you are visiting the city on a Victory Day, the 9th of May, you’ll see a great installation there. Important moments during the construction, the course of military events and the day of victory will be shown for everybody on that day. The performance is striking. I highly recommend seeing it.
Mamayev Kurgan Memorial Complex
This place is a symbol of unshakeable will and infinite desire for victory and peace. It stands on the very place fierce fighting at the Battle of Stalingrad took place. Every year this place is visited by thousands of people to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of peace. It’s quiet everywhere, and only wartime music is heard around the Complex running though “Fight to the Death” square, Ruined Walls, Square of Heroes, Hall of Military Glory, Square of Sorrow and the main sculpture, “The Motherland Calls”. You can book an excursion here to learn more about the Complex. For foreign guests excursions are in foreign languages. It’s quite easy to get here, take a tram and get off at Mamayev Kurgan stop. Why only a tram, you ask? More about that a little later on.
Someone who is not aware of the Battle of Stalingrad would find nothing special about an ordinary four-story building on Sovetskaya street, 39. But, in fact, this is a special house, a symbol of courage and soldiers’ unity. Pavlov’s House was a place of horrible battles. The soldiers led by sergeant Pavlov held the line for 58 days. After the end of the war the building was reconstructed by pieces. On the side of the building there is a colonnade and memorial board – a statue with an image of a soldier representing all the victims of the battle.
Battle of Stalingrad Historical and Memorial Museum
A 20-minute walk from Pavlov’s House there is the Battle of Stalingrad Historical and Memorial Museum, located on Marshal Chuykov street, 47. Here, the biggest battle exposition in Russia is shown. Notice the unusual shape of the building. The idea of the memorial is based on the final phase of battle. Artists and creators made an extraordinary subtle work with precise attention to detail.
In addition there are portraits of soviet commanders, weapon collections, photographs, frontline letters and machineries.
More details will be given on the excursion. There is also an audio guide to look though other expositions.
This mean of transport didn’t come here by accident. It would be unfair not to turn your attention to trams, because Volgograd high-velocity tram counted as one of the most unusual trams in the world. Like a subway, several kilometers of tram is laid under the ground, but the tram lines change places under the ground without ever crossing each other. It’s the only underground tram in the world! Traveling by this tram you’ll get a feel for Volgograd city: its architecture and the sights described above. Looking at the street names you’ll understand why this city is on the list of “Soviet” cities in Russia. In addition, there is a statue of a tram car. Don’t miss an opportunity to have a ride on such an unusual means of transportation.
Places to stay and dining options
We suggest you stay at hotel “Stalingrad” located in the Mamayev Kurgan territory. The hotel’s modern accommodations and advanced facilities such as air conditioning, an LCD TV, enclosed showers, a dryer, and satellite TV are waiting for you. This hotel is the winner of the 2008 Best of Russia National Award.
Also in the Stalingrad Cultural Center, the “Blindage”, a patriotic café, is situated. This café is known for reviving the soviet time, therefore in the café’s menu you can find not only Russian and European cuisine and also “Field Kitchen”. If you order something from the Field kitchen a waiter will bring the dish wearing a military uniform.
Behind the hotel these is a cozy square, a perfect place to enjoy the stillness by the pond. You also should visit Stalin’s Museum, situated right here.
In Stalin’s Museum you’ll learn interesting facts about the “father of a nation” and why he carried this name for 36 years. Several halls in the museum will give you all details on how a young revolutionary radical from Georgia, called Koba, became one of the most powerful politicians and bloodthirsty despots of the 20th century.
What else you can do in Volgograd?
The city itself and the region are full of exciting locations. If you are passionate about the reign of the tsars or history itself you’ll find the museum-preserve of “Old Sarepta”, which is 30 kilometers from Volgograd, or the Regional Museum on Lenin street house 7, which is very informative. There are several ways to get to Old Sarepta: from the railway station, take a train till the Krasnoarmeysk stop, or by buses №77, №55; by minibuses №91а, №70а, №29с till the Prospect Geroev Stalingrada (Vinogradnaya) stop. Book a tour with a guide to find out more about the history.
Seven natural parks in the Volgograd region will show you its nature, they are: Volga-Akhtubinsky, Shcherbakovskyj, Donskoy, Elton Park, Ust-Medveditskiy, Tsimlyansk sands and Nizhnehopersky. Also there are several hunting preserves, and many places are regarded as natural monuments.
Fishing fans will be attracted to the Volgograd region thanks to the Volga River or Volgograd reservoir. The great things about them are their large expanses, long coastline and peace and quiet. The reservoir is 34 kilometers from the city center. Nearby is Shcherbakovskyj park. Kill two birds with one stone and make your day or two eventful. 🙂
We hope you are inspired to visit the city of Volgograd. Don’t forget to buy a Tourist Stamp with any of the city sights.