Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea.
Southern Venice, Astrakhan is sometimes called so, for its numerous canals and channels connected with the Volga. The city is situated on 11 islands.
The architectural style of modern Astrakhan with lots of historical buildings makes it possible to call the city a historical museum under the open sky.
What To See
The Astrakhan Kremlin is the main sight of alive chronicle, individual historical architectural reserve – museum.
The Astrakhan Kremlin is an obvious example of military engineering art of XVI century. The Kremlin founded in the Lower Volga, along which the cultural frontier between Europe and Asia passed. At that time the city of Astrakhan played its role as a large commercial centre on the Grate Silk Road.
The walls and the towers of the Astrakhan Kremlin are crowned with two-horned merlons so-called "swallow tail". For the first time this kind of merlons appeared on the Moscow Kremlin's walls and towers and since then it is an integral part of overwhelming majority of Russian fortresses.
Initially the Kremlin walls had 8 towers and 7 of them are preserved to our days. Three towers have passages and four other are blind: Red Gate, Nikolskay Gate, Prechistenskie Gate, Ordnance tower, Arkhireyskaya, Zhitnaya, Krymskaya. The real embellishments of the Kremlin are unique orthodox temples: the Cathedral of the Assumption, Trinity Cathedral with adjoined Refectory Camber of former Trinity monastery, Kirill's Chapel, Over-the-gate Nikolskaya Church and the Cathedral bell tower.
Swan Lake is a unique landmark of Astrakhan.
At the moment the swan lake in Astrakhan is an unusual tourist attraction and a favorite recreation area for everyone. The lake is strengthened along with the rim of granite, has a boat ramp and observation deck. In addition, a white arch installed in the middle of the lake.
Church of John Chrysostom
The most interesting church buildings of those, which are situated outside the Kremlin, are church of John Chrysostom and temple of Prince Vladimir. Church of John Chrysostom was built in 1765. Тhe temple was often rebuilt and at the end acquired cross form. Interesting moulded bas-reliefs with images of saints just at that time. Christ’s figure is placed at the entrance. Grief is embodied in the despectant figures of angels on the western facade of the belfry.
Temple of Prince Vladimir
Temple of Prince Vladimir was built in honor of the Russian prince, who had baptized Russia. Russians glorified Vladimir in their epics. Medieval authors appreciated his deed, comparing Vladimir with Roman emperor Constantine I the Great, favoring to consolidation of positions of Christianity in Roma. In Russia he is considered to be equal to the apostles. Temples, which were built in his honor, are peculiar in their monumentality, solemnity but austerity. It has no superfluous ornament or fretwork.
What To Do
Culturally Astrakhan is one of the most interesting places in Russia. There are many places to visit during your stay in Astrakhan.
The House Museum of Khlebnikov
House- museum of the poet Velimir Khlebnikov in Astrakhan is situated in the former apartment of his parents at the former Big Demidov street.
Velimir Khlebnikov Museum was opened on the 19th of October of 1993 in Astrakhan, the poet's native town. In Memorial Part you can see family Library, the things and the documents of Khlebnikovs. The poet's personal things are the most valuable: his pen, pencil, ink-port, tie, comb and so on. In the Exhibition Halls you can see the art paintings of Vera Khlebnikov, the poet's sister.
The Exhibition Halls also demonstrate the graphic of Pyotr Mitourich, May Mitourich, and a fragment of Stepan Botiev's serial of drawing entitled "Khlebnikov's Field".
The house museum of V. Khlebnikov is an international center, in the library there are a lot of important books and magazines.
Other Museums in Astrakhan
Theatres in Astrakhan
Astrakhan is one of the theatrical cities in Russia. Theatrical performance was there in XVIII century. History of Astrakhan Drama Theatre is almost two hundred years.
At present time there four theatres in Astrakhan: Astrakhan Drama theatre, Astrakhan Musical theatre, Astrakhan State theatre for children, Astrakhan Puppy Show.
Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre
The initiator of the new construction in Astrakhan is the top leadership of the Russian Federation. They considered it necessary to establish "a cultural outpost" - Russian musical theatre, which will become a major cultural, entertainment and educational center.
The infrastructure around the theatre is unique. The theatre is situated in the park, which is currently planned to redesign on the basis of historical drawings. The botanical garden with many fountains, pools, playgrounds for children and labyrinths will be there.
In the number of played performances at this theatre are «Rigoletto» and «Traviata» of J. Verdy, «Boris Godunov», «Melancholy» Puchinni. In repertoire of ballet troupe are «Egypt nights», «Schopeniana», «Gisele», «Nutcracker».
The theatre provides the ability to create not only performances of any complexity, but also to organize socially important events: appointments, meetings, exhibitions and so on.
Shopping & Entertainment Center “Yarmarka"
The Yarmarka shopping and leisure centre opened in November 2011. The shopping centre is situated at Station Square in the central part of the city. Its easy accessibility is one of the principal benefits for the complex.
The MALL Yarmarka has an area of 37,500 square metres and houses a gallery of boutique outlets including brands such as Bershka, Mango and others, anchor tenants such as the O’KEY, M.video, Sportmaster Hyper hypermarkets, a Kinomax multiplex cinema with an IMAX screen, and several restaurants.
Selenskiye Isady Fish Market
The lively Selenskiye Isady fish market is worth a visit to pick up some snacks or to witness the vibrant trade in produce and fish.
For the famous Astrakhan watermelons and other fruit, check out Tatar-Bazar.
How To Get There
Astrakhan is a frontier city — the southern gates of Russia. It is situated on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, which makes it a commercial and transport center. Astrakhan has a large river and seaport. The main waterway of the country, the Volga, flows through Astrakhan and connects it with the Black, Baltic, Northern and Mediterranean seas. All these advantages made the city of Astrakhan a linking point for the goods coming from India and Iran to Europe.
The city is served by Narimanovo Airport. After its reconstruction and the building of the international sector - opened in February 2011 - Narimanovo Airport is one of the most modern regional airports in Russia. Flights go to / from Moscow.
Astrakhan is linked by rail to the north - Volgograd, Moscow, east - Kazakhstan, Atyrau; south - Makhachkala, Baku. There are direct trains to Moscow, Volgograd, Saint Petersburg, Baku, Kiev, Brest and other towns.
Astrakhan is the end point of cruises on the Volga; the river station is located on the naberezhnaya. There are no regular passenger boats to the other Caspian Sea ports.
How to get to Astrakhan from Sochi
Sochi main bus terminal is located right near the main train terminal in Central Sochi. The second important terminal is in Adler. One of its major domestic route destinations is Astrakhan (26.5 hours, daily).