Destinations > Volga River District
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Union of Different People
Astrakhan is an ancient city in the south of Russia, in the delta of Volga – the biggest river in Europe. It is an important cultural, economic and political center. Astrakhan was the capital of Tatar khanate till Ivan’s IV the Terrible conquered it in the 16th century. Located on the north coast of the Caspian Sea, it was a part of the Great Silk Way and nowadays it is the largest transport hub that unites different people and cultures.
Astrakhan’s historical sites, such as the cathedrals and the castles, built in the late 16th century still exist. Nowadays in the Kremlin of Astrakhan you can observe 22 magnificent monuments of the Russian medieval architecture. There you can visit St. Vladimir cathedral, Pokrovsky Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral, various catholic churches and Muslim mosques.
Astrakhan is the city of bridges and water canals; it plays an important role as a river port where water and land routes cross. The city is famous for its fishing industry, ship repair and Astrakhan’s karakul furs.
short city information
dry / semi-arid continental with cold winters and hot summers
530 thousand people
HOW TO GET
3,5 hours by plane from Moscow
Saray Batu, the salty lake Baskunchak, Altynzhar
types of tourism
JOURNEY INTO THE PAST
The Ancient Capital Saray Batu
Catch a big fish
The Astrakhan region is a unique fishing area. Here an amazing nature has been formed with rich vegetation and animal world. The abundance of fish in this part of the great river Volga makes these places very popular. The chances of a rich catch are always high in the spring, and from July to October in particular. Success can be expected not only by professionals but also by beginners fishermen.
the lake of tears
The travellers who come to Astrakhan in late spring or early summer can enjoy the opportunity to visit the world’s saltiest lake Baskunchak. You can swim in its salty water or find healing clay on the coast. The locals call this place “the Holy Lake” or “the Lake of Tears”. They say that its healing power is better than the one of the Dead Sea! For several centuries this lake supplied salt to the whole country.
Those who arrive at the Bogdinsko-Baskunchaksky nature reserve can see how salt production occurs. The flora and fauna of the reserve are rich in rare species. The highest point of the Caspian lowland – 151 m – is the Big Bogdo mountain made entirely of salt. There are about 30 caves inside. Some of these caves are over 1 km in length and over 30 meters in depth.
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