"Mixture of modern and old (or still undeveloped)" Saratov by eugini2001

Saratov Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 150 photos


The Legend of Saratov: Gelonus, a legendary Scythian city and the northernmost Greek colony, may be conjectured to have been situated in the locality of present-day Saratov. Gelonus is mentioned in Book 6 of the Histories of Herodotus, according to whom in 512 B.C. the city was burnt down by the Emperor Darius I of Persia. A more certain ancestor city of Saratov was Ukek.

During the reign of Tsar Feodor Ivanovich several settlements were built in order to fortify the state borders. During the summer of 1586 the fortress of Samara was founded. In 1589, the fortress of Tsaritsyn (later called Stalingrad and now called Volgograd) was built in the region where the Volga and the Don come closest to each other. Saratov was built in 1590 midway between Samara and Tsaritsyn at the instigation of count Grigory Zasekin. (Kazan on the upper Volga had been annexed in 1552 and Astrakhan on the lower Volga in 1556. Following the end of the Livonian War, these three forts strengthened Russia's hold on the Volga.) Buildings for the town were constructed of wood in the upper reaches of the Volga one year prior to the foundation in situ of the city. In spring the constructions were disassembled, every log marked, and all the town was delivered to the pre-defined place. Such a method allowed the town to be built in its entirety within several weeks.

The name Saratov may be conjectured to derive from the Turkic words Saryk Atov which means ‘hawks' island’. Another version of the name origin is "Sary Tau" (Ñàðû Òàó) meaning Yellow Mountain in Tatar language as the city is surrounded by a few sandy hills.

Saratov became an important shipping port in the 1800s.

The Ryazan-Ural railroad reached to Saratov in 1870[5]. In 1896 (26 years later) it crossed the city and stretched far behind the Volga River. A unique train-ferry, owned by the Ryazan-Ural railroad, provided the connection between two part of this railroad on two banks of the river during 39 years, and since 1935 the Saratov railroad bridge has started to execute bank-connection.

During the World War II Saratov was crossed by Volzhskaya Rokada in South-North direction (it was a special railroad providing the transportation of troops, ammunition and different important cargoes for Stalingrad, holding its borders)[6].

From Soviet times until 1991, Saratov was a "closed city", strictly off limits to all foreigners. Situated on the Volga River, this was a major military aircraft manufacturing site, the home of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and a vital part of the Soviet space programme.


I was shocked to see the difference between a village and the city. The villages are so undeveloped that I started to think I’m still at the beginning of last century. There was no bathroom (only toilet) in a house, but internet connection. I can’t believe people live like this, but I saw it! No ecology there, not even a faint hint: people burn plastic bottles after barbequing their sausages! I guess they enjoy the smell! They don’t know the worlds: “reuse, reduce recycle” so well known around the world.

Saratov bridge

Saratov Bridge (Russian: Саратовский мост) across the Volga River in Saratov, Russia was the longest bridge in the Soviet Union upon its inauguration in 1965. Its length is 2803.7 meters. It connects Saratov on the right (west) bank of the Volga, with Engels on the left (east) bank.

As of 2008[update], a new bridge is being built at the village Pristannoye, 14 km upstream from the Saratov Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2009. Its total length is 12,760 meters.

  • Last visit to Saratov: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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