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    Volgograd

The city of Volgograd was founded in 1589 and served as a fortress guarding the trade route along the Volga river. The city on the Volga River has changed its name several times through history. In 1925 the citys name Tsaritsyn (formed from the Russian word Tsar) was replaced by a more updated and Soviet one Stalingrad (formed from the name of Stalin). When the cult of Stalins personality also passed into oblivation, the city was renamed into Volgograd that means "a town on the River Volga".

However, the city became a hero-city when it was bearing the name of Stalingrad. During World War II the city turned into the stage of hot battles that were amongst the crucial battles for the victory of allied over the Nazi. By 1945 Stalingrad had been practically leveled and was among the first Russian towns reconstructed in the first post-war years. Nowadays nothing reminds that this beautiful modern city once was a site of post-war ruins and only several museums and monuments remind of those painful events of the past and commemorate the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the peace and contributed in the victory over the Nazi.

Now Volgograd is one of the largest Russian cities with a population of over 1 million people.

One of the city`s most famous museums is the Stalingrad Museum with a panorama (one of the largest panoramas in Russia) which depicts a scene from the infamous battle. Beside the Stalingrad museum in Volgograd there stands a red brick building full of bullet holes. It is supposed to be the only remaining building from the former post-war Stalingrad. Yakov Fedotovich Pavlov is credited with holding this building against the Nazis for an amazing length of time, and against all odds.

The most famous sightseeing site of the city is Mamayov Kurgan which is a huge War memorial complex dedicated to the warriors that lost their lives in the battle for Stalingrad. The memorial complex displays a symbolic Motherland sculpture. It is a massive statue commemorating the loss of life and the victory. The statue is about 4 meters higher than the statue of liberty in the US.

The statue is situated on the so name Point 102 (Mamaev Kurgan is 102 meters high). The statue is 85 meters high (the figure 52 meters and the sword 33 meters). It is said to weight around 8 000 tons. The statue prototype is divined as Nika goddess, the goddess of Victory.

Mamaev Kurgan is open for visitors 24 hours a day. At night there is a special lightning in the park and near statues and memorials. Some travel sources translate the name of Mamaev Kurgan into English as Mamaev Hill but it is to some extent a wrong translation. Kurgan rather means a tumulus or a barrow due to in encient past it could be a grave of one of the nomades leader. Name Mamaev means the Kurgan could have some connection to Mamai - leader of Golden Hordes, but there is no any reliable historical evidence of that.

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Volgograd
  (Volgograd Region)

Cities of the region

    Uryupinsk
    Volzhsky
    Kamyshin

History

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