First human in space
The Volga region is mostly famous for it’s divine nature and picturesque views, but also Saratov has so many interesting places that are worth visiting: streets and squares, museums, architectural monuments and old manors create the city’s historical face. But the real treasure of the area is the people living here.
One has only pay attention to the fact that 55 years ago the first man in space Yuri Gagarin well and truly put the Soviets in space. He climbed into the Vostok spacecraft to complete the first manned orbit of the Earth and landed in the Saratov region. Some years before it he studied in the Volga region and got all the necessary skills under the supervision of the professional local trainers. You may observe Yuri Gagarin monument and other sights of interst initiating your promenade throught the centre of the city.
Start your journey from the Embankment to enjoy a fantastic view of the wide Volga river. Then forward to the Museum Square that contains wonderful memorials such as Trinity Cathedral, built in the XIX century, the Regional Museum of Local Lore, and the building of a former religious school.
Kirova avenue is the main pedestrian street and one of the most beautiful places that people like to walk by. You can start your journey from the oldest park of Saratov — “Lipki” (which means “lindens”) — that’s called so because lindens were the first trees planted here. People say that when this park was just founded, and the trees were small, at the beginning of the XIXth century, people were staying in line from the Volga river to this park (and this is almost a kilometer/mile!), and they were passing bins with water from the river to one another to water new trees. Fortunately nowadays we don’t need to form such a line of people to take care of the park, but we have a pleasure to walk among the great trees that still remember those who planted them.
Near this park you will see a monument to the famous Russian writer Chernyshevsky, Saratov State Conservatory, Saratov State Agricultural Academy and a bright colourful Orthodox church that looks like an ice cream. Take a picture with it, it will remind you of your lovely trip to Russia.
Kirova avenue is not very long, just 3 blocks, but you will see all the types of architecture from the Monarchy time to Soviet Union period and modern Russia. It is also a street of shops and cafes, so if you need a place to have supper, this street is definitely a good choice, because here you’ll find restaurants and cafes with various types of cuisine.
When you finish your journey along the Kirova avenue you will come to the Circus square, that’s called so because it’s a place where the building of Saratov Circus is located. It was one of the first Russian circuses that had its own building. Not so many Russian cities (and also former Soviet Union Republic cities) have their own circus buildings, but Saratov is lucky.
Not only Kirova avenue, but other streets of Saratov are interesting if you are fond of observing different types of architecture, if you love history of old buildings and stories of gentries and merchants that were the majority of Saratov citizens until the XXth century. As an industrial, scientific and educational center and transport point, the city is located at a focus of native Russian culture. Every building and every square bears microcosms of a wonderful past. Russians who visit Saratov feel the spirit of their great history.
Saratov is also famous for its Opera and Ballet Theater that has a very beautiful building and even more beautiful performances that are welcomed not only by Russian people but also by the international audience. It was opened in 1875 as a launching point of the first stationary Russian theater in the province. By its 120th birthday this theatre was among the best musical theaters in Russia. So if you are fond of opera and ballet, be sure to visit one of the performances — you won’t be disappointed.
Of course if you are keen on fine arts you won’t pass by Radishchev museum that has a great collection of paintings by famous Russian and European artists.
There are so many interesting places that are worth visiting in Saratov and the Volga region: museums, churches, theaters, parks, places connected with the World War II, astronautics, flights, engineering and many other areas of life. You may spend tons of your free time just visiting all these sights of interest, but also don’t forget about fun water activities that you may go in for on the unique Volga — the largest river in Europe.