Volgograd, commonly know as former Stalingrad, is a sparklingly mammoth city to the South of Russian Federation. The city bears a population of around 1,000,000 residents. The entire city is placed on the right bank of the river Volga, supposedly the longest river in Europe. This city measures a length of 90 km. and a width of about 8 km.
In 1920 the city became the country's indigenous center for tractor manufacturing. The first tractor in Russia was built in Stalingrad Tractor Plant, which played a crucial role in Stalingrad Battle by manufacturing and repairing tanks, all during the helm of audacious and ruthless shelling on the city. It also has the biggest steel manufacturing plant called "Red October" located in Volgograd.
The city was founded in 1589 and was a fortress which was then called Tsaritsyn. Its purpose was to defend the southern boundaries of the Russian Empire. In 1925 Tsaritsyn was renamed as Stalingrad, which is the most often remembered name of the city.
In 1961 Stalingrad was renamed as Volgograd. The brave and courageous historical past leaves behind many classy monuments, built in the commemoration of its defenders. The most popular and reminiscent of them is Mamayev Hill. On the peak, which for some reason is called Mamayev (Mamay's) there are clusters of monuments. Standing distinctly among them is a high rising statue of Mother Russia with a height of 52 meters, almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York City!
Under Stalin, the city underwent heavily industrialization and was developed as a centre of heavy industry and trans-shipment by rail and river. During World War II (Great Patriotic War) Stalingrad became the epic of the battle of Stalingrad, the deadliest battle in the history of humanity. It was also the pivotal turning point in the war against Germany. The battle lasted from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943. In terms of human life loss, around 500,000 Axis troops with over one million Soviet soldiers sacrificed there life, not to mention the unknown number of civilians killed and the many more wounded during the battle. The city was reduced to rubble during the fighting, but reconstruction began soon after the Germans were expelled from the city.
Volgograd is one of the important industrial cities. Its industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, steel and aluminum production, machinery and vehicles manufacturing and chemical production. A large hydroelectric power plant stands at a short distance to the north of Volgograd.
Volgograd has a major railway junction that links to Moscow, the Donbas region of Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Siberia. It stands at the east end of the Volga-Don Canal, opened in 1952 to link the two great rivers of southern Russia.
European route E40, the longest European route connecting Calais, France with Ridder, Kazakhstan, passes through Volgograd.
Major Places of Interest
- THE MEMORIAL ENSEMBLE ON MAMAI HILL is situated almost in the centre of the city; the Mamdi Hill was a dominant factor during the city's defense in 1942.
- HEROES' SQUARE is located on the next terrace. Along side an enormous pool of water are six sculptured compositions in which is depicted the exploits of the defenders of Stalingrad.
- THE STATE DEFENCE MUSEUM exhibits the heroic scenes of the 1918-20 defense mechanism of the city of Tsaritsyn.
- THE FINE ARTS MUSEUM displays works of Russian artists of past centuries.
- THE PLANETARIUM: The hemispherical dome of this building is topped by a bronze figure of a woman holding a globe and dove of peace.
- SERGEANT PAVLOV'S HOUSE AND FORMER MILL RUINS: This is four-store yellow building-Sergeant Pavlov's House - is well known from wartime in many countries of the world.
- THE TOWN OF VOLZHSKY (30 km from the centre of Volgograd) is the young town of chemical workers and hydro-engineers which is situated on the left bank of Volga. Excellently planned, facing the river which caresses by its refreshing breeze.