Russia is referred to as a land of cities in various ancient documents. Russian cities that emerged during over 1000 country's boast their rich historical heritage, industrial, financial and cultural importance. They were either founded as medieval fortresses to defend Russia's boundaries or the important knots of trade routes or as a result of military conquers. Russian cities are homes for 190 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples living in Russian Federation.
Kaliningrad is a Russian city in the center of Europe. It is a center of country’s smallest and westernmost region, Poland and Lithuania, an important ice-free port on the Baltic Sea, railway and highway junction of Russia and industrial center. But the region is especially famous for being one of the biggest amber supplies in the world! There’s a wide-spread belief that Kaliningrad was the amber source for the legendary Amber Room of Catherine II, empress of Russia.
Originally named Königsberg in German, the town was founded in 1255 by order of Teutonic Knights. The devastated town was occupied by the Soviet Army after the WWII and named in honor of Bolshevik revolutionary Mikhail Kalinin. Kaliningrad is a Russian city with German history which makes for an unusual for a Russian city look and different atmosphere that in other parts of the country. The ethnical proportion of the population of the region is : Russians - 77.9%, Belorussians - 8.0%, Ukrainians - 7.3%, Lithuanians -1.9%.
The city is also rich in old, partially restored and modern architecture. Among its famous landmarks are Königsberg Cathedral on the Kneiphof island. The grave of Immanuel Kantis situated at the Cathedral’s wall. The oldest building in Kaliningrad is the Juditten Church (built before 1288). The surviving churches, and the remaining city gates, the ruins of the city wall are the distinctive features of Kaliningrad architecture.
Kaliningrad has a lot to offer for the visitor. A diverse nightlife, picture galleries, concert halls and a number of interesting museums create unforgettable travel experience. Immanuel Kant museum on the Kneiphof island, the Museum of History and Arts, the Kaliningrad Amber Museum, World Ocean Museum are most known.
Kazan (Qazan) is one of most ancient Russian cities famous for its history and architecture. The city combines the unique fusion of western and eastern cultural traditions as it has been a home for people of different ethnic and religious groups for centuries. The variety of sites and landmarks in the city is impressive as ancient orthodox cathedrals neighbor mosques, vast parks and contemporary monuments.
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. It is the country’s eighth most populous city with over a million citizens. The city officially has a brand of the "Third Capital" of Russia.
Kazan was founded no less than 1000 years ago as an outpost on northern borders of Volzhkaya Bulgaria. It was important trade and political center in Golden Horde in the 13th-14th centuries and a capital of Kazan Khanate in the 15th century. The city’s history as a part of Russian state began after it had been conquered by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century.
Throughout its history Kazan experienced a lot of events: at the beginning of the 19th century it was a large scientific center and one the centers of Russian revolution during the Soviet period. Kazan celebrated its millennium in 2005 with memorable events: Kazan Metro was opened, the holiest copy of Our Lady of Kazan was returned to the city, the "Millennium Bridge" inaugurated. One of the largest mosques in Russia (Qolsharif) was built inside Kazan Kremlin walls.
Ethnic Russians make almost 49 percent of Kazan population. There live 47.5 percent of Tatars and other ethnic groups like Chuvash, Ukrainians, Azeri, and Jews. Predominant faiths of Kazan city are Sunni Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy. Tatar and Russian languages are widely spoken in the city.
One of most famous Kazan site is the Kazan Kremlin, declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. The citadel Annunciation Cathedral (1561–62) and the mysterious leaning Soyembika Tower, named after the last queen of Kazan and regarded as the city's most conspicuous landmark. Qolsharif is the largest mosque in Russia, and in Europe outside of Istanbul.
Kazan is major educational, scientific, industrial and financial centre in Russia. It has the title of "sports capital of Russia" as the city earned the right to host both the 2013 Summer Universiade and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Pyatigorsk was founded in 1780. Since 1803 it has been famous Russian mineral water resort due to the local curative springs, medical mud taken from Lake Tambukan located 10 km from Pyatigorsk, and the mild climate of the area. Pyatigorsk is located in the South of Stavropol region in the middle of the Caucasian Mineral Waters area.
Its name means “five mountains”. The name explains the location of the city at the foot of the Beshtau, Mashuk and three other outliers of the Caucasian mountain range. On the top of Mashuk mount there is a cavern called "Proval". A hot lake in the cavern is a heart of mineral water system and a local landmark. Pyatigorsk history preserves the memory of the great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. The duel between and Nikolai Martynov took place at the foot of Mashuk Mountain, where now there is an obelisk with the poet's alto-relievo. The state memorial estate of Mikhail Lermontov in the city.
Pyatigorsk is a tourist center and is a starting point for numerous tourist routes. It is known for excellent restaurants and nightlife and a famous hospitality of Caucasus region. Industry of Pyatigorsk is primarily oriented towards service of the health resort.
Astrakhan is most famous and ancient city of Volga region. It is listed among 115 cities in Russia with recognized historical value. Astrakhan is famous for its remarkable history, mysterious landscapes, people who were born and lived there, the abundance of locally grown fruit and vegetables, fishing paradise and beautiful legends of this land.
Astrakhan watermelon, Astrakhan tomatoes, Astrakhan sturgeon and caviar, Astrakhan bridges and historical sites have become trademarks of this unique city, also called the city on the water.
The name of the city is of Turk origin. Many beautiful legends are associated with Astrakhan. One of them says that the city was named after the girl Astra, a khan Kazim once captured. Khan’s son fell in love with the girl, but the end was tragic. The old khan changed the location of his capital, but the left place was named Astrakhan after that girl.
A former capital of Tatar khanate, the city was captured by Ivan IV the Terrible in 1556. Situated on caravan and water routes, it was an important trading center, Russian gate to the Orient a military base and one of the easternmost points in the Soviet Union German Wehrmacht almost reached.
Modern city is the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. It lies in several islands on Volga River, 100 km from the Caspian Sea. Astrakhan is an important river port, a base of a large fishing fleet and is important as a fish-canning and caviar-preserving centre.
The first stop for visitors to Astrakhan should be the city's Kremlin with the enormous cathedral of the Assumption inside and the more diminutive Trinity Cathedral. The city has a cluster of different color mosques and ornate wooden houses. There are over 150 minorities and ethnic groups in Astrakhan and 14 different religious confessions.
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