Saratov is located 858 kilometers from Moscow. When any Russian person hears the name “Saratov”, the first thing he (or she) can think of is the phrase from classic Russian literature: “(I will go) to the village, to the depth (of the country), to Saratov”. Well, not an inspiring beginning, yeah?
But Saratov is worth seeing. Saratov is the last town on Volga where you can see real Russian winter with plenty of snow and freeze up to -40 Celsius degrees. As in all ancient Russian towns, there are a lot of monuments and churches in Saratov. In town parks of Saratov you can see oaks planted by captive Frenchmen after Napoleon’s campaign. These oaks are 200 years old now.
Saratov is considered to be an important historical point of Russia. There are a lot of versatile monuments and attractions here related to the history of this region. I recommend you to start your way from the center of the town, where most interesting places of Saratov are located. You can see the Circus named after Nikitin brothers, Opera and ballet theatre, Music conservatory named after Sobinov, and many other interesting buildings. The Art museum should be mentioned separately. In its collection there are masterpieces of many great painters, for example Shishkin, Vasiljev, Kramskoi, Repin, Koro, and many others.
Saratov’s music conservatory name after Sobinov
This is one of the oldest conservatories in Russia. It was built in 1902 at an intersection of two streets. The conservatory was initially devoted to czarevich Alexey.
Saratov conservatory was the third in Russia (after conservatories of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow). There are three concert halls in the conservatory where music concerts are conducted.
Address: Saratov, Kirova avenue, 1
Saratov academic drama theatre named after I.A.Slonov is one of the oldest theatres in Russia. It is famous for its unique school as well as deep roots and traditions. The theatre group were on tour in France several times, and French stage directors presented their performances at the theatre stage.
In 1961 one typical field near Saratov became a place of interest: Yuri Gagarin landed there after his first space flight! Of cause, at first the authorities tried to make it secret, but rumors were faster J Thus, the place became popular and the authorities decided to create here the tourist attraction. Now there is a memorial complex here. In my opinion there is nothing special, but some people like the place very much.
Kumiss meadow (“Kumisnaya polyana”)
Kumiss meadow is a giant forest park of 4417 hectares, which rounds Saratov from the west. A large number of wild fauna type representatives live in the park territory: moose, fox, roe deer, hare, wild boar, and even owl.
The highest point of Saratov – Lysaya mountain (bald mountain) – is located in the park. From this mountain you can see the whole town spread before your eyes.
This is the popular place for outdoor activity. In summer you can rent a bike, and in winter – practice in skiing or snowboarding.
“Life-giving spring” chapel
Initially a small whit chapel “life-giving spring” located at the Theater square was a part of the church devoted to the saint knyazh Alexander the Nevsky. In 1866 Saratov residents decided to build a chapel in memory of assassination attempt on the emperor Alexander II. The chapel had been built and consecrated there years later. The chapel had unique structure. But in 1930 the chapel had been completely destroyed.
In 1997 the local authorities decided to reconstruct the chapel. The architect based his project on pre-revolutionary drawings found in archive. The chapel was reopened in tribute of the 200th anniversary of Saratov’s region.
Address: Saratov, Teatralnaya square2 260