The Volga is one of the most important Russian traffic routes. A river trip from Kazan to Rostov-on-Don is particularly recommended, but other cities on the Volga are also served on cruises and are worth visiting.
Irkutsk is one of the largest fur trading centers in the world and is considered the most beautiful Siberian city. The many imposing buildings bear witness to a rich past. The typical wooden houses can also be found here. The local university was the first higher educational institute in all of Siberia. The nearby Lake Baikal is a magnificent recreation area with unique flora and fauna. The deepest lake in the world, at over 1600 m, lies in the middle of densely forested mountain ranges.
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The city of Moscow was founded in 1147, but a settlement has existed on this site since the Neolithic. The world-famous Red Square, which is framed by numerous landmarks, forms the center of the city. The Kremlin rises on one side of the square, surrounded by a massive red fortification wall with a total of 20 towers. The largest place of worship on the Kremlin premises is the Assumption Cathedral ( Uspenski Sobor ) designed by the Italian architect A. Fioravanti, 1475-1479), whose iconostasis shows three of the most beautiful and oldest Russian icons. The cathedral was the coronation site of the Russian tsars, and Ivan the Terrible’s throne is near the entrance. The 19th -century Grand Kremlin Palace and the 81-meter-tall Ivan the Great Bell Tower with its beautiful golden dome are true masterpieces of Russian architecture. St. Basil’s Cathedral, commissioned by Ivan the Terrible from 1555 to 1560, towers at the other end of the square. It’s Moscow’s most recognizable landmark, mostly because of its colorful domes, and today it only functions as a monument. Opposite the cathedral is the Saviour’s Tower ( Spasskaya basnya ), formerly the main entrance to the Kremlin, with Russia’s most famous clock and a chime that chimes every hour. Today’s entrance to the Kremlin (also for tourists) is through the gate of the Trinity Tower ( Troitskaya bazhnya ). The Cathedral of the Annunciation ( Blagoveshchensky sobor ) was the family church of the tsars and houses precious 16th-century frescoes. The Palace of Facets ( Granowitaja palata ), once the seat of the Tsars’ throne room, is not open to visitors. Also on Red Square is the State Historical Museum, housed in a 19th-century red brick building.
North of St. Petersburg on the Kola Peninsula lies Murmansk, the largest city in the Arctic Circle. In November and December you can see the Northern Lights, and in the summer it stays light 24 hours a day. The Church of St. Nicholas is worth seeing, and a visit to the National Museum is also recommended. The Karelian landscape south of the Arctic Circle is characterized by a charming lake district. Pine and birch forests, picturesque waterfalls, rolling hills and wide open skies delight the eye. The Karelian capital Petrozavodsk is a good starting point for trips to the island of Kizhi in Lake Onega. Here is one of the most beautiful open-air museums in Russia, which gives visitors an insight into the typical wooden construction. The multi -domed Church of the Transfiguration of Christ, richly decorated with icons on the inside, is particularly impressive.
Novgorod (south of St. Petersburg) was founded over 1100 years ago. The oldest building in Russia, the five-aisled Saint Sophia Cathedral (11th century), is located in the Sophia Quarter, where the Kremlin is also located. In total there are 39 churches and cathedrals in the city. Opposite, across the river, you can visit the business district.
Kaliningrad (Königsberg) is located between Lithuania and Poland on the Baltic coast and has been part of the Russian Federation since the end of World War II. The city on the Pregel near the mouth of the Vistula Lagoon is connected to the Baltic Sea by a canal. Kaliningrad was almost completely destroyed during the war. The ruins of the Gothic cathedral with the tomb of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who was born in Kaliningrad, is one of the main sights. The Luisenkirche, the Sackhermer Tor and Rosgärtner Tor are also worth visiting. In the amber museum you can find out everything you need to know about the popular gemstone from the Baltic Sea. The Frindland Museum gives an overview of the long history of the former capital of East Prussia and life at that time. The beautiful surroundings invite you to hikes in dense forests and through hilly country. Less than 50 km from Kaliningrad is the once popular seaside resort of Svetlogorsk (Noise). Beautiful beaches and a wonderful dune landscape make up the appeal of this idyllic Baltic Sea resort.
Kazan is the center of Tartar culture, which you can also get a little familiar with in the Tatar State Museum. The towers and churches of the Kremlin (16th century) belong in every sightseeing program. South of Kazan is Samara, an important industrial center where culture is not neglected. Numerous monuments and museums make a visit worthwhile.
Founded at the end of the 16th century, Saratov is now an important industrial city and an important transport hub with a number of museums worth seeing.
In Lenin’s birthplace Ulyanovsk is the house of his parents, which today houses a museum.