Saratov. Russia. May 2013



Saratov is one of the regional centers on Volga river. Was founded in 1590. Current population 840 000 people. Saratov means Yellow mountain in Tatarian language. And it seems truth because Saratov placed on few mountains at the mountain coast of Volga river.
I was in Saratov many times and I like this city. Like in Samara you can find beautiful downtown from 19th century. Nice and friendly people live here. You can feel it on pedestrain street Kirova. I don't know why but my feeling that atmosphere at this street similar to Vlazlav place in Prague. Shops, restaraunts, street musicians and arcitecture are very nice and beautiful. May be because of German traditions. In a past a lot of German colonists was invited by Ekaterina II to develop wild lands at the middle and down stream of Volga.



It is a modern trend to install sculptures at pedestrain area. Like a Stockholm Saratov has it.



One of the unusual and at the same time beautiful building. It is Conservatory.



Careful reader could find gargoylies on the Conservatory's wall.



Very close to Conservatory placed church named Assuage my sorrows. It looks like Saint Basil's church in Moscow but 500 years younger.



Next building to the church also amaze by it unsual view. From one hand it is Stalin's ampire because of decoration. But it is something strnage close to the roof?



It is bas relief shows people life.



May be I'm wrong but as far as I remember in 19th century Saratov was on the biggest city in Russia (now it has 16th place by population). Also it was rich city. Just have a look at merchants houses. Very often you can see expensive decorations like telamons and caryatids.



As I told there are dozens of restaurants. It's one of them made as pirate ship. Concerning restaurants I guess you can find every food you want. As for me I found here nice restaurant with mediterrian food. Octopuses was perfect!



Every city has their own features which make them different from other cities. In Saratov it is an iron balconies. I suppose it was very expensive in 19th century but people liked to show that there are doing well and business growing. Some kind of self advertisment.



You can find it everywhere.



Different styles.



But it looks very beautiful.





When people repair their buildings they try to keep origin design. This upgrade looks not very nice and I hope in future this kind of repairment will be prohibited to keep historical view.



And repaired buildings will look like this one. There is a Saratov's emblem at the center of the building. Shield with a three sturgeons.



Some very massive buildings in the downtown. In a past it was administration building. Now it's russian railways office.



Again don't remember 100% but I guess it was gymnasium or something like that.



This is main square in Saratov. Here placed Opera theatre.



And of course Lenin. "Watsup brother" says Lenin to people walking here.



Of course without Volga trip cannot be completed. Embankment has 3 levels. 1st very close to the water, 2nd 3 meters (10 feets) higher and 3d another 3 meters higher. Embankment is not too big but rollers and bike riders like to ride here.



Volga very wide here. Especially because of spring flood. Snow melts down and water level increased 2-4 meters (6 - 12 feets). Without flood Volga width is about 1.5 mile.



Old Saratov bridge. Was build in 1965. For the moment traffic is amazing and bridge capacity is not enough. Ten years ago was build new bridge 10 miles from this bridge upstream. Length of all constructions around 8 miles.



It's a highest building in Saratov. It should be very complex building, especially foundation because as far as I know Saratov mostly stays on lame stone which are not so hard for such buildings.



One of the restaurants. Amazing decoration. There are gears, valves, handwheels etc. It seems all of them made from brass. I'm afraid to have any idea how much it could cost.



My trip is almost finished. At the square in front of railway station stays Felix Dzerzhinskiy - the first chief of KGB.



Saratov main railway station. It's quite new and not so interesting.



Russia and Saratov dramatically changed during last few years. Just couple of years ago Saratov was very dirty and it was a lot of dust and garbadge on streets. Now it's nice and clean city, many old buildings under reparing now. On the picture mobile vacuum-cleaner.



Only one thing astonished me in Saratov. It is toilets. I still can't understand why owners invest big money into toilet decoration and install this stupid asian style toilet bowls. I'm not a bird and for me really hard to do all my activities sitting squat. Absolutely non clear - expensive tile (500$ minimum), expensive water flushing system (300$ minimum) and this strange 70$ boil.




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