You may never know where you find a true friend. I found one in a painfully beautiful mountain town. And who cares that thousand miles part us? We still see each other more often then some of our old buddies. She already visited me in LT and I’m looking forward to July, when I’ll visit her in Russia. Beware! Meet Ella from Россия, who’ll tell you about her hometown…
Hi! My name is Elvira and I am from Samara, Russia! I am a master student of Applied Mathematics in Samara State Aerospace University, graduating this summer. I am a very active and positive person. I am fond of exploring new places and people, interested in science and cultural diversity. And I love my home city, because it has an interesting history and it has also so much to offer to a visitor.
The city was founded in 1586 as a fortress outpost against the raiding nomads. During The Great Patriotic War the city came to prominence as the ‘alternative capital’. It became one of the nation’s biggest industrial centers as a result of the evacuation of a number of engineering and aircraft production units here from the western regions. Most of the government offices and diplomatic corps moved to Samara in 1941, and there was even an underground bunker built, which is the Museum of Stalin’s Bunker now.
Speaking about cultural leisure time, Samara is rich in museums and theaters. It goes without saying that you are welcome to enjoy the Theater Of Opera and Ballet located on the biggest square in Europe – Kuibishev’s square.
Samara is located in the south-east area of European Russia at the approximate mid-point of the Volga, Europe’s biggest river. I love our embankment which is the longest in Russia – more than 5 km, it’s spectacular. It is very romantic and you can have a fascinating walk. Going all the way from the old town, passing Samara’s Brewery “Zhiglevskoe” (trying out a pint of fresh beer at “Dno”), and the “Samarskaya Ploshad” full of Memory to the heroes of the Second World War; you can stop by the signing fountain and join street salsa dancers. Love doing sports? There are football and basketball fields, a bike lane all the way along the embankment and volleyball nets on the beach. In summer, there are yoga lessons every morning and an open air cinema in the evening right near Ladya (one of the symbols of Samara – a white rook).
40-meter pedestal stands a 13-meter figure of the worker, holding in hands raised wings. Monument represents a contribution to the creation of Samara residents aviation industry. During the war, there was manufactured Il-2, or, as it is called – “flying tank”. Not far from the statue is a war memorial replete with eternal flame.
There are a lot of festivals held in the city. Every summer the Grushin festival – an annual Russian bard song festival, takes part on the other side of the river near Mastrukovo lakes. The major landmark of the festival is the stage built on the raft, in the shape of a guitar, with its fingerboard serving as a bridge to the shore.
I find our city romantic with its old town, all the sunsets on the river, summer hiking in the Zhigulevsk mountains and cozy winter parks. And if you an active person you will never get bored 🙂
Also, Samara is known for having the most beautiful women in Russia. There is a legend that Catherine II exiled all the beauties of St. Petersburg to Samara to avoid harsh comparison with her unprepossessing features! Some people say it is due to the unique mixing of blood and genes from Samara’s exotic racial mix of Russian and other Slavic nations as well as Asian people like Tatars and Kazakhs (which I am 😉 ). So welcome to a truly beautiful city!