Volgograd Oblast is an area of natural beauty and national traditions. It is the birthplace of the Cossack chieftain Yermak Timofeyevich, the conqueror of Siberia, and the rebel leaders Stepan Razin and Kondraty Bulavin. It is the cradle of victory in the Second World War and the memory of the dead heroes is preserved in a communal grave on Mamayev Kurgan. The area has a number of archaeological monuments: a prehistoric settlement, Sarmatian villages and tombs and Golden Horde towns.
Volgograd Oblast is a land of contrasts—summers are hot and long, while winters are snowy and harsh. The traditions of the Don Cossacks sit alongside the heritage of the Mongol-Tartar conquest. Just like in Babylon, you can hear a variety of languages and see holy buildings of different religions reaching up to the sky.
The region's capital has three names, each of which marked an epoch in the country's history. Tsaritsyn was a fortress on the southern edge of the state. Today, Its historical heritage is an ideal place for educational tourism. Stalingrad was a city of heroic achievements. It was rebuilt after being completely destroyed during the Second World War. Mamayev Kurgan is a communal grave where more than 35,000 people are buried. It is a large-scale memorial to the ruthless genocide of the Second World War.
Every street and almost every house in Volgograd is saturated in history. The symbol of the city—the sculpture the Motherland Calls—was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest statue in the world.
If you are looking for a more peaceful holiday, then you will enjoy the primeval beauty of the seven natural parks and the therapeutic properties of the local mineral springs and mud. Mineral waters from Ergeninsky and Smorogdinsky springs, silt mud, and brine from the largest salt lake in Europe, Lake Elton, are used in health resorts throughout Oblast.
Volgograd Oblast is justifiably called a region of rivers: It is home to about 190 rivers of different lengths with beautiful valleys and clear sandy beaches; the most famous are the Don, Akhtuba, Ilovlya, Medveditsa and Khoper rivers, which are popular places for rafting and are unique natural landscapes untouched by man. Hunters and anglers come here for the abundant game and fish in the Volga-Akhtubinsk flood plain.
On the right bank of the Volga River, 40 kilometers from the region's capital, is Vodyanskoe ancient settlement. This is unique 14th century archaeological monument. This is the site of the ancient Golden Horde town of Beldzhamen (meaning town of oaks in the language of the Golden Horde) that is mentioned in Russian chronicles as the town of Bezdezh. It is home to archaeological digs and visitors can join in and make unique discoveries.
From ancient times, Volgograd's multinational land has been crossed by the most important trade routes between Europe and Asia, which has had a major impact on its culture and history. More than 150 nationalities have lived here peacefully together for centuries. They all have their sites of religious pilgrimage—Buddhist stupas, Islamic mosques, Lutheran and Catholic Churches, and ancient Orthodox monasteries. One of the most famous in Russia is the Ust-Medveditsky Spaso-Preobrazhensky nunnery in Serafimovichsky district. The caves of the Kamennobrodsky Holy Trinity Monastery preserve the secrets of hermit monks and, according to legend, untold treasures. The wonderful giant oaks that grow nearby are up to 400 years old, contemporaries of Ivan the Terrible and witnesses to the foundation of Tsaritsyn.