Gagarin's landing place
The monument errected to Yurij Gagarin, first man in space, is a couple of kilometres from Saratov on the East banks of the Volga.
Gagarin landed here on April 12th, 1961. He's one of Saratov's heroes as he studied and did his pilot training there.
Speaking of "off the beaten path"...,
Speaking of "off the beaten path", in that same direction... Walking along the street to St. Michaels there are several old, as in VERY OLD houses!
This one may date back to the origins of Saratov when when Catherine the Great of Russia encouraged "second sons" in Germany to emigrate to the area to help settle it. At the time "second sons" in a German family stood to inherit NOTHING, primogenator was the rule in Germany. Second sons got nothing in inheritance, they where "on their own", start a business of their own, marry rich, or beg!! Catherine offered them home steads to help settle the area and cement Russia's claim on the region.
That may have brought an influx of from the Jewish community as well. Noticed the Star of David in the leaded glass window of this house found along the strreet leading up hill from the bridge, that goes past St. Michael's Church toward the out door museum with the War Memorial.
Ok, so This is not a path in the true sense, but..
The Volga is the MAJOR artery if not a path, through Saratov. The internal waterways in Russia connect the Black Sea to the Baltic sea with most if not all other conenctions passing through Moscow. Thus making Moscow the hub of the spokes of the waterways in Russia. The waterways took the place of major highway contruction for the movemnet of goods in commerce for Russia. It is not surprizing that maintenance of these pathways is a major concern. In the photo with this posting is a shot of what appeared to be a dredge being moved by a tugboat..
Photograph and Visit the Troitsky Cathedral
I do not know very much at this cathedral. I saw it from my Slovakia Hotel room and noticed that it fronted a square. From my research on the internet it appears that this church, and my hotel, are located in the city's oldest surviving neighborhood near Museum Square. In the past this square was formerly called Sobornaya Ploshchad or Cathedral Square. The eye-catching St. Trinity (Troitsky) Cathedral is a red-brick, white-trimmed, gold-domed, double spire building constructed in the 17th century in the Moscow Baroque style. There are actually two cathedrals on the site: upper one takes the name of St. Trinity and lower one takes the name of Assumption Blessed Virgin.
Here is the history of this cathedral as I researched it on the internet:
The St. Trinity (Svyato-Troitsky) Cathedral was originally built in 1674 -1675 as a wooden building which in only a few years, 1684, burned down. Ten years later, and finished in 1701, the cathedral was reconstructed but was built of stone this time. Then from 1930 until late-1942 services at the cathedral were discontinued. Since 1972 there have been a number of restoration projects on the cathedral. In spite of numerous reconstruction of portions of the cathedral, it has not lost any of its beauty.
It is said that the fact that the cathedral has remained standing to this day is a miracle. Almost all of the other churches/cathedrals in this area--and indeed in Russia--were destroyed in the 1930s.
I went into this cathedral and it is very elegantly appointed. There are many religious icons in Troitsky Cathedral and it definitely has a baroque look. They did not mind me taking photos so I did.
I would recommend that you take a few minutes and see this remarkable cathedral in Saratov.
A Crossroads where Traditional Blends with Modern
With a name that translates from the original Tatar as "Yellow Mountain," Saratov is a city brimming in rich history, and its geography offers a unique mix of river and steppe that does not lose its charm when winter arrives.
Saratov today has a population of close to 1 million, yet it manages to retain a distinctly provincial feel. Its small airport is not equipped to handle large passenger jets, but it is located a convenient 20-minute drive from the city center, a ride that allows visitors their first glimpse of the gorgeous expanse of steppe that surrounds Saratov as well as the graceful charm of the Volga River.
Saratov first arose on the right bank of the Volga River just above the city's present-day location, after Tsar Ivan the Terrible finally defeated the remnants of the Mongol Golden Horde on the Middle and Lower Volga. Following his plan, a series of fortified towns, including Saratov (1590), were built on the southeastern edge of the extended state boundaries.
Long a merchant city and crossroads, Saratov turned into a major commercial and industrial center for the Volga region. Today, Saratov is an engineering and manufacturing hub for, among others, airplanes, refrigerators, automated machine tools, glass, bearings, synthetic fibers, electronics, and space communications.
Saratov is a very typical Russian city and sees far fewer Western tourists than Moscow or St Petersburg. Little-known to foreigners, Saratov was a “closed” city until 1992. This was a major military aircraft manufacturing site and a vital part of the Soviet space program. Outsiders were not welcome. I am happy to tell you that those days are over and Saratovians will warmly welcome you to visit their city!
Saratov is also an area rich in mineral resources. Gas, oil, oil shale, peat, chalk, sand, limestone, phosphate, semi-precious aragonite, dolomite and mineral water are among the chief resources of the area.
Saratov’s historic town center has houses and churches that are hundreds of years old. In pre-revolutionary times it was, however, most famous for having the longest straight street of any city in Europe, Moskovskaya (Moscow) Street.
Besides having some very nice parks and a riverside promenade, Saratov is also regarded as a city with solid theatrical traditions, and many actors seek to come here.
Although not an actor, I did want to take an opportunity to see the Volga River while I was working in Russia. I came to this city in April and that was a nice time to visit. The weather had just cleared and had warmed up. Saratov does have cold winters and hot summers as it is in the lower steppe region of Asia. But my visit was in mild weather just right for walking around and seeing the sights.