This church is on the main road leading to "The Bridge" I believe it is called St. Michael's.. Others have mentioned it's brilliant blue domes but I am still not certain of it's name. You can see it from the base of the memorial (almost) cross overlooking the city. Look east toward the bridge to Engles, you cannot help but see the blue domes. It is interesting to notice that the Saratov Cathedral is having a bell tower built for it, like many Russian Orthodox churches the bell tower is separate from the church. At St. Michael's it is integral to the church building, similar to a western style church.
(To all VTer's in Saratov, if you spot a mistake PLEASE tell me! My spoken Russian is limited and my understanding is poor at best!! I would be VERY happy to correct any details that I have wrong.)
St. Michael's, the poor seek relief
At all Russian Churches I have been to there are always elderly ladies begging by the door. In the US we have the phrase "poor as a church mouse" meaning there are few if any crumbs on the floor to feed a hungry rodent. Well here the rodents best be VERY careful, this church also had a hungry cat sitting by the door!
(Perhaps a variation on a "Russian Blue" by chance)
The plaintiff mew sounded rather like "me too"!
Sports complex in the ravine
I did not see a swimming pool here but perhaps that is indoors. This looked fairly new (15 to 20 years!) but as many structures in the FSU it was built with available funds but probaly no provision for up keep repairs, there appeared to be several areas where the sidewalk had aged prematurely with no evidence of repairs in progress.
Walk along the riverside promenade
Starting at the Yuri Gagarin statue and extending for a long distance along the Volga embankment there is a promenade and park in which you are able to walk along side the sparkling Volga river. There is an upper promenade and a lower river walkway contained within the same park-like area.
Along this area there are several cafes, bars and restaurants that have great views of the river. Even though the weather was excellent while I was there, there were not a lot of people walking along the embankment while I was there. Some families down by the statue and a few people here and there in quiet conversation, but no mobs of people. That made the walk in this part of Saratov very peaceful and relaxing. It was very enjoyable to simply watch the water flow past and to see other people enjoying themselves and their lives.
Mixture of modern and old (or still undeveloped)
The Legend of Saratov: Gelonus, a legendary Scythian city and the northernmost Greek colony, may be conjectured to have been situated in the locality of present-day Saratov. Gelonus is mentioned in Book 6 of the Histories of Herodotus, according to whom in 512 B.C. the city was burnt down by the Emperor Darius I of Persia. A more certain ancestor city of Saratov was Ukek.
During the reign of Tsar Feodor Ivanovich several settlements were built in order to fortify the state borders. During the summer of 1586 the fortress of Samara was founded. In 1589, the fortress of Tsaritsyn (later called Stalingrad and now called Volgograd) was built in the region where the Volga and the Don come closest to each other. Saratov was built in 1590 midway between Samara and Tsaritsyn at the instigation of count Grigory Zasekin. (Kazan on the upper Volga had been annexed in 1552 and Astrakhan on the lower Volga in 1556. Following the end of the Livonian War, these three forts strengthened Russia's hold on the Volga.) Buildings for the town were constructed of wood in the upper reaches of the Volga one year prior to the foundation in situ of the city. In spring the constructions were disassembled, every log marked, and all the town was delivered to the pre-defined place. Such a method allowed the town to be built in its entirety within several weeks.
The name Saratov may be conjectured to derive from the Turkic words Saryk Atov which means ‘hawks' island’. Another version of the name origin is "Sary Tau" (Ñàðû Òàó) meaning Yellow Mountain in Tatar language as the city is surrounded by a few sandy hills.
Saratov became an important shipping port in the 1800s.
The Ryazan-Ural railroad reached to Saratov in 1870. In 1896 (26 years later) it crossed the city and stretched far behind the Volga River. A unique train-ferry, owned by the Ryazan-Ural railroad, provided the connection between two part of this railroad on two banks of the river during 39 years, and since 1935 the Saratov railroad bridge has started to execute bank-connection.
During the World War II Saratov was crossed by Volzhskaya Rokada in South-North direction (it was a special railroad providing the transportation of troops, ammunition and different important cargoes for Stalingrad, holding its borders).
From Soviet times until 1991, Saratov was a "closed city", strictly off limits to all foreigners. Situated on the Volga River, this was a major military aircraft manufacturing site, the home of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and a vital part of the Soviet space programme.
I was shocked to see the difference between a village and the city. The villages are so undeveloped that I started to think I’m still at the beginning of last century. There was no bathroom (only toilet) in a house, but internet connection. I can’t believe people live like this, but I saw it! No ecology there, not even a faint hint: people burn plastic bottles after barbequing their sausages! I guess they enjoy the smell! They don’t know the worlds: “reuse, reduce recycle” so well known around the world.
Saratov Bridge (Russian: Саратовский мост) across the Volga River in Saratov, Russia was the longest bridge in the Soviet Union upon its inauguration in 1965. Its length is 2803.7 meters. It connects Saratov on the right (west) bank of the Volga, with Engels on the left (east) bank.
As of 2008[update], a new bridge is being built at the village Pristannoye, 14 km upstream from the Saratov Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2009. Its total length is 12,760 meters.