This musium, (whose name and location I know not!), has a very eclectic mix of items from every day life in Russia. Old military hardware, old agraicultureal machinery, a sample of ethnic housing styles seen in various reagons within the FSU and a war memorial to The Great Patriotic War (aka World War II). The memorial when viewed from certain angles it appeared to be a cross, yet when you were closer to it, the "corss arm" was seen to be a flock of large birds in flight. Certainly a metaphor for the "souls lost" in battle. In caring the metaphor a bit further you will notice that there are three columns that comprise teh uprights that support the flock of birds!
I saw three absolutly beautiful churches while I was in Saratov. Yes it had been nearly 10 years since the athestic USSR had "desolved" itself but these churches had obviously been there LONG before the USSR "went under". They certainly stand as testimony to the stoic, basic faith of the Russian people who endured at the Soviet system and said, "this too shall pass", the churches were the rock of their faith.
There was a servioce inprogress when I arrived, the ladies at the cathedral shop tolld me I could take one picture as long as I did not photograph any persons face. I know there other were sections more worthy of note, but under the circumstances this was the best I could do. at the time
As one walks into the historic area of Saratov, this church takes your eye. This church was obviously inspired by St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow with its brightly colored spires.
The Icon of the Mother of God Church was constructed in 1906 and then, like most churches in Russia, shut down in the 1930s. At that time a planetarium was placed in the church building. Then in 1991 the church was re-consecrated and began services. During a restoration project in 1992 some stained –glass windows were added and the side chapel was consecrated. Then in 1993 a belfry was built
According the legend, the icon of the Mother of God “Consolation in Grief and Sorrows” was brought to Moscow by Cossacks in 1640 during the reign of Mikhail Fedorovich. The icon became famous in the time of Aleksey Mikhailovich in the second half of 17th century. Iconography of this icon gained wide popularity in 19th century.
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.
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.
While I was in Saratov, I actually did not go to this cathedral. I saw it from a distance while I was visiting Victory Park. With my camera I was able to get a few good shots of it. But in my short time at Saratov, I never made the trip to visit it.
But it is so visually appealing that I wanted to include it here along with a little history that I researched about it on the internet.
In 1859 a wooden cathedral was built and then replaced in 1882 by the five cupola cathedral on that site today. In 1895 a bell tower was constructed but consequently destroyed by the soviets in 1930 at the same time the cathedral was closed. In 1992 the cathedral resumed operations and began restoration projects including the rebuilding of the bell tower.
I learned about this park and decided to visit it during my stay in Saratov. It was a bit further away from my hotel than I had gone before so the hotel got me a taxi to get me there.
It is a very lovely park. It combines being an amusement area with its other use as a meeting and relaxation area for Saratovians. There is a nice swan lake, squirrels frolicking in the trees, wedding parties taking strolls and photos as part of their ceremonies and then the amusement area.
I spent several nice hours there just enjoying the ambiance and people watching. You will enjoy it as well.
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 project. Nowadays you can see a lot of military stuff in Victory Park (Park Pobedi ).At the entrance you can see a train that served as a field hospital during the second WW and further all kind of tanks, cannons, agricultural tractors and so on. They have special area that is “International village” with neighborhoods with little houses that belong to different nationalities that live in Saratov, some of them are restaurants. In a middle of the park there is a nice monument (flying birds) on the top of the hill with a city view. At the bottom of the hill there is an eternal fire in memory all unknown soldiers died during war.
It’s a nice and most famous park in Saratov; it used to be Park Gor’kogo, but was renamed after Russian poet Pushkin’s poem’s name “U lukomor’ya “ .It has a nice pond, roller- coasters ,merry- go-rounds like moist of amusement parks. They have a bridge that full of lockers locked on the sides of the bridge. The custom is when people marry they lock their lock there and throw the key in a water. We joked with my friend saying that when they divorce in a year they dive, find the key unlock it and carry it back home. Indeed, nobody do it! At the entrance there is a nice Italian restaurant that offers very tasteful pizza.
Somewhat similar in feeling and energy, Nemetskaya Street is to Saratov what Arbat Street is to Moscow or Stroget is to Copenhagen. It is a pedestrian only street and a place to window shop, have refreshment at a cafe, see and be seen all the while enjoying a leisurely stroll.
Take a walk down this street and you will see more attractive young women per capita than on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Legend has it that in 1247 the conquering Tatars ordered all of Russia’s most beautiful women to go to Saratov. I believe it.
Oh yes, interesting architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries will also be seen and you will absorb energy from all of the friendly people you will be around.
The Volga River is the longest river in Europe extending about 2,300 miles. At some places the river is 10 miles (16 k) wide. People boat, swim and fish freely in its blue, cool water. One can take a daytime scenic cruise or book a lengthy cruise that might start in Moscow, dock in Saratov, and end at the Caspian Sea.
Gracefully stretching across the Volga River between Saratov on the right bank and Engels on the left bank is Europe's second longest bridge (Europe's longest, since 1998, is in Portugal). The New Saratov Bridge is 1.7 miles (or 2.8km) long. The bridge was completed in 2000 I think.
In the main attached photo you will also see the tie up area for the Volga River cruises. This is one of the places where they dock while they visit Saratov.
You find this beautiful church from the 17th century on the way to the river port on Museum square. The decorations inside are worth a glimpse.
This memorial to the victims of WW2 is located on the hills above Saratov. From here you have a wonderful view over the Volga and the town.