Samara, Russia
Samara is the sixth largest city in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia
European Russia
European Russia refers to the western areas of Russia that lie within Europe, comprising roughly 3,960,000 square kilometres , larger in area than India, and spanning across 40% of Europe. Its eastern border is defined by the Ural Mountains and in the south it is defined by the border with...

 at the confluence
Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water.Confluence may also refer to:* Confluence , a property of term rewriting systems...

 of the Volga
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

 and Samara River
Samara River
The Samara is a river in Russia, left tributary of Volga. The city of Samara is located at the confluence of Volga and Samara. It rises southwest of the southern end of the Ural Mountains close to the middle Ural River near the town of Orenburg. It then flows west or west northwest to meet the...

s. Samara is the administrative center of Samara Oblast
Samara Oblast
Samara Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Samara. Population: In 1936–1990, it was known as Kuybyshev Oblast , after the Soviet name of Samara .-Demographics:Population:...

. Population: . The metropolitan area of Samara-Tolyatti
Tolyatti , also known as Togliatti, is a city in Samara Oblast, Russia. It serves as the administrative center of Stavropolsky District, although it is administratively separate from it...

Syzran is the third largest city in Samara Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of Saratov Reservoir of the Volga River. Population: It was founded in 1683 as a fortress, and was granted town status in 1796. One tower from the 17th-century fortress still stands...

 within Samara Oblast constitutes the population of more than 3.0 million people. Formerly a closed city
Closed city
A closed city or closed town is a settlement with travel and residency restrictions in the Soviet Union and some of its successor countries. In modern Russia, such places are officially known as "closed administrative-territorial formations" ....

, Samara is now a large and important social, political, economic, industrial and cultural center of European Russia, which in May 2007 hosted the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

—Russia Summit.

Samara is located on the east bank of the Volga River, which acts as its western boundary; across the river are the Zhiguli Mountains
Zhiguli Mountains
The Zhiguli Mountains or simply Zhiguli , sometimes called Zhiguli Height - Жигулëвская возвышенность [Zhigulyovskaya vozvyshennost], are a range of wooded mountains located in Russia on the right bank of the Volga River, in the Samara bend. The mountains are an important source of oil, being...

, after which the local beer (Zhigulyovskoye) is named. Its northern boundary is formed by the Sokolyi Hills and by the steppes in the south and east. The land within the city boundaries covers 46,597 ha. Samara has a continental climate characterized by hot summers and cold winters.

The life of Samara's citizens has always been intrinsically linked to the Volga river, which has not only served as the main commercial thoroughfare of Russia throughout several centuries, but also has great visual appeal. Samara's river-front is one of the favorite recreation places for local citizens and tourists. After the Soviet novelist Vasily Aksyonov
Vasily Aksyonov
Vasily Pavlovich Aksyonov was a Soviet and Russian novelist. He is known in the West as the author of The Burn and Generations of Winter , a family saga depicting three generations of the Gradov family between 1925 and 1953.-Early life:Vasily Aksyonov was...

 visited Samara, he remarked: "I am not sure where in the West one can find such a long and beautiful embankment. Possibly only around Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva or Lake Léman is a lake in Switzerland and France. It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. 59.53 % of it comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland , and 40.47 % under France...


Early history

Legend has it that Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow
Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow
Saint Alexius was Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia , and presided over the Moscow government during Dmitrii Donskoi's minority....

, later Patron Saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of Samara, visited the site of the city in 1357 and predicted that a great town would be erected there, and that the town would never be ravaged. The Volga port of Samara appears on Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 maps of the 14th century. Before 1586 the Samara Bend
Samara bend
The Samara bend is a large hairpin bend of the middle Volga River at the confluence of the Samara River . It is situated in Samara Oblast, Volga Federal District of Russia....

 was a pirate nest. Lookouts would spot an oncoming boat and quickly cross to the other side of the peninsula where the pirates would organize an attack. Officially the town started with a fortress 1586 at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers. This fortress was a frontier post protecting the then easternmost boundaries of Russia from forays of nomads. A local customs office was established in 1600.

As more and more ships pulled into Samara's port, the town turned into the center for diplomatic and economic links between Russia and the East. Samara also opened its gates to peasant war rebels headed by Stepan Razin and Yemelyan Pugachyov, welcoming them with traditional Bread-and-Salt. The town was visited by Peter the Great, all the Tsars Alexander, and Nicholas II.

In 1780, Samara was turned into an uyezd town of Simbirsk Governorate overseen by the local Governor-General, and Uyezd and Zemstvo Courts of Justice and a Board of Treasury were established. On January 1, 1851 Samara became the center of the Province of Samara with an estimated population of 20,000. This gave a stimulus to the development of the economic, political and cultural life of the community. In 1877, during the Russian-Turkish war, a mission from the Samara city government Duma
A Duma is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history. The State Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament. Simply it is a form of Russian governmental institution, that was formed during the reign of the...

 led by Pyotr V. Alabin, as a symbol of spiritual solidarity, brought a banner tailored in Samara pierced with bullets and saturated with the blood of both Russians and Bulgarians, to Bulgaria, which has become a symbol of Russian-Bulgarian friendship.

The quick growth of Samara's economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was determined by the scope of the bread trade and flour milling business. The Samara Brewery came into being in the 1880s, as well as the Kenitser Macaroni Factory, an ironworks, a confectionery factory and a factory producing matches. The town acquired a number of magnificent private residences and administrative buildings. The Trading Houses of the Subbotins, Kurlins, Shikhobalovs and Smirnovs—founders of the flour milling industry, who contributed a lot to the development of the city—were widely known not only across Russia, but also internationally wherever Samara's wheat was exported. In its rapid growth Samara resembled many young North-American cities, and contemporaries coined the names "Russian New Orleans" and "Russian Chicago" for the city.

By the start of the 20th century the population of the town had reached more than 100,000, and it was the major trading and industrial center of the Volga Area. During the Russian Revolution Samara was seized by the Bolsheviks in 1917. However on 8 June 1918, with the armed support of the Czechoslovak Legion, the town was taken by the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly or Komuch. They organised a "Democratic Counter-revolution", which at its height encompassed 12 million people. They fought under the Red Flag
Red flag
In politics, a red flag is a symbol of Socialism, or Communism, or sometimes left-wing politics in general. It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its...

 against the Bolsheviks. On 7 October 1918 Samara fell to the Fourth Army of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...


Soviet period

1921 was a year of severe hunger in Samara. To provide support to the people, Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In his youth a champion skier and ice skater, he led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, and won international fame after reaching a...

 (the famous polar explorer), Martin Andersen-Nexø (a Danish writer), the Swedish Red Cross Mission, and officers of the American Relief Administration
American Relief Administration
American Relief Administration was an American relief mission to Europe and later Soviet Russia after World War I. Herbert Hoover, future president of the United States, was the program director....

 from the United States came to Samara. Samara was renamed Kuybyshev in the honour of the Bolshevik leader Valerian Kuybyshev in 1935.

During the Second World War, Kuybyshev was chosen to be the capital of the USSR should Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 fall to the invading Germans. In October 1941, the Communist Party and governmental organizations, diplomatic missions of foreign countries, leading cultural establishments and their staff were evacuated to the city. A dug-out for Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 known as "Stalin's Bunker" was constructed but never used.

As a leading industrial center, Kuybyshev played a major role in arming the USSR. From the very first months of World War II the town supplied the front with aircraft, firearms and ammunition. The famous military parade of 7 November 1941 was held on the central square of the town. On 5 March 1942, Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony was first performed in the town's Opera and Ballet House by the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra conducted by S.A. Samosud. The symphony was broadcast all over the world. Health centers and most of the city's hospital facilities were turned into base hospitals. Polish and Czechoslovakian military units were formed in the territory of Volga Military District. Samara's citizens also fought at the front, many of them volunteering to do so.
Kuybyshev remained the alternative capital of the Soviet Union until the summer of 1943, when everything was moved back to Moscow.

During World War II, most of the area’s 1.5 million Germans were dispersed into exile or to forced-labor camps
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union
Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during World War II. German civilians in Eastern Europe were deported to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers...


After the war the defense industry developed rapidly in Kuybyshev; existing facilities changed their profile and new factories were built, leading to Kuybyshev becoming a closed city
Closed city
A closed city or closed town is a settlement with travel and residency restrictions in the Soviet Union and some of its successor countries. In modern Russia, such places are officially known as "closed administrative-territorial formations" ....

. In 1960 Kuybyshev became the missile shield center for the country. The launch vehicle Vostok
Vostok rocket
Vostok was a family of rockets derived from the Soviet R-7 Semyorka ICBM designed for the human spaceflight programme. This family of rockets launched the first artificial satellite and the first manned spacecraft in human history...

, which delivered the first manned spaceship to orbit, was built at the Samara Progress Plant. Yury Gagarin, the first man into space on 12 April 1961, took a rest in Kuybyshev after returning to Earth. While there, he spoke to an improvised meeting of Progress workers. Kuybyshev enterprises played a leading role in the development of Soviet domestic aviation and the implementation of the Soviet space program. There is also an unusual monument situated in Samara commemorating an Ilyushin Il-2
Ilyushin Il-2
The Ilyushin Il-2 was a ground-attack aircraft in the Second World War, produced by the Soviet Union in very large numbers...

 ground-attack aircraft assembled by Kuibyshev workers in late 1942. This particular plane was shot down in 1943 over Karelia, but the heavily wounded pilot, K. Kotlyarovsky, managed to crash-land the plane near Lake Oriyarvi. The aircraft was returned to Kuybyshev in 1975, and was placed on display at the intersection of two major roads as a symbol of the deeds of home front servicemen and air-force pilots during the Great Patriotic War (World War II).

Post-Soviet period

In January 1991 the historical name of Samara was given back to the city. At the dawn of the 21st century Samara has become one of the major industrial cities of Russia with a powerful cultural heritage, multi-ethnic population and esteemed history.
Nowadays Samara is not a closed city any longer. Foreign businessmen live and work in Samara due to the great number of international companies and plants.


Samara is a leading industrial center in the Volga Area, and is among the top ten Russian cities in terms of national income and industrial volume. Samara is known for the production of aerospace launch vehicles, satellites and various space services, engines and cables, aircraft and rolled aluminum, block-module power stations; refining, chemical and cryogenic products; gas-pumping units; bearings of different sizes, drilling bits; automated electrical equipment; airfield equipment; truck-mounted cranes; construction materials; chocolates made by the Russia Chocolate Factory; Rodnik vodka; Zhiguli beer; food processing and light industrial products.


Samara has an opera and ballet theater, a philharmonic orchestra hall, and five drama theaters. There is a museum of natural history and local history studies, a city art museum and a number of cinemas.

The 20th Century Russian writer Alexey Tolstoy lived in Samara, and there is a museum dedicated to him. Dimitri Shostakovich lived in Samara during World War II and wrote his Seventh Symphony there.

There is a zoo and a circus in the city.


Samara has 188 schools of general education, lyceums, high schools and the college of continuous education (from elementary up to higher education) known as Nayanova University
Nayanova University
SMNU - Samara municipal Nayanova University, University in SamaraAddress: Russia, 443001, Samara Oblast, Samara, Molodogvargejskaja St., 196Nayanova university was founded in 1993 ....

 existing under the aegis of International Parliament for Security and Peace attached to UNO. Samara is a major educational and scientific center of the Volga area. Twelve public and 13 commercial institutions of higher education as well as 26 colleges.

Samara is the home of Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU), one of Russia’s leading engineering and technical institutions. SSAU faculty and graduates have played a significant role in Russia’s space program since its conception. Samara is also the hometown of Samara State University, a prestigious higher-education institution in European Russia with competitive programs in Law, Sociology, and English Philology. Scientific research is also carried out in Samara. The Samara Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences incorporates the Samara branch of the Physical Institute, Theoretical Engineering Institute and Image Processing Systems Institute. Major research institutions operate in the city.
Samara State Technical University (SamGTU) was founded in 1914. There are 11 faculties with over
20 000 students (2009) and 1800 faculty members. On campus, there are four dormitory and ten study buildings. Samara State Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities was founded in 1911 as Samara Teachers Institute. Currently, the academy offers 42 various specialization in its 12 faculties.


Samara is the home to the FC Krylia Sovetov Samara, a football club in the Russian Premier League
Russian Premier League
The Russian Premier League , currently called SOGAZ Russian Football Championship due to sponsorship reasons, is the top division of Russian football. There are 16 teams in the competition...

. Samara was also the home to the world women's basketball club VBM-SGAU. Before the 2007 season, the VBM-SGAU was sold to CSKA
CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow is a major Russian sports club based in Moscow. It is popularly referred to in the West as "Red Army" or "the Red Army team" because during the Soviet era, it was a part of the Armed Forces sports society, which in turn was associated with the Soviet Army...

 which moved the team to Moscow, where it became the CSKA. The men's basketball club BC Krasnye Krylya Samara
BC Krasnye Krylya Samara
BC Krasnye Krylya Samara is a Russian professional basketball club from the city of Samara, Russia. The team played in the 2009-10 Russian Super League as a replacement for bankrupt CSK VVS, that is also from Samara.-External links:* *...

 plays in the Russian Basketball Super League
Russian Basketball Super League
The Russian Basketball SuperLeague is a men's professional basketball league that was the pre-eminent league of Russian professional basketball until 2010...

. The bandy
Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team's goal.The rules of the game have many similarities to those of association football: the game is played on a rectangle of ice the same size as a football field. Each team has 11 players,...

 team "ЦСК ВВС" plays in the 2nd highest division. Samara is also home to Semyon Varlamov of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado, United States. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1995–96 and 2000–01. The franchise...

, as well as young up and coming tennis player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Anastasia Sergeyevna Pavlyuchenkova is a Russian professional tennis player and a multiple junior Grand Slam champion. Her career-high rank of World No. 13 was achieved on 4 July 2011. From July 2007 to September 2009 she was coached at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France...

. Samara will be one of the cities to host 2018 FIFA World Cup
2018 FIFA World Cup
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups was the process by which the locations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups were selected. The process began officially in March 2009; eleven bids from thirteen countries were received, including one which was withdrawn and one that was...



Samara is a major transport hub.

Kurumoch International Airport
Kurumoch International Airport
Kurumoch International Airport is the international airport of Samara, Russia located 35 km north of the city. In 2006, it handled 1,218,954 passengers and 4,121 metric tonnes of cargo. The airport was the base of defunct Samara Airlines....

 handles flights throughout Russia, Central Asia and to Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

, Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 and Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

There are rail links to Moscow and other major Russian cities. The new, unusual-looking railway station building was completed in 2008.

Samara is a major river port.

Samara is located on the M5 Highway
M5 highway (Russia)
The Russian route M5 is a major trunk road running across a distance of 1879 km from Moscow to the Ural Mountains. It is part of the European route E30 and the Trans-Siberian Highway....

, a major road between Moscow and the Ural region.

City transport includes the Samara Metro
Samara Metro
Samara Metro , formerly known as the Kuybyshev Metro , is a rapid transit system which serves the city of Samara, Russia. Opened in 1987, it consists of one line with 9 stations and 11.4 km of bi-directional long track.-History:...

, trams, municipal and private bus lines, and trolleybuses. Local trains serve the suburbs.


The asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 26922 Samara
26922 Samara
26922 Samara is a main-belt asteroid discovered on 8 October 1996 by E. W. Elst at the European Southern Observatory. It is named for the Russian city of Samara and also the Samara river.- External links :*...

 was named in honour of the city and river on 1 June 2007.


Samara experiences a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...


International relations

St. Louis in the United States is Samara's sister city. The Sister City relationship with Samara, Russia was formalized with St. Louis County in 1992. The committee was formed as an all-volunteer organization to represent Greater St. Louis in an all ongoing cultural exchange and economic development with the Russian Sister City. Today, the committee works with hospitals, universities, regional municipalities and businesses to promote the two cities. Dmitry Kabargin has been serving as a President of The Greater St Louis-Samara Sister Cities Committee since 2007. Both cities have a lot of similarities: located on big rivers (Volga, and Mississippi), have a lot of big schools, and a lot of big hospitals, aviation industries, automotive industries, breweries (Zhiguli and Budweiser) etc. and both cities have arches, although in Samara it is much smaller.

Twin towns/sister cities

Samara, Russia is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou , is the capital and largest city of Henan province in north-central China. A prefecture-level city, it also serves as the political, economic, technological, and educational centre of the province, as well as a major transportation hub for Central China...

, China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 St. Louis, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora
Stara Zagora is the sixth largest city in Bulgaria, and a nationally important economic center. Located in Southern Bulgaria, it is the administrative capital of the homonymous Stara Zagora Province...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Dnipropetrovsk or Dnepropetrovsk formerly Yekaterinoslav is Ukraine's third largest city with one million inhabitants. It is located southeast of Ukraine's capital Kiev on the Dnieper River, in the south-central region of the country...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

Denizli is a growing industrial city in the Southwestern part of Turkey and the eastern end of the alluvial valley formed by the river Büyük Menderes, where the plain reaches an elevation of about a hundred meters. Denizli is located in southwestern Turkey, in the country's Aegean Region.The city...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Koper, Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...


External links

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