Travel to Volgograd
Nestled in a hook of the winding Volga River, Volgograd (previously Stalingrad) is a modern city of great historical significance. Here, Axis forces battled for control over this industrial and economic center, leading to the infamous Battle of Stalingrad, one of the largest in WWII. In the end, Soviet forces pulled through, and the victory at Stalingrad remains a source of pride and grandeur for Volgograd's citizens. Tour Volgograd to explore memorials and monuments and delve into the events of Russian history!
On the outskirts of the city, you can climb up Mamayev Kurgan (in Turkic: a sheltered place). This is the highest point in Volgograd and is actually a Tatar burial site. Walk past the graves of the brave Soviet soldiers who died in battle as you hike up 200 steps to the ruined Mamayev walls; each step represents a day in the Battle of Stalingrad. Moving higher, investigate the Hall of the Warrior Glory: an eternal flame burns in the center, under constant watch from Russian soldiers. Exit underneath the Mother Russia monument, one of the largest statues in the world. Rodina-mat Zovut (as the statue is named in Russia) symbolizes the heroism and undefeatable spirit of Stalingrad's soldiers. Gaze in awe at the almost 300-foot high woman whose sword lifts high into the sky, calling for defense of the homeland. Nearby, find a beautiful Orthodox Church amidst tall, green trees and a fantastic view over the city and the Volga River.
Now, drive into the city center and head for the Monument to the Protector. This tall obelisk is dedicated to all those who have protected Volgograd over the years, and is located in a peaceful, open park. Afterward, discover the Stalingrad Museum. The museum's main attraction is a huge panorama that reflects a day from the Battle of Stalingrad. Outside, an old mill stands riddled with bullet halls and bomb fragments, a commemoration for the past. Around the mill, find tanks, artillery, trains, and other wartime equipment, set-up as an outdoor museum. These monuments are scattered about a garden-like terrace that overlooks the Volga. By nightfall, head for some delicious Volga seafood at a local restaurant and then head to the New Experimental Theater for an alternative take on one of your favorite plays. The theater is next to Hero's Alley, the cultural center of the city, full of shops and street activities to occupy you well into the night.
When you travel to Volgograd, you travel back in history, yet enjoy all the comforts and exciting activities of the present!