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Saint Petersburg

Brief History Saint Petersburg was founded by tsar Peter the Great in 1703, soon becoming the imperial capital of Russia, till  the central government bodies were moved to Moscow in 1918. Built from nothing by westward-looking Peter the Great, St Petersburg was from its very beginning meant to be a display of imperial Russia’s growing status in…

Moscow

Moscow is the capital of Russia, the vibrant and electric heart of this amazing country, and the starting point of most Transsiberian trips. Brief History Moscow was founded in 1147 by Yury Dolgoruky, a general that stopped on the Moskva river on his way to Vladimir. In the XIV century, it became the capital of the Great…

Nizhny Novgorod

Brief History Founded in 1221 by Grand Duke Yuri II of Vladimir at the confluence of two rivers, the Volga and the Oka, Nizhny Novgorod is today Russia’s 5th largest city by population. As one of the few cities that managed to escape Mongol devastation, Nizhny Novgorod became an important political hub during the Tatar period, competing with…

Kazan

Brief history Unlike other Russian cities, Kazan has a long history that dates back to at least a millennium. In 1000 AD Kazan was founded in the Volga Bulgaria, and soon became the capital of the region. Then, it was incorporated by the Golden Horde to become an independent khanate in 1438. The city later collapsed under…

Perm

Brief History Perm was founded by Peter the Great in 1723 and during the Soviet period it became an important military center under the name of Molotov. This city inspired – in a not properly positive sense – both Chekhov and Pasternak. Why you should stop there The city itself is nothing special, a usual Soviet-style city,…

Yekaterinburg

Brief History Lying at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, east of the Ural mountains, Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 by Tsar Peter the Great, who named it after his wife Catherine I. Described as “the window on Asia”, the city was one of Russia’s first industrial hubs, prompted by its rich mines and abundant natural resources, including precious…

Omsk

Brief History Omsk was founded as a fortress in 1716 by a cossack unit led by Ivan Buchholz, to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Om and Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz and Dzungar nomads of the steppes, and by 1850 it had become the capital of Western Siberia. With the construction of the…

Novosibirsk

Brief History Novosibirsk, originally Novonikolayevsk in honor of both St. Nicholas and Tsar Nicholas II, was founded in 1893 and is now the third most populous city in Russia. During the Stalin period, it became a large industrial centre and its rapid industrialization earned it the nickname of the “Chicago of Siberia”. Why you should stop…

Krasnoyarsk

Brief History Located in Central Siberia, Krasnoyarsk was built along the Enisey river during the czarist period of the conquest of the “wild West”. A cossack fort was first built in the region in 1628 for defensive reasons. The fort enlarged and became a real town at the end of the century, when it started to acquire…

Irkutsk

Brief History Irkutsk was founded in 17th century and, during the early 19th century, it became a major center of intellectual and social life, as many Russian artists, nobles and officers were exiled to Siberia for their role in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. Irkutsk’s large streets and ornate architecture led to it being called the “Paris of Siberia”. During the Russian Civil…

Listvyanka

Listvyanka is a small village on the south-western bank of the Baikal, about an hour drive from Irkutsk and it represents quite a popular destination for both locals and tourists, due to its location that makes it easy to reach and that provides direct access to the lake at the same time. How to get…