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Samara, known from 1935 to 1991 as Kuybyshev, is the sixth largest city in Russia and the administrative center of Samara Oblast. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers on the east bank of the Volga. The Volga acts as the city's western boundary; across the river are the Zhiguli Mountains, after which the local beer (Zhigulyovskoye) is named. The 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 hectares (115,140 acres). Population: 1,164,685 (2010 Census); 1,157,880 (2002 Census); 1,254,460 (1989 Census). The metropolitan area of Samara-Tolyatti-Syzran within Samara Oblast contains a population of over three million.

Formerly a closed city, Samara is now a large and important social, political, economic, industrial, and cultural centre in European Russia and hosted the European Union—Russia Summit in May 2007. It has a continental climate characterised 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 riverfront is considered one of the favourite recreation places both for local citizens and tourists. After the Soviet novelist Vasily Aksyonov 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".

Interesting facts about Samara

Since 1849 the Strukovsky garden was considered to be the biggest and most beautiful park in Samara and before the revolution it was famous for its ice-cream in all the parts of the Volga region.

In 1915 in Samara, the horse tram was replaced for the first time in Russia with the tram that had been fully constructed from domestic materials.

The well-known beer «Zhigulyovskoe» was created in Samara. February 23, 1881 is considered to be the date of its creation. On that very day Alfred von Wakano from Austria has begun to brew Vienna beer.

During the period from 1928 to 1936 Samara was the capital of the Volzhsky region which included in itself Samara, Ulyanovsk, Penza and Orenburg regions.

From January 27, 1935 to January 25, 1991 Kuibyshev was the name for Samara, in honor of V.V.Kuybyshev who was the famous Soviet statesman.

The Kuibyshev Aviacomplex was created from the all evacuated factories during the war of 1941-1945. The well-known MiG-3 and attack planes Il-2 were made here as the most massive planes of the fortieth years. One of the attack planes is placed on the «ring» of the Kirov prospectus and the highway Moskovskoye.

Iversky convent is situated in Samara and it keeps the Saint miracle-working Icon of Mother of God.

During the period of Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) the city of Kuibyshev was considered as the «duplicate» for the capital of the Soviet Union.

In the period of war Dmitry Shostakovich was evacuated to Kuibyshev. Here his well-known Seventh "Leningrad" symphony was heard for the first time.

The river front of the city is laid out with granite which was brought from fascist Germany.

The Kuibyshev Iron & Steel Works gave 60% of all aluminum released in the Soviet Union.

The most massive Soviet plane Tu-154 was also made in Kuibyshev.

One of the most known monuments in the city is the carrier rocket "Soyuz" which was also made here.

The Kuybyshev Square is the biggest square in Europe. It occupies the territory in 17,4 hectares. The Red Square in Moscow is one hectare smaller.

The building of the railway station in Samara is considered to be the highest station in Europe. It's about 100 meters.