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Coat of Arms Map
District: Northern Caucasus
Subdivision: Volgograd Oblast
Location: 48°42′N 44°31′E
Area: 565 km²
Population: 1,011,417 (2002 Census)
Population density: 1,900 persons/km²
Altitude: 0-102 m
Postal code: 400001-400138
Dialing code: +7 8442
License plate: 34

Volgograd (Russian: ), formerly called Tsaritsyn (Russian: ) (1598–1925) and Stalingrad (Russian: ) (1925–1961) is a city in and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is situated on the west bank of the Volga River.


[edit] History

Volgograd originated with the foundation in 1589 of the fortress of Tsaritsyn at the confluence of the Tsaritsa and Volga rivers. The fortress, which took its name from the local name Sary Su (Yellow Water/River in the Tatar language), was established to defend the unstable southern border of Tsarist Russia and became the nucleus of a trading settlement. It was captured twice by Cossack rebels, under Stenka Razin in the rebellion of 1670 and Yemelyan Pugachev in 1774. Tsaritsyn became an important river port and commercial centre in the 19th century.

The city was the scene of heavy fighting during the Russian Civil War. Bolshevik forces under Joseph Stalin, Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Budyonny defended it during 1918 but were evicted by White forces under Anton Ivanovich Denikin, who held the city in 1919. After its recapture, it was renamed Stalingrad (literally: "Stalin city") in 1925. The name change is typical of the way towns and cities were re-named after Bolshevik leaders and heroes during Soviet times. (See also List of places named after Stalin.)

Image:Mutter Heimat.jpg
The Motherland Calls statue on the Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd

Under Stalin, the city became heavily industrialized and was developed as a centre of heavy industry and trans-shipment by rail and river. During World War II (Great Patriotic War), the city of Stalingrad became the center of the Battle of Stalingrad, the costliest battle in human history, as well as the pivotal turning point in the war against Germany. The battle lasted from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943. In terms of loss of human life, roughly 740,000 Axis troops as well as approximately 750,000 Soviet soldiers were either killed or wounded, not to mention the unknown number of civilians killed. The city was reduced to rubble during the fighting, but reconstruction began soon after the Germans were expelled from the city.

For the heroism shown during the battle, Stalingrad was awarded the title Hero City in 1945, and King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the citizens of Stalingrad a jewelled sword in appreciation of the bravery that they had shown. A memorial complex commemorating the battle, dominated by an immense allegorical sculpture of Mother Russia, was erected on the Mamayev Kurgan, a hill that saw some of the most intense fighting during the battle. A number of cities around the world (especially ones that had suffered particularly badly during the war) established sister/friendship links (see list below).

In 1961, the city's name was changed to Volgograd ("Volga City") as part of Nikita Khrushchev's programme of destalinization. This was and remains somewhat contentious, given the fame of the name Stalingrad, and there were once serious proposals to change the name back during Konstantin Chernenko's brief administration in 1985. There is still a strong degree of local support for a reversion and proposals have been made from time to time, though as yet none have been accepted by the Russian government.

Image:Map european russia volgograd.png
Map of European Russia showing the location of Volgograd

[edit] Economy

Modern Volgograd is still an important industrial city. Its industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, steel and aluminium production, manufacture of machinery and vehicles, and chemical production. A large hydroelectric power plant stands a short distance to the north of Volgograd.

[edit] Transport

Volgograd is a major railway junction with links to Moscow, the Donbas region of Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Siberia. It stands at the east end of the Volga-Don Canal, opened in 1952 to link the two great rivers of southern Russia.

European route E40, the longest European route connecting Calais, France with Ridder, Kazakhstan, passes through Volgograd.

[edit] Education

Educational institutions include Volgograd State University, Volgograd State Technical University (former Volgograd Polytechnical University), Volgograd Medical Academy, Volgograd Academy of State Service, Volgograd Academy of Industry, and Volgograd State Pedagogical University.

[edit] Sister cities

As of 2006 Volgograd had 19 sister cities<ref name = "Volgadmin">[1]</ref><ref name = "Yerevan">[2]</ref>:

A number of communities in France have streets or avenues named after Stalingrad, hence Place Stalingrad in Paris and the eponymous Paris Métro station of Stalingrad.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image:Coat of Arms of Volgograd oblast.png Cities and towns in Volgograd Oblast Image:Flag of Russia.svg
Administrative center: Volgograd

Dubovka | Frolovo | Kalach-na-Donu | Kamyshin | Kotelnikovo | Kotovo | Krasnoslobodsk | Leninsk | Mikhaylovka | Nikolayevsk | Novoanninsky | Pallasovka | Petrov Val | Serafimovich | Surovikino | Uryupinsk | Volzhsky | Zhirnovsk


br:Stalingrad ca:Volgograd cv:Волгоград cs:Volgograd da:Volgograd de:Wolgograd et:Volgograd el:Βόλγογκραντ es:Volgogrado eo:Volgogrado fa:ولگوگراد (شهر) fr:Volgograd gl:Volgogrado - Волгоград ka:ვოლგოგრადი ko:볼고그라드 hr:Volgograd id:Volgograd it:Volgograd he:וולגוגרד lv:Volgograda nl:Wolgograd ja:ヴォルゴグラード no:Volgograd nn:Volgograd pl:Wołgograd pt:Volgogrado ro:Volgograd ru:Волгоград sk:Volgograd sl:Stalingrad sr:Волгоград fi:Volgograd sv:Volgograd vi:Volgograd zh:伏尔加格勒


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