Formerly known as Stalingrad, Volgograd extends alongside the Volga River and has over 1 million residents. Modern Volgograd is an important manufacturing centre, with industries that include shipbuilding, oil refining and steel and aluminium production. Founded in: 1589 (named Stalingrad until 1961) Population: 1,100,000 Distance to Moscow: 941 km Volgograd and the surrounding area saw some of the heaviest battles during World War II. The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in the war. The 85-metre “Motherland calling” statue is Volgograd’s landmark and can be seen from any point of the city. Volgograd is a centre for ecotourism in Russia. The city is close to the unique Volga-Akhtubin floodplains, the last pristine stretch of the Volga river valleys. Lakes make up 30 per cent of the park’s territory and count over 200 species of birds. Volgograd is a true sporting city. Its athletes have won 20 gold medals at summer Olympic Games. Yelena Isynbayeva, a multiple world pole-vaulting champion and ambassador for Russia’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, began her sporting career in Volgograd.

Top sights in Volgograd

Mamayev Kurgan and The Motherland Calls

The memorial commemorating Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad was opened on the Mamaev Kurgan in Volgograd (Stalingrad) in 1967. The ascent to the top of the mound starts from the Tribulation Square and…