Volga or Volga River, the longest river in Europe, has a very special place in Russian history and culture, as it is distinguished by its length by more than the distance between Moscow and Madrid from one end to the other. It is one of the most important symbols of Russia, which has been known as “Volga Anna” for centuries.
Come with us, wander along the banks of this great river and walk along it to discover its geography on a journey in which we learn about all its charm and beauty.
Every Russian should come to see the Volga River, because literally it is the main street of Russia, where the river was the line of defense of ancient Russia, and the river inspired many Russian painters and writers because of its central location for the Russian state and its people.
And every summer, vacationers wander in the ships in the middle of the river, up and down, as tourism on this river is one of the most famous cruises in Russia, which attracts local and foreign tourists.
A normal trip on this river takes a few days, and during this period tourists get a break at the many outlets along the way.
Volga River and Uglich City
When the Orthodox cathedrals appear on the horizon and you wander along this river, it means that you have reached the historic city (Uglich), this beautiful place is one of the places with a terrible history in the history of Russia where Dimitri (the last heir in Rosetta) was killed at a young age, and this caused Death is in great crisis, and because of this event Uglich has become an important place for amateurs to visit past history.
The riverbed is still used as a source of energy as in the past water was sometimes drawn in order to be able to cross the folds in the middle of Uglich, but now the water level has risen and the river has opened to traffic and the city has attracted a large number of tourists.
In the wake of these developments, it was confirmed that the influx of visitors had created the city of Uglich as a commercial area, and that large amounts of money were being brought in to restaurants and important historical sites in the city.
The Volga has a rich history
- Since the eighth century, the geographical location of the Volga River determined its role in trade contacts between East and West. Textiles and metals were exported from Central Asia, and furs, wax and honey were exported from Slavic lands.
- In the ninth and tenth centuries, many cities on the banks of the Volga gained important economic importance.
- In the eleventh to the thirteenth century, the international use of waterways decreased and then stopped due to the Mongol-Tatar invasion, but the upper part of the Volga River basin was actively used by the inhabitants of Novgorod, Tver, Vladimir, Suzdal and others.
- Since the sixteenth century, the value of the Volga River and its tributaries has returned, after the unification of the Volga River system within the territory of one country.
- In the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century, the importance of transportation on the Volga River began and it dominated shipping to Europe. The freight value exceeded about 20 million tons per year which represented 52% of the total water transport in Russia.
Geography of the Volga River
The Volga River rises in the hills of Valdai (Tver region) and empties into the Caspian Sea .
The Volga Basin occupies about ⅓ of the European territory of Russia and extends from the Valdai highlands and central Russia in the west to the Urals in the east.
The river has a length of 3,530 km and is the longest river in Europe.
The area of the basin is 1.361 million square km, and in terms of the area of the basin, the Volga River ranks first in Europe and fifth in Russia.
Tributaries of the Volga River
About 200 tributaries flow directly into the Volga River.
The main tributaries of the Upper Volga are: Selizharovka, Tvertsa, Mologa, Sheksna, Unzha and Oka.
The largest tributaries of the Volga River in its middle course are: Surat, Vetluga, Sviyaga and Kama.
The Lower Volga receives relatively small tributaries which are Samara, Big Irgiz, and Eruslan.
Below the town of Kamyshin, the river has no large tributaries.
Canals of the Volga River
There are many canals in the Volga Basin, some of which were built in the time of Peter the Great, and at the present time many of them are not exploited or used little.
The canals connect the Baltic Sea with the Caspian Sea, the Kama and Fichigda, the Volga and the northern White Sea.
The waterway from the Volga River to the Azov River and the Black Sea passes through the Volga Don Canal (built in 1952) and is of great water importance.
Reservoirs of the Volga River
There are more than 100 reservoirs in the river basin, and on the Volga River there are nine main reservoirs: Verkhnevolzhskaya, Ivankovo, Uglich, Raybinsk, Gorky, Cheboksary, Kuibyshev, Saratov and Volgograd.
Three reservoirs are being constructed in Kama -Kama, Votkinsk and Nizhnekamsk.
Feeding the Volga River
The Volga is mainly fed by snow (60% of the annual flow), land (30%) and rain (10%).
The normal state of feeding is characterized by spring floods (April to June) with little water availability during summer and winter due to reduced flood water and rain in autumn (October).
The climate of the Volga Basin
The Volga Basin is located in the temperate continental climate zone where the air temperature rises from north to south.
The average temperature for January ranges between -4 to -8 ° C (southwest) and from -16 to -20 ° C (northeast of the basin).
The temperatures drop in July from the southwest.
In the north of the Volga Basin an average of 500 to 600 mm of precipitation falls per year, and 800 mm of precipitation falls on the western slopes of the Urals.
The sediment layer in the southern Trans-Volga region and in the low-lying Caspian Sea region ranges from 180 to 200 mm.
The evaporation layer decreases from 500 (in the southwest) to 200-250 mm in the northeast.
The southern part of the basin is in a dry climate.
Volga River Basin
The Volga River Basin is the most developed region in Russia as within its territory there are more than 30 subjects in the Russian Federation, more than 40% of the country’s population lives and about 45% of industrial production and 50% of agricultural production are concentrated.
In the river basin there are seven cities with a population of over one million people, including Moscow, the capital of Russia.
In the north of the basin, population density decreases to a minimum.
In the river basin there are deposits of oil, gas, coal, potash salts etc.where 60 million tons / year of oil is produced.
Large natural gas fields are being exploited.
Coal is mined in the Tula, Kaluga, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Republic of Bashkortostan regions.
In Solikamsk the potash salts area developed in the Lower Volga and the salt from the Baskunchak and Walton lakes.
Plant in the Volga basin
Most of the Volga basins are occupied by coniferous forests and acidic soils.
Southern Taiga forests of the European type extend from the Valdai to the northern part of the Kama Basin.
Separate areas of oak and limestone oak forests have been preserved in the Samara Luka regions, the High Trans Volga region and the Western Urals.
The central and southern parts of the Volga Basin are distinguished by steppe plants and chestnut soil.
Desert vegetation has been developed within the Caspian lowland.
Ozone plants are a feature of the Volga delta.
Within the Volga Basin there are 23 reserves and 18 national parks.
Region production in the Volga basin
In the river basin region, the production of:
- More than 90% of trucks and passenger cars are in the country.
- It produces mining, metallurgy, chemical equipment, automobile industry development, heavy machine tool development, road construction machinery and tractor construction.
- In the northwest of the basin there are energy, electrical engineering, marine shipbuilding, automobile building, machine tool construction, and industrial equipment manufacturing.
- The enterprises of the region occupy a leading position in the Russian Federation in the production of the chemical industry.
- 62% of the country’s light industry products are produced in the Volga Basin.
- The Volga Basin occupies a leading position in the country for the production of industrial wood.
- About 50% of agricultural production in the Russian Federation is concentrated in the Volga River basin, where grains and vegetables are grown in the Volga region.
- About 70 fish species live in the Volga River, of which 40 are commercial (phobla, herring, bream, pike, carp, catfish, sturgeon, corona, etc.).
The Volga River is a river that provides a lot of water to urban areas and cultivated areas in European Russia where some of the important water reserves in the world can be observed along the flowing waters.
The magic of the Volga River
No Russian can hear the word “Volga” without depicting the broad river waters, the gentle ships, and the hovering of ivory gulls.
The place of the Volga River in the heart of every Russian is guaranteed and celebrated, especially through the famous song of the Volga boats: “Very great and deep stream, Volga, Volga, our pride”.
7,000 years ago the lower reaches of the river were the cradle of Indo-European culture and since then the Volga River has played a major role in Russian history and folklore.
The Great Bend in the river surrounding Smara was the stalking of Stinka Razin of the colorful 17th century bandits, the Lower Plains the scene of the Pugachev’s rebellion, and the romance in Pushkin’s novel “The Captain’s Daughter”.
Today, about 50 million people live in the Volga Basin, a third of Russia’s population, and pass through many of Russia’s greatest cities, and the main transportation route remains navigable with the help of locks and giant canals in it.
Much of the length of this gigantic river is covered in unparalleled wild beauty, the Volga Delta is a must-see for anyone interested in wildlife.
The swamp climate has become a haven for countless beavers, otters and birds from heron to the mighty bald eagle.
Another highlight for nature lovers is Samara Bend National Park, which is popular for hiking in the woods and with stunning views of the Volga.
If you want to relax on a summer vacation there are countless places along Volga’s lush green banks.
The unusual sense of calm that permeates the river at sunrise has influenced Russian artists for a long time.
For young people in the age of growth, the Volga River represents for them everything from the practice of various sports that can be done in the river, where important activities such as diving, fishing, windsurfing and yachting are available for those wishing to stay in the water.
As the sun gets hot, you can take a dip in the river, as many young Russians do, or simply sunbathe on sandy beaches like those in Samara.
The best way to experience the Volga is by boarding Russian river ships during the summer months.
Volga river boats also have a double-deck cruise cabin with trips lasting from ten hours to three days.
Cruises in Russia and holidays on the Volga River are experiences of a lifetime and this magical river will introduce you to Russian culture, open you natural beauty and give you relaxation so come and discover the soul of Russia through its mighty river!