Samara, Russia

This article is about the city in Russia. For the city in Iraq, see Samarra.
Samara (English)
Самара (Russian)
-  City[1]  -

Samara views

Location of Samara Oblast in Russia
Location of Samara in Samara Oblast
Coordinates: 53°12′10″N 50°08′27″E / 53.20278°N 50.14083°E / 53.20278; 50.14083Coordinates: 53°12′10″N 50°08′27″E / 53.20278°N 50.14083°E / 53.20278; 50.14083
Coat of arms
Administrative status (as of December 2011)
Country Russia
Federal subject Samara Oblast[2]
Administratively subordinated to city of oblast significance of Samara[2]
Administrative center of Samara Oblast,[2] Volzhsky District,[1] city of oblast significance of Samara[2]
Municipal status (as of April 2015)
Urban okrug Samara Urban Okrug[3]
Administrative center of Samara Urban Okrug,[3] Volzhsky Municipal District[4]
Mayor[5] Oleg Fursov[5]
Representative body Samara City Council[6]
Area 541.382 km2 (209.029 sq mi)[7]
Population (2010 Census) 1,164,685 inhabitants[8]
- Rank in 2010 6th
Population (2013 est.) 1,171,598 inhabitants[9]
Density 2,151/km2 (5,570/sq mi)[10]
Time zone SAMT (UTC+04:00)[11]
Founded 1586[12]
City status since 1688[13]
Previous names Samara (until 1935),[14]
Kuybyshev (until 1991)[14]
Postal code(s)[15] 443XXX
Dialing code(s) +7 846[16]
Official website
Samara on Wikimedia Commons

Samara (Russian: Сама́ра; IPA: [sɐˈmarə]), known from 1935 to 1991 as Kuybyshev (Куйбышев; IPA: [ˈkujbɨʂɨf]), is the sixth largest[8] 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);[8] 1,157,880(2002 Census);[17] 1,254,460(1989 Census).[18] 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."[19]


Early history

Sobornaya Street and horse tram in 1905

Ahmad ibn Fadlan visited the area that is now Samara around the year 921 AD while on his journey up the Volga.[20]

Legend has it that Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow, later Patron Saint of Samara, visited the site of the city in 1357 and predicted that a great town would be erected there, and that the town would never be ravaged. The Volga port of Samara appears on Italian maps of the 14th century. Before 1586, the Samara Bend was a pirate nest. Lookouts would spot an oncoming boat and quickly cross to the other side of the peninsula where the pirates would organize an attack. Officially, Samara started with a fortress built in 1586 at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers.[12] This fortress was a frontier post protecting the then easternmost boundaries of Russia from forays of nomads. A local customs office was established in 1600.

As more and more ships pulled into Samara's port, the town turned into a center for diplomatic and economic links between Russia and the East. Samara also opened its gates to peasant war rebels headed by Stepan Razin and Yemelyan Pugachyov, welcoming them with traditional bread and salt. The town was visited by Peter the Great and later Tsars.

In 1780, Samara was turned into an uyezd town of Simbirsk Governorate overseen by the local Governor-General, and Uyezd and Zemstvo Courts of Justice and a Board of Treasury were established. On January 1, 1851, Samara became the center of Samara Governorate with an estimated population of 20,000. This gave a stimulus to the development of the economic, political and cultural life of the community. In 1877, during the Russian-Turkish War, a mission from the Samara city government Duma led by Pyotr V. Alabin, as a symbol of spiritual solidarity, brought a banner tailored in Samara pierced with bullets and saturated with the blood of both Russians and Bulgarians, to Bulgaria, which has become a symbol of Russian-Bulgarian friendship.

The quick growth of Samara's economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was determined by the scope of the bread trade and flour milling business. The Samara Brewery came into being in the 1880s, as well as the Kenitser Macaroni Factory, an ironworks, a confectionery factory, and a factory producing matches. The town acquired a number of magnificent private residences and administrative buildings. The Trading Houses of the Subbotins, Kurlins, Shikhobalovs, and Smirnovs—founders of the flour milling industry, who contributed a lot to the development of the city—were widely known not only across Russia, but also internationally wherever Samara's wheat was exported. In its rapid growth Samara resembled many young North American cities, and contemporaries coined the names "Russian New Orleans" and "Russian Chicago" for the city.

By the start of the 20th century, the population exceeded 100,000, and the city was the major trading and industrial center of the Volga region. During the October Revolution of 1917, Samara was seized by the Bolsheviks. However, on June 8, 1918, with the armed support of the Czechoslovak Legions, the city was taken by the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly, or Komuch, who organized a "democratic counter-revolution", which at its height encompassed twelve million people. They fought under the Red flag against the Bolsheviks. On October 7, 1918, Samara fell to the Fourth Army of the Red Army.

Soviet period

1921 was a year of severe hunger in Samara. To provide support to the people, Fridtjof Nansen (the famous polar explorer), Martin Andersen Nexø (a Danish writer), the Swedish Red Cross Mission, and officers of the American Relief Administration from the United States came to Samara. In 1935, Samara was renamed Kuybyshev in honor of the Bolshevik leader Valerian Kuybyshev.

During World War II, Kuybyshev was chosen to be the alternative capital of the Soviet Union should Moscow fall to the invading Germans until the summer of 1943, when everything was moved back to Moscow. In October 1941, the Communist Party and governmental organizations, diplomatic missions of foreign countries, leading cultural establishments and their staff were evacuated to the city.[21] A dug-out for Joseph Stalin known as "Stalin's Bunker" was constructed but never used. To mark its role as wartime national capital a special Revolution Day parade was held at the city's Kuybyshev Square on November 7, 1941, and since 2011 has been remembered in an annual military parade organized by the city government.

As a leading industrial center, Kuybyshev played a major role in arming the country. From the very first months of World War II the city supplied the front with aircraft, firearms, and ammunition. Health centers and most of the city's hospital facilities were turned into base hospitals. Polish and Czechoslovakian military units were formed on the territory of the Volga Military District. Samara's citizens also fought at the front, many of them volunteers.

During World War II, most of the area's 1.5 million Germans were dispersed into exile or to forced-labor camps.

After the war the defense industry developed rapidly in Kuybyshev; existing facilities changed their profile and new factories were built, leading to Kuybyshev becoming a closed city. In 1960, Kuybyshev became the missile shield center for the country. The launch vehicle Vostok, which delivered the first manned spaceship to orbit, was built at the Samara Progress Plant. Yury Gagarin, the first man to travel in space on April 12, 1961, took a rest in Kuybyshev after returning to Earth. While there, he spoke to an improvised meeting of Progress workers. Kuybyshev enterprises played a leading role in the development of Soviet domestic aviation and the implementation of the Soviet space program. There is also an unusual monument situated in Samara commemorating an Ilyushin Il-2 ground-attack aircraft assembled by Kuybyshev workers in late 1942. This particular plane was shot down in 1943 over Karelia, but the heavily wounded pilot, K. Kotlyarovsky, managed to crash-land the plane near Lake Oriyarvi. The aircraft was returned to Kuybyshev in 1975, and was placed on display at the intersection of two major roads as a symbol of the deeds of home front servicemen and air-force pilots during the Great Patriotic War.

Post-Soviet period

Ladya apartment complex

In January 1991, the historical name of Samara was given back to the city. Samara is one of the major industrial cities of Russia and has a multi-ethnic population.[22]

Administrative and municipal status

Samara is the administrative center of the oblast[2] and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Volzhsky District,[1] even though it is not a part of it.[23] As an administrative division, it is, together with two rural localities, incorporated separately as the city of oblast significance of Samara—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[2] As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Samara is incorporated as Samara Urban Okrug.[3] In April 2015, Samara's nine city districts were granted municipal status.[3]


Samara is a leading industrial center in the Volga region and is among the top ten Russian cities in terms of national income and industrial production volume. Samara is known for the production of aerospace launch vehicles, satellites and various space services (Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center), engines (Kuznetsov Design Bureau) and cables (Volgacable, Samara Cable Company), aircraft (Aviakor) and rolled aluminum, block-module power stations; refining, chemical and cryogenic products; gas-pumping units; bearings of different sizes, drilling bits; automated electrical equipment; airfield equipment (Start plant); truck-mounted cranes; construction materials; chocolates made by the Russia Chocolate Factory; Rodnik vodka; Vektor vodka; Zhiguli beer; food processing and light industrial products.[22]


Samara railway station

Samara is a major transport hub.

The Kurumoch International Airport handles flights throughout Russia and Central Asia and to Frankfurt, Prague, Helsinki and Dubai.

There are rail links to Moscow and other major Russian cities. The new, unusual-looking railway station building was completed in 2001.

Samara is a major river port.

Samara is located on the M5 Highway, a major road between Moscow and the Ural region.

Public transportation includes the Samara Metro, trams, municipal and private bus lines, and trolleybuses. Local trains serve the suburbs.


Samara has an opera and ballet theater, a philharmonic orchestra hall, and five drama theaters. There is a museum of natural history and local history studies, a city art museum, and a number of movie theaters. As a dedication to the city's contribution to the development of aerospace industry there is a museum Cosmic Samara and an exhibition of aerospace history in Samara State Aerospace University. In the 2000s there has also occurred a large number of art galleries, dedicated to contemporary art.

There is a zoo and a circus in the city.


Samara has 188 schools of general education, lyceums, high schools, and the college of continuous education (from elementary up to higher education) known as Nayanova University existing under the aegis of International Parliament for Security and Peace attached to UNO. Samara is a major educational and scientific center of the Volga area. Twelve public and 13 commercial institutions of higher education as well as 26 colleges.

Samara is the home of Samara State Aerospace University (SSAU), one of Russia's leading engineering and technical institutions. SSAU faculty and graduates have played a significant role in Russia's space program since its conception. Samara is also the hometown of Samara State University, a very respected higher-education institution in European Russia with competitive programs in Law, Sociology, and English Philology. Scientific research is also carried out in Samara. The Samara Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences incorporates the Samara branch of the Physical Institute, Theoretical Engineering Institute and Image Processing Systems Institute. Major research institutions operate in the city.[22] Samara State Technical University (SamGTU) was founded in 1914. There are 11 faculties with over 20,000 students (2009) and 1,800 faculty members. On campus, there are four dormitory and ten study buildings. Samara State Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities was founded in 1911 as Samara Teachers Institute. Currently, the academy offers 42 various specialization in its 12 faculties.[24]


Several sports clubs are active in the city:

Club Sport Founded Current League League
Krylia Sovetov Samara Football 1942 Russian Premier League 9th Metallurg Stadium
Krasnye Krylia Samara Basketball 2009 Professional Basketball League 1st MTL Arena
CSK VVS Samara Ice Hockey 1950 Russian Hockey League 3rd Sports Palace CSK VVS
Krylia Sovetov Samara Beach Soccer 2010 Russian Super League 1st Volga Stadium

Samara is also a popular venue for National and International Ice speedway, and the City won the Russian Ice Speedway Premier League in 2012/13 season,[25] meaning they will now compete in the Super League in the 2013/14 season. Samara is one of eleven cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup with 6 matches (4 Group Stage Matches, 1 Round-Of-16 Match, 1 Quarter-Finals) which will take place in the newly built Cosmos Arena stadium.


Samara experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). Samara's humidity levels are higher in the summer than many Russian cities thanks to the precipitation levels and the close proximity to the Volga. The humidity levels usually range from 29% to 98% humidity over the period of a year. There was a record high of +39.9 °C (103.8 °F) during a severe heat wave.

Climate data for Samara
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5.2
Average high °C (°F) −6.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −9.9
Average low °C (°F) −12.8
Record low °C (°F) −43.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 53
Average rainy days 4 3 5 11 14 15 14 12 14 14 10 6 122
Average snowy days 24 20 14 4 1 0.1 0 0 0.3 4 15 22 104
Average relative humidity (%) 83 80 79 67 58 64 67 69 73 76 83 83 74
Mean monthly sunshine hours 64 102 149 214 305 303 310 275 190 108 47 46 2,113
Source #1:[26]
Source #2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)[27]


The asteroid 26922 Samara was named in honor of the city and the river on June 1, 2007.

Notable people

Sergei Alexander Schelkunoff, a mathematician and electromagnetism theorist known for his important contributions in antenna theory, was born in Samara. Twentieth-century Russian Soviet writer Alexey Tolstoy lived in Samara, and there is a museum dedicated to him. Dmitry Shostakovich lived in Samara during World War II and finished his Seventh Symphony there. The archaeologist and ethnographer Boris Kuftin was born in Samara, Russian sociologist and ethnographer Pavel Romanov, too. Professional tennis player and a multiple junior Grand Slam champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was born in Samara. NHL goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche, Semyon Varlamov, also hails from Samara. Polish writer and novelist Maria Kuncewiczowa was born in Samara.

Twin towns and sister cities

Samara, Russia is twinned with:

Religious freedom

Samara follows in the footsteps of Moscow and other cities in banning and persecuting smaller religious groups, like Jehovah's Witnesses and others, as being extremist.[32][33][34][35][36][37] As for traditional religions, Samara is a multi-confessional city in which Orthodox Christian majority lives in peace with Armenian Apostolic Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Sunni Muslims, and Jews, and religious buildings exist for all of them.

See also



  1. 1 2 3 Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 36 214», в ред. изменения №259/2014 от 12 декабря 2014 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division . Code 36 214, as amended by the Amendment #259/2014 of December 12, 2014. ).
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Charter of Samara Oblast
  3. 1 2 3 4 Law #23-GD
  4. Law #189-GD
  5. 1 2 "Глава Самары проведет серию встреч с активами районов города". (in Russian). City of Samara. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  6. "Дума городского округа Самара | Официальный сайт | Самарская городская Дума". Samara City Council. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  7. Пояснительная записка к Генеральному плану г.о. Самара. Приложение 1. Основные технико-экономические показатели с.21
  8. 1 2 3 Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  9. Численность населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2013 года. — М.: Федеральная служба государственной статистики Росстат, 2013. — 528 с. (Табл. 33. Численность населения городских округов, муниципальных районов, городских и сельских поселений, городских населенных пунктов, сельских населенных пунктов)
  10. The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
  11. Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №271-ФЗ от 03 июля 2016 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #271-FZ of July 03, 2016 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
  12. 1 2 Molly O'Neal (20 August 2015). Democracy, Civic Culture and Small Business in Russia's Regions: Social Processes in Comparative Historical Perspective. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-317-43509-9.
  13. Russia. Ministerstvo puteĭ soobshchenīi︠a︡; John Marshall (1900). Guide to the Great Siberian Railway. Ministry of Ways of Communication. pp. 86–.
  14. 1 2 International Business Publications, USA. (February 2005). Russian Investment, Economic, Ecological and Business Risk Atlas. Int'l Business Publications. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-7397-0655-8.
  15. Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (Russian)
  16. "Samara city, Russia travel guide". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  17. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  18. Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  19. Thom Wheeler (13 August 2015). Way a River Went: Following the Volga Through the Heart of Russia. Summersdale. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-78372-629-5.
  20. DK (20 September 2010). Explorers: Tales of Endurance and Exploration. DK Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7566-7511-0.
  21. Andrew Nagorski: The Greatest Battle, 2007, pp. 165-166
  22. 1 2 3 Home page | Home page | Samara City Administration
  23. Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 36 401», в ред. изменения №259/2014 от 12 декабря 2014 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division . Code 36 401, as amended by the Amendment #259/2014 of December 12, 2014. ).
  26. "" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  27. "Kujbysev/Bezencuk (Samara) Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  28. 友好城市 (Friendly cities), 市外办 (Foreign Affairs Office), 2008-03-22. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  29. 国际友好城市一览表 (International Friendship Cities List), 2011-01-20. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  30. 友好交流 (Friendly exchanges), 2011-09-13. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  31. "Stuttgart Städtepartnerschaften". Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart, Abteilung Außenbeziehungen (in German). Retrieved 2013-07-27.


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