Infobox Russian city
Skyline=Train Station (V).jpg
CityDay=Second Sunday of September
Charter of the Hero City Volgograd
Volgograd (audio-ru|Волгогра́д|ru-Volgograd.ogg), formerly called Tsaritsyn (audio-ru|Цари́цын|ru-Tsaritsyn.ogg) (1598–1925) and Stalingrad (audio-ru|Сталингра́д|ru-Stalingrad.ogg) (1925–1961) is a city and the administrative center of
Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is 80 kilometres long, north to south, situated on the western bank of the Volga River.
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 Cossackrebels, under Stenka Razinin the rebellion of 1670 and Yemelyan Pugachevin 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. Bolshevikforces occupied it during 1918, but were attacked by White forces under Anton Ivanovich Denikin. During the battle for Tsaritsynthe Bolsheviks were pushed back and surrounded at first, and only the actions of Joseph Stalin, then local chairman of the military committee, saved the city for the Bolsheviks. Stalin did so by recalling Zhloba's 'Steel Division' from the Caucasuswhich attacked the White Forces in the rear. In honor of Stalin's efforts in defending the city, 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.)
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 Stalingradas well as the pivotal turning point in the war against Germany. The battle lasted from August 21, 1942to February 2, 1943. 1.7 million to 2 million Axis and Soviet soldiers were either killed, wounded or captured, as well as over 40,000 civilians killed. The city was reduced to rubble during the fierce 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 Cityin 1945, and King George VI of the United Kingdomawarded the citizens of Stalingrad a jeweled swordin appreciation of the bravery that they had shown. A memorial complex commemorating the battle, dominated by an immense allegorical sculptureof 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/twinning links (see list below). It was part of the world's first such link when it formed a twinning relationship with the English city of Coventryduring World War II(as both suffered heavy bombing).The Panorama museum, which is located alongside the Volga river, contains artifacts from World War II. These include a panoramic painting of the battlefield from the location of the monument "Mamayev Kurgan." Here a rifle of the famous sniper Vasily Zaytsev, can also be found.
In 1961, the city's name was changed to Volgograd ("Volga City") as part of
Nikita Khrushchev's programme of de-Stalinization. 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.
Modern Volgograd is still an important industrial city. Its industries include
shipbuilding, oil refining, steeland aluminiumproduction, manufacture of machinery and vehicles, and chemical production. A large Volgograd Hydroelectric Plantstands a short distance to the north of Volgograd.
Volgograd is a major railway junction with links to
Moscow, the Donbasregion 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, Francewith Ridder, Kazakhstan, passes through Volgograd.
Volgograd's public transport system includes a
light railservice known as the Volgograd metrotram.
Educational institutions include [http://www.volsu.ru Volgograd State University] , [http://www.vstu.ru/eng/index.shtml Volgograd State Technical University] (former Volgograd Polytechnical University), [http://volgmed.ru Volgograd State Medical University] ,
Volgograd State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Volgograd Academy of Industry, and Volgograd State Pedagogical University.
2008, Volgograd had 20 sister cities [http://www.volgadmin.ru/EN2/Municipality/FriendlyRelationship.aspx Friendly relationship at Official website of Volgograd] ] :
Coventry, United Kingdom(1943)
Ostrava, Czech Republic(1948)
Port Said, Egypt(1962)
Cleveland, United States(1990)
*flagicon|People's Republic of China Jilin, China (1994)
*flagicon|People's Republic of China
*flagicon|United States Huntingdon,
*flagicon|United States Orlando,
United States(2008)A number of communities in Francehave streets or avenues named after Stalingrad, hence "Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad" in Parisand the eponymous Paris Métrostation of Stalingrad.
*en icon [http://www.volgadmin.ru/en2/ Official website of Volgograd]
*ru icon [http://www.volgadmin.ru Official website of Volgograd]
*ru icon [http://www.volga34.ru Volga34 – directory organizations of Volgograd]
*ru icon [http://www.volgograd.ru Volgograd.ru — City Web Portal, Local Business and Web Directory, News, Press, Webcams, 3D Mamayev Kurgan]
* [http://community.webshots.com/user/summitphotographics Over 2,000 original German WWII soldier photographs from the Eastern Front]
* [http://www.russia-travel.ws/regions/Volgograd/ Sights of Volgograd]
* [http://galerie.knez.cz/ALBUM/stalingrad/ Photo Gallery from Volgograd]
* [http://www.historisches-tonarchiv.de/STALINGRAD/stalingrad.htm Stalingrad - Bilder einer erbitterten Schlacht] (german)
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