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    Astrakhan Region

The region is proud of its historical memorials of ancient cities: the capital of the Khazar Khaganat Itil (7-10th century) and the capital of the Golden Horde under the reign of Khan Baty the Sarai- Batu city (13th century) situated not far from the village Selitrennoe.

In 1960-1963 the Astrakhan archaeological expedition from the Hermitage found not only richly endowed Khazarian mounds, fortresses, objects of art, etc., but it also produced a map of the lands populated by the Khazars in the 6-10-th centuries. The city located 170 km above Astrakhan near the village Selitrennoe is stretched in steppe. The environmental district around it is deserted and sad. It is impossible to believe that once here there was one of the greatest capitals of the world, one of the largest centers of the civilization Sarai-Batu of the Golden Horde. The exact date of foundation of the city is unknown. Probably, it took place between 1242-1248 years.

Volga River delta

The Volga River is one more unique place in the region. It is home to an immense treasure of flora and fauna. In the Volga delta are found beavers, raccoons, herons, muskrats, foxes and others, not to mention different species of fish, including the famous sturgeon. This is the only area where the sturgeon may be found in any numbers. Caviar raw eggs of the sturgeon- is a major commodity for local consumption and export.

The Astrakhan Region has been the main seat of Russias fish-procession for over 400 years. It was royal fish supplier even in Ivan the Terrible`s times. The Tsar`s banquets were gorgeous with Astrakhan sturgeon, caviar and sterlet soup.

Todays Astrakhan is the Caspian fishing capital, with mammoth spring and autumn catches of sturgeon and Volga herring. Farms have been established in the estuary to replenish the fish population with small fry.

The region has some nature spots of fascinating beauty and charm. For example, the Astrakhan Regions nature reserve the Volgas Delta was founded in 1919 in order to preserve unique water and marsh resources of the Volga River, relic and endemic plants. The Tinaki resort (mud bath) is famous all over Russia and a place of usual summer vacations for many Russians.

Tags: Russian tourism Russian regions Astrakhan region Russian history  



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