Astrakhan, the Jewel of the Lower Volga, was once a thriving merchant city – a history that has been preserved in the old mansions and trading houses of merchants from Persia, Armenia and India. There’s also the city’s beautiful Kremlin and the Volga Delta – where the Volga River flows into the Caspian Sea and lotus flowers bloom.
With its position along the Volga River and just north of the Caspian Sea, Astrakhan has always been valued for its strategic military and economic position. The modern Russian city dates from 1558, after Ivan the Terrible defeated the local Tatar khanate. Historically, though, Astrakhan is the successor of two imperial capitals in the area that date back much further. These include Saray of the Golden Horde, from the 13th and 14th centuries, and Itil (sometimes called Atil), of the earlier Khazar kaganate, which adopted Judaism as its official religion and goes back to the 8th to 10th centuries. Both cities prospered thanks to their location on the Silk Route and by the sea.
The region is a part of the Southern Federal District and is a border region: by land, it borders on Kazakhstan, and on Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan by sea.
Astrakhan is famous for its cultural traditions, dating back to the remote past. Representatives of over 140 nations and nationalities live here. All world religions have found here their adherents. A native, poet Velimir Khlebnikov called Astrakhan the triangle of Christ, Mohammed and Buddha.
Our bus city tour with the visit of Kremlin grounds will help you learn more about this remarkable city.