Automotive capital of Russia: the city of Tolyatti and its attractions
The city of Tolyatti is one of the most famous cities of Russia on the left bank of the Volga. Despite the fact that he is most famous as an industrial center for the automotive industry, he is visited by a large number of tourists, both Russian and foreign. This is understandable: in the city there are many attractions that will be interesting for adults and children to see.
Brief history summary
The city of Tolyatti was founded in 1737 by the famous statesman Vasily Tatishchev, located in the Stavropol district of the Samara region. The name of this locality — Tolyatti — is relatively new. Previously, it was called Stavropol-on-Volga, but in 1964 in favor of the Soviet government was renamed Togliatti. This city was named in honor of the Italian Communist with a similar last name.
Tolyatti was originally intended to protect against the raids of nomadic tribes and to resettle baptized Kalmyks. In the XIX-XX centuries, this town became known as a resort, accessible to all segments of society, where, among other things, it was possible to improve the health in the koumiss hospitals. In the middle of the 20th century, the Kuibyshev Reservoir was created near Tolyatti, due to which the city had to be moved to a higher place, and all the old buildings were flooded.
Today it is one of the largest industrial cities in the Russian Federation, better known as the “automobile capital of Russia”. The name, of course, is conditional: despite the relatively high population (about 712,000 people), it is not the capital of a federal subject.
It will not be difficult for tourists to get to the city — thanks to the well-developed transport infrastructure, you can use both land and air routes for this. Consider that the time difference with Moscow here is minus 1 hour.
The best time to visit the city is from May to September. It was then that the weather in Tolyatti is the most favorable. In winter, due to high humidity, it is too cold, because the city is located near the Kuibyshev reservoir. In the warm season, Tolyatti blooms, walking around it and looking at the sights is a pleasure, however, like in the early autumn.
If you are going to visit the automobile capital of Russia, do not forget to find out which places you need to visit in it, so that the city leaves only the best impression of itself, especially since there really is something to see, even if you only come for one day.
Monuments and architecture
Most tourist cities are famous for their architecture and monuments. In Tolyatti, you can also plunge into the history of the city and visit interesting sights, in order to fully appreciate the cultural atmosphere of the automobile capital.
First of all, it is recommended to pay attention to the monument, which was erected at the expense of funds raised by citizens, and in a short time became a symbol of Togliatti. This is the sculpture of the creator of Togliatti Vasily Tatishchev, located on the banks of the Volga River near the old flooded city. It is a powerful figure of a rider on a horse reared, and is installed on a pedestal 14 meters high. The image of this particular monument can be found on souvenirs and even on some local products.
One of the most monumental architectural works of Togliatti is a monument erected in honor of the builders who created the city on the Volga. This is a memorial complex, called the «Creators of the city.» It is located on the Central Square and consists of 2 majestic figures. One of them is the monument of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (the saint is considered the patron saint of the city), the second is a snow-white belfry with a clock, which melodiously rings every hour.
Do not be lazy to walk to the next attraction, located on the same square. This is an obelisk of military glory, which was erected in memory of Togliatti heroes of the Great Patriotic War — the pilot Viktor Nosov, the infantryman Vasily Zhilin, the sailor Yevgeny Nikonov and the chairman of the city executive committee Vasily Banykin. This is a quadrangular stele with profiles of heroes, before which the Eternal Flame is lit.
About 300 meters from the square is Central Park, where you can see another famous Togliatti monument. This is the memorial «Grieving Angel», established in 2006 in memory of the victims of political repression. The central figure of the memorial is a 2.5 meter high angel sculpture, which symbolizes the grief of millions of innocently ruined lives. Next to the monument are granite slabs with names of the dead and quotations from the Declaration of Human Rights inscribed on them. For relatives of those who died during the time of repression and do not even have a grave, this is the only place where they can honor the memory of the victims.
A less grandiose, but no less interesting sculpture is the Monument of Devotion, created in 2003 and placed in the Avtozavodsky district of Togliatti, on the Southern Highway. He tells about the history of the “Russian Khatiko”: in 1995, an accident occurred in the area of the Southern Highway, in which a young couple died. In an accident, their dog survived, which for 7 years, day after day, waited for its owners at the place of their death and did not allow themselves to be tamed, accepting only food from people. In 2002, the dog was gone, after which a memorial shield was erected in his honor, and a year later a monument with a figure of a sheepdog looking into the distance. This sculpture is a favorite place to visit, both locals and tourists. It will be interesting not only for adults to learn the touching story of a true love of a dog for a man, so be sure to visit the Monument of Devotion if you plan to go to Tolyatti with children.
The spiritual life of the city
Those who wish to enjoy the contemplation of the architecture of Togliatti should definitely visit the spiritual places of the city. It is, of course, about churches.
The following temples are considered the most popular in Tolyatti:
- Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, located in a green urban area on the banks of the river. This small, but surprisingly beautiful and cozy wooden church was built in the image of the Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, which was flooded in 1955 during the construction of the Kuibyshev reservoir;
- Holy Resurrection Monastery, located in the historic part of the city. The buildings of the monastery have been preserved since the XIX century, and these are the few buildings that were able to be protected from flooding during the creation of the hydropower station. Currently, they are restored, and the territory is fully ennobled. Nevertheless, the architecture of the XIX century is fully preserved, so it will be especially interesting for tourists to visit these places;
- Transfiguration Cathedral. This is the largest and most majestic orthodox structure of the city: it is only slightly smaller in area than the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The snow-white golden-domed cathedral is equipped in accordance with the modern standards of construction, but it is built in accordance with the Old Russian style: it has turret-like domes and beautifully carved oak doors;
- The Church of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos (Annunciation Skete) is located in the Komsomolsk district of Tolyatti, in the village of Fedorovka. The first church building was built in 1846, but during the war it was destroyed, and restored only by the end of the 80s of the XX century. A beautiful view of this building opens from the water space.
Real places of power for believers are healing sources. One of these places is the holy spring in the village of Tashla, which is located in the Samara region near Tolyatti. According to legend, the source originated at the site of the appearance of the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the autumn of 1917. The spring is ennobled, the image of the saint is placed next to it, thanks to which it appeared. Pilgrims from all over the world strive to reach this sight, wanting to be healed both spiritually and physically. By the way, many claim that they succeeded.
On a trip with a child
If you go to Tolyatti with your family, you should definitely find out where you can go with your children, so that it will be exciting not only for you, but also for them. Start with the most popular amusement park for the whole family — Fanny Park. It is equipped with modern attractions for children of any age, and even adults will be able to find in it a lesson to their liking. After fun and extreme entertainment, you can eat in the cafes located in the park, or relax on the benches by the pond. In summer, water activities are available in the open-air water park.
For older children will be interesting excursion to the museum. Perhaps the most famous museum in the city is the AvtoVAZ Technical Museum. This is a huge outdoor exhibition, located on 38 hectares of land, so walking around this complex is incredibly exciting, although for some it can be a bit tedious. But despite this, the museum is really worthy of attention: you can see exhibits from the First World War and World War II, trace the history of the automotive industry in different countries, consider the inventions of modern engineers and much more.
We recommend to find time for one more sightseeing — the Togliatti Museum of Local Lore. By visiting it, you can learn about the history of the city, starting with the very creation. This is a unique collection of books, letters and other documents that can reliably make a historical picture of Togliatti life. A special pride of the museum is the ancient household items of urban residents, preserved from the XVIII century, and a collection of ancient coins. This may be especially interesting for those whose children are passionate about history.
Fathers and sons will certainly enjoy an excursion to the Volga AvtoVAZ plant, where you can see the stages of car production and get acquainted with the company’s history in the AvtoVAZ museum, which is located in the main building of the plant.
You can enjoy the beauty of the region and see the most picturesque places if you go on river walks along the Volga. This kind of entertainment will appreciate the whole family. From ships, boats and yachts offer amazing views of the city. In addition, it is a wonderful way to escape from the bustle of the city and industrial smog.
The automobile capital of Russia, Tolyatti, is not only the industrial center of the country, but also an amazingly beautiful city that you must visit to see all the best sights with your own eyes.