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Interesting facts about Samara and Samara region

• On 12 April 1961 the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed a space flight on “Vostok” taken into space by the rocket carrier R-7 created in Samara. After he landed near a city called Engelsk in Saratov region, he came to Samara to spend a few days.

• Between 1941 and 1945, Samara became the spare capital of the country for a period. Bolshoi theatre, party and government bodies and diplomatic missions of 21 countries were evacuated and brought to Samara. The foreign correspondence building was located in the “Grand Hotel”.

• One of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Dmitriy Shostakovich lived and worked in Samara during the Great Patriotic War. He finished and presented his famous #7 symphony here. It was performed by the Bolshoi theatre orchestra.

• The beer brewery founded in Samara in 1881 by an Austrian entrepreneur Alfred von Vacano, is still operating and continues to be one of the symbols of the city. Visitors can watch the old buildings built in the German renaissance style and try some fresh Zhigulyevskoe beer. The sales outlet of different kinds of beer is known as “Dno” among the locals and is one of the major brands of the city, especially for those football fans coming to Samara from other cities to matches with “Krylia Sovetov”.

• A unique monument of Soyuz rocket carrier at the Samara space museum named after Dmitriy Kozlov was put up in 2001 to mark the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first flight to space. The monument is the R-7 rocket, which is 53 metres tall and weighs 20 tons. 

• The strange tunnels in Shiryaevo are considered to be one of the most mysterious tourist attractions full of untold secrets. It’s a real gallery of tunnels where a double decker bus can easily drive through.

• The highest point of Zhiguli hills is Strelnaya Gora at 375 m above sea level. On this mountain stone boulders form a small grotto in which according to the legend, was the lookout post of Stepan Razin’s host. From there robbers would watch the flow of Volga at forty miles and once they notice a forthcoming caravan, they would signal their comrades who were hiding behind the islands.

• Kuibyshev square is the largest square in Europe. It spreads over 17.4 ha, which is almost one full ha more than the Red Square in Moscow.

• Asteroid 26922 was named after Samara.