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Top upper left: Pokrovskaya Church (Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos) in Saratov, Top lower left: Saratov Administration Office, Top right: Saratov Conservatory, Middle left: Saratov Orthodox Theological Seminary, Middle right: Schmidt Mill, Bottom: A twilight view of Saratov Engels Bridge and the Volga
Top upper left: Pokrovskaya Church (Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos) in Saratov, Top lower left: Saratov Administration Office, Top right: Saratov Conservatory, Middle left: Saratov Orthodox Theological Seminary, Middle right: Schmidt Mill, Bottom: A twilight view of Saratov Engels Bridge and the Volga
Flag of Saratov
Coat of arms of Saratov
Location of Saratov
Saratov is located in European Russia
Location of Saratov
Saratov is located in Europe
Saratov (Europe)
Coordinates: 51°32′N 46°01′E / 51.533°N 46.017°E / 51.533; 46.017
Federal subjectSaratov Oblast[1]
Foundedca. 1590[2]
City status since1708[2]
 • BodyCity Duma[3]
 • Head[3]Mikhail Isayev[4]
50 m (160 ft)
 • Total837,900
 • Estimate 
844,858 (+0.8%)
 • Rank16th in 2010
 • Subordinated tocity of oblast significance of Saratov[7][8]
 • Capital ofSaratov Oblast,[1] Saratovsky District[8]
 • Urban okrugSaratov Urban Okrug[9]
 • Capital ofSaratov Urban Okrug,[9] Saratovsky Municipal District[10]
Time zoneUTC+4 (MSK+1 Edit this on Wikidata[11])
Postal code(s)[12]
410000–410005, 410007–410010, 410012, 410015, 410017–410019, 410022, 410023, 410025, 410028–410031, 410033–410042, 410047–410056, 410059, 410060, 410062–410065, 410068, 410069, 410071, 410074, 410076, 410078, 410080, 410082, 410086, 410700, 410880, 410890, 410899, 410960–410965, 410999
Dialing code(s)+7 8452
OKTMO ID63701000001

Saratov (UK: /səˈrɑːtɒf/ sə-RAH-tof,[15] US: /-təf/ -⁠təf;[16][17] Russian: Саратов, pronounced [sɐˈratəf] ) is the largest city and administrative center of Saratov Oblast, Russia, and a major port on the Volga River. As of the 2021 Census, Saratov had a population of 901,361, making it the 17th-largest city in Russia by population. Saratov is 389 kilometres (242 mi) north of Volgograd, 442 kilometres (275 mi) south Samara, and 858 kilometres (533 mi) southeast of Moscow.

The city stands near the site of Uvek, a city of the Golden Horde. Tsar Feodor I of Russia likely developed Saratov as a fortress to secure Russia's southeastern border. Saratov developed as a shipping port along the Volga and was historically important to the Volga Germans, who settled in large numbers in the city before they were expelled before and during World War II.

Saratov is home to a number of cultural and educational institutions, including the Saratov Drama Theater, Saratov Conservatory, Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov State Technical University, and Saratov State University.


The name Saratov may be derived from Sary Tau (Сары Тау), meaning "Yellow Mountain" in the Tatar language. Another version of the name origin derives it from the words Sar Atau, which means the "Boggy Island".[18]


A city map of Saratov in 1903, (Russian edition)
Historical affiliations

Tsardom of Russia ca. 1590–1721
Russian Empire 1721–1917
Russian Republic 1917–1918
Russian Democratic Federal Republic 1918
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 1918–1922
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1918–1991
Russia Russian Federation 1991–present

Uvek, a city of the Golden Horde, stood near the site of the modern city of Saratov from the mid-13th century until its destruction by Tamerlane in 1395. While the exact date of the foundation of modern Saratov is unknown, plausible theories date it to ca. 1590,[2] during the reign (1584–1598) of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, who constructed several settlements along the Volga River in order to secure the southeastern boundary of his state. Town status was granted to it in 1708.[2]

By the 1800s, Saratov had grown to become an important shipping port on the Volga. The Ryazan-Ural Railroad reached Saratov in 1870.[19] In 1896, the line crossed the Volga and continued its eastward expansion. A unique train-ferry, owned by the Ryazan-Ural railroad, provided the connection across the river between the two ends of the railroad for 39 years, before the construction of a railway bridge in 1935.

During January 1915, with World War I dominating the Russian national agenda, Saratov became the destination for deportation convoys of ethnic Germans, Jews, Hungarians, Austrians and Slavs whose presence closer to the western front was perceived as a potential security risk to the state.[20]

During World War II, Saratov was a station on the north–south Volzhskaya Rokada, a specially designated military railroad supplying troops, ammunition and supplies to Stalingrad. In 1942-1943 the city was bombed by German aircraft. The main target was the Kirov oil refinery, which was heavily bombarded, seriously damaging the installation and destroying 80% of its plant and temporarily interrupting its work. The Luftwaffe was able to destroy all the fuel stock at bases in Saratov and eliminate the oil plant in the city.[21]

Until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet authorities designated Saratov a "closed city"; off-limits to all foreigners due to its military importance as the site of a vital facility manufacturing military aircraft.

German community

Saratov played a prominent role in the history of the Volga Germans. Catherine II, through her two edicts published in Germany, had promised the settlers that they would remain German, enjoying a great deal of autonomy, even if they moved to the Volga region, and they did so. There, the Germans continued with their German language, their own education, their churches, their publications, etc.[citation needed]

However, after more than a century living in that region, the living conditions of the Germans began to change. Catherine II was no longer alive, and the government began to apply an aggressive Russification policy, which meant that from 1878 some groups of Volga Germans began to emigrate to the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. Those who could not leave or who remained in the hope conditions would improve suffered greatly. Hostilities did not stop even after the confiscation of their assets. In 1941, Stalin ordered the deportation of all ethnic Germans.[citation needed]

Today only a few reminders remain of the once prominent place for Volga Germans. The Roman Catholic St. Klemens Cathedral, which had been built by the Volga Germans on the main street of Saratov, the then called "German Street" (German: Deutsche Straße, Russian: Немецкая Улица, romanizedNemetskaya Ulitsa), has its steeples removed and was converted into the Pioneer Cinema by order of the Soviet government (religion was prohibited).[citation needed] Meanwhile, the old German Street, the pedestrian street of Saratov, was renamed Kirov Prospect in reference to the Bolshevik leader Sergei Kirov, a name that still retains.[citation needed]

Administrative and municipal status

Saratov is the administrative center of the oblast[1] and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Saratovsky District,[8] even though it is not a part of it.[13] As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately[13] as the city of oblast significance of Saratov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[7] As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Saratov is incorporated as Saratov Urban Okrug.[9]



Saratov has a moderately continental climate with warm summers, relatively dry climate and an abundance of sunny days. The warmest month is July with daily mean temperature near +23 °C (73 °F); the coldest is February, at −8 °C (18 °F).

Summers are hot and in Saratov daytime temperatures of +30 °C (86 °F) or higher are commonplace, up to +40.9 °C (105.6 °F) during a heat wave in 2010.

Snow and ice are dominant during the winter season. Days well above freezing and nights below −25 °C (−13 °F) both occur in the winter.

Climate data for Saratov (1991-2020, extremes 1836-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.1
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) −4.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −7.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −10.2
Record low °C (°F) −37.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 43
Average rainy days 6 5 7 12 14 15 14 12 13 14 12 8 132
Average snowy days 19 15 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 16 71
Average relative humidity (%) 84 81 78 64 55 59 59 59 64 74 84 84 70
Mean monthly sunshine hours 57 81 141 219 278 310 320 273 152 115 60 50 2,056
Source 1: Pogoda.ru.net[22]
Source 2: worldweather.wmo.int[23]

Economy and infrastructure

Moskovskaya Street in Saratov

Saratov Oblast is highly industrialized, due in part to the richness in natural and industrial resources of the area. The oblast is also one of the more important and largest cultural and scientific centers in Russia. Saratov possesses six institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, twenty-one research institutes, nineteen project institutes, as well as the Saratov State University, the Saratov State Socio-Economic University, the Saratov State Technical University, and many scientific and technological laboratories attached to some of the city's large industrial enterprises. [citation needed]


Saratov is served by the Saratov Gagarin Airport (opened in 20 August 2019 replacing Saratov Tsentralny Airport). The airport serves flights to both international and domestic destinations. Saratov West is a general aviation airfield. The aerospace manufacturing industry is served by the Saratov South airport. Nearby Engels-2 (air base) is the main base for Russian strategic Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers. Motorways link Saratov directly to Volgograd, Samara, and Voronezh. The railways also play an important role. The Privolzhskaya Railway is headquartered in Saratov. The Volga itself is an important inland waterway. Buses and trolleybuses form the backbone of public transport in the city.[citation needed]

Saratov has a tram network, which opened in 1908. Currently, there are two depots, while a third was closed in 2001. The rolling stock currently consists of 71-605, 71-619, 71-608 and a number of refurbished Tatra T3, renamed to MTTE and MTTCh.[24]

A trolleybus network is also present in the city. On July 2, 2021, an intercity route over the Volga was opened, linking to the trolleybus network of Engels.[25]

City budget

Information about revenues and expenditures of the city budget for the period 2007–2017.[26]

Indicators 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Revenues, billion rubles 6.38 9.59 10.45 10.65 12.15 12.77 12.00 12.07 11.06 14.91 14.84
Expenditures, billion rubles 6.15 9.39 11.17 11.23 12.99 13.29 13.02 12.75 11.77 15.31 15.40
Balance, billion rubles 0.23 0.20 −0.72 −0.58 −0.84 −0.52 −1.02 −0.68 −0.71 −0.40 −0.57


Historical population
1897 137,000—    
1926 212,395+55.0%
1939 372,002+75.1%
1959 584,092+57.0%
1970 757,330+29.7%
1979 855,702+13.0%
1989 904,643+5.7%
2002 873,055−3.5%
2010 837,900−4.0%
2021 901,361+7.6%
Source: Census data

Saratov has a population of 901,361 within city limits and roughly 1.2 million in the urban agglomeration. More than 90% of the city's population are ethnic Russians. Among the remainder are Tatars, Kazakhs, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Ukrainians and others.

In the 2021 Census, the following ethnic groups were listed:[27]

Ethnic group Population Percentage
Russians 686,699 92.8%
Tatars 10,291 1.3%
Kazakhs 7,354 1.0%
Armenians 6,456 0.9%
Azerbaijanis 4,198 0.6%
Ukrainians 3,392 0.5%
Others 40,262 3.8%


Saratov is host to a number of colleges and universities. These include the Saratov State University (1909), Saratov State Technical University, Saratov State Medical University, Saratov State Academy of Law and Saratov State Agrarian University. In 2014 a newly renovated campus for the Saratov Regional College of Art was opened.


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The Radishchev Art Museum
Saratov Academic Theater
Kryty Market and Kirova Square
Holy Trinity Cathedral

One of the city's most prominent landmarks is the 19th century neo-Gothic Conservatory. When it was built in 1912, the Conservatory was Russia's third such institution (after Moscow and St. Petersburg). At the time, Saratov, with a population of 240,000, was the third-largest city in Russia. The main building of the conservatory had been built in 1902 by architect Alexander Yulyevich Yagn, and originally it housed a music school. Before the opening of the conservatory in 1912, the building was reconstructed by the architect Semyon Akimovich Kallistratov. When Saratov Conservatory opened in September 1912, it immediately had 1,000 students ready to begin their studies.

The Saratov Drama Theater was founded in 1802, making it one of Russia's oldest. It is ranked as one of Russia's National Theaters. In Soviet times, the theater was renamed in honor of Karl Marx, but now carries the name of Ivan Slonov (1882–1945), an actor, theatrical director and educator, born in the city. The full name in Russian is The I. A. Slonov Saratov State Academic Theater (Саратовский государственный академический театр драмы имени И. А. Слонова).

Saratov is noted for several art museums, including the Radishchev Art Museum, named for Alexander Radishchev, Fedin Art Museum, named after Russian novelist Konstantin Fedin, Saratov Local History Museum, Chernyshevsky Estate Museum, named for Nikolay Chernyshevsky, and some others. The Radishchev Art Museum contains more than 20,000 exhibits, including ancient Russian icons, works by Camille Corot, Auguste Rodin, as well as works by some of the finest Russian painters (e.g. Ivan Kramskoy, Vasily Polenov, Ilya Repin, Ivan Shishkin, Aleksandra Ekster, Pavel Kuznetsov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Robert Falk, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Martiros Saryan, Fyodor Rokotov).


Several sports clubs are active in the city:

Club Sport Founded Current League League
Kristall Saratov Ice Hockey 1955 Higher Hockey League 2nd Kristall Sports Palace
Sokol Saratov Football 1930 Russian Football National League 2nd Lokomotiv Stadium
Avtodor Saratov Basketball 1960 VTB United League 1st Kristall Sports Palace
Universal Saratov[28] Bandy 1953 Bandy Supreme League 2nd Dynamo Stadium[29]
Proton Saratov Volleyball 1988 Volleyball Superleague 1st

Twin towns – sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Russia

Saratov is twinned with:[30]

Notable people

Main article: List of people from Saratov

Roman Abramovich
Nikolai Bondarenko
Natalia Pogonina
Oleg Tabakov
Nikolai Vavilov


  1. ^ a b c d Charter of Saratov Oblast, Article 10
  2. ^ a b c d Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. pp. 409–410. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
  3. ^ a b Charter of Saratov, Article 22
  4. ^ Official website of Saratov. Mikhail Aleksandrovich Isayev, Head of Saratov (in Russian)
  5. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1 [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  6. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Law #21-ZSO
  8. ^ a b c Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 63 243», в ред. изменения №278/2015 от 1 января 2016 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division (OKATO). Code 63 243, as amended by the Amendment #278/2015 of January 1, 2016. ).
  9. ^ a b c Law #79-ZSO
  10. ^ Law #78-ZSO
  11. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  13. ^ a b c Государственный комитет Российской Федерации по статистике. Комитет Российской Федерации по стандартизации, метрологии и сертификации. №ОК 019-95 1 января 1997 г. «Общероссийский классификатор объектов административно-территориального деления. Код 63 401», в ред. изменения №278/2015 от 1 января 2016 г.. (State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology, and Certification. #OK 019-95 January 1, 1997 Russian Classification of Objects of Administrative Division (OKATO). Code 63 401, as amended by the Amendment #278/2015 of January 1, 2016. ).
  14. ^ Saratov Oblast Territorial Branch of the Federal State Statistics Service. Численность постоянного населения по муниципальным районам Саратовской области на 01.01.2015 г. Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  15. ^ "Saratov". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on March 22, 2020.
  16. ^ "Saratov". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  17. ^ "Saratov". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  18. ^ Путешествие по России [Travel to Russia] (in Russian). Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  19. ^ Тамбовско-Саратовская линия (in Russian)
  20. ^ Sergej G.: "Die Politik Russlands gegenüber den Deutschen 1914–1918." In: Eisfeld, Alfred et al. [Hrsg.] Deutsche in Russland und in der Sowjetunion 1914–1941. Lit Verlag, Berlin 2007.
  21. ^ «Волжская рокада». Линия Иловля - Саратов - Сызрань - Ульяновск - Свияжск (in Russian)
  22. ^ "Saratov Climate" КЛИМАТ САРАТОВА [Climate of Saratov]. pogodaiklimat (in Russian). Retrieved October 4, 2023.
  23. ^ "World Meteorological Organization". Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  24. ^ "Saratov, Tramway — Vehicle Statistics". transphoto.org. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  25. ^ "Chronology: Saratov". transphoto.org. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  26. ^ "БЮДЖЕТ ГОРОДА" (in Russian).
  27. ^ "Национальный состав населения". Территориальный органФедеральной службы государственной статистики по Саратовской области. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  28. ^ "Информация о команде "Универсал" Саратов - Реестр - Федерация хоккея с мячом России" (in Russian). Rusbandy.ru. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  29. ^ "Информация о стадионе "Динамо", Саратов - Реестр - Федерация хоккея с мячом России" (in Russian). Rusbandy.ru. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  30. ^ "Побратимские связи". saratovmer.ru (in Russian). Saratov. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  31. ^ "Dallas formally condemns invasion of Ukraine, suspends ties with Russian sister city Saratov". WFAA. March 4, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2023.