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 Volga River
Anthem: none[2]
Location of Saratov
Location of Saratov
Saratov (Europe)
Coordinates: 51°32′N 46°01′E / 51.533°N 46.017°E / 51.533; 46.017Coordinates: 51°32′N 46°01′E / 51.533°N 46.017°E / 51.533; 46.017
Federal subjectSaratov Oblast[1]
Foundedca. 1590[3]
City status since1708[3]
 • BodyCity Duma[4]
 • Head[4]Mikhail Isayev[5]
50 m (160 ft)
 • Total837,900
 • Estimate 
844,858 (+0.8%)
 • Rank16th in 2010
 • Subordinated tocity of oblast significance of Saratov[8][9]
 • Capital ofSaratov Oblast[1], Saratovsky District[9]
 • Urban okrugSaratov Urban Okrug[10]
 • Capital ofSaratov Urban Okrug[10], Saratovsky Municipal District[11]
Time zoneUTC+4 (MSK+1 Edit this on Wikidata[12])
Postal code(s)[13]
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
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Saratov (UK: /səˈrɑːtɒf/,[14] US: /-təf/;[15][16] Russian: Сара́тов, IPA: [sɐˈratəf] (audio speaker iconlisten)) is the largest city and administrative center of Saratov Oblast, Russia, and a major port on the Volga River upstream (north) of Volgograd. As of the 2010 Census, Saratov had a population of 837,900, making it the 17th-largest city in Russia by population. Saratov is 389 km from Volgograd, 442 km from Samara, and 858 km 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 after 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".[17]


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

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,[3] 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.[3]

By the 1800s, Saratov had grown to become an important shipping port on the Volga. The Ryazan-Ural Railroad reached Saratov in 1870.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20]

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

The city of Saratov played an important role in the history of the Volga Germans. Until 1941, the town of Pokrovsk (present-day Engels), located just across the Volga from Saratov, served as the capital of the Volga German Republic. The ethnic German population of the region numbered 800,000 in the early 20th century, with some people whose families had been there for generations. Beginning with Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto promising land, freedom from military conscription and religious freedom, the Russian Emperors invited German immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries to encourage agricultural development.

Saratov Bridge across the Volga, formerly the longest bridge in the Soviet Union
Saratov Bridge across the Volga, formerly the longest bridge in the Soviet Union

The Volga German community came to include industrialists, scientists, musicians and architects, including those who built Saratov's universities and conservatories. After the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Soviet government forcibly expelled the Volga Germans to Uzbekistan, Siberia and Kazakhstan (September 1941). Few ever returned to the Volga region, even after rehabilitation. Others were expelled to western Europe after World War II ended in 1945.[citation needed]

Beginning in the 1980s, a large portion of the surviving members of the ethnic Germans emigrated from the Soviet Union to Germany.

Reminders of the once prominent place of Germans in the city remain, with the Roman Catholic St. Klemens Cathedral (seat of the historic Diocese of Tiraspol) on Nemetskaya Ulitsa ("German Street") the most notable. The building was designed by Mikhail N. Grudistov (b. 1839 – d. 19 February 1914,[21] who also designed the State Bank Building in Saratov, converted into the children's cinema "Pioneer" during the Soviet period.[22][23][24] A new cathedral was built in 2000 elsewhere in the city: the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Saratov [de].

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,[9] even though it is not a part of it.[25] As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately[25] as the city of oblast significance of Saratov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[8] As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Saratov is incorporated as Saratov Urban Okrug.[10]



Saratov has a moderately continental climate with warm and dry summers 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 dry 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
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.1
Average high °C (°F) −4.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −7.6
Average low °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:[26]
Source 2: NOAA (sun 1961–1990)[27]

Economy and infrastructure

Moskovskaya Street in Saratov
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.

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.[28]

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.[29]

City budget

Information about revenues and expenditures of the city budget for the period 2007–2017.[30]

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


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


More than 90% of the city's population are ethnic Russians. Among the remainder are Tatars, Ukrainians, Armenians, Kazakhs and others.


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[31] Bandy 1953 Bandy Supreme League 2nd Dynamo Stadium[32]
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:[33]

Notable people

Main article: List of people from Saratov

Roman Abramovich


  1. ^ a b c d Charter of Saratov Oblast, Article 10
  2. ^ The official symbols of Saratov enumerated in Article 3 of the Charter of Saratov do not include the anthem.
  3. ^ a b c d Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. pp. 409–410. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
  4. ^ a b Charter of Saratov, Article 22
  5. ^ Official website of Saratov. Mikhail Aleksandrovich Isayev, Head of Saratov (in Russian)
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Law #21-ZSO
  9. ^ 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. ).
  10. ^ a b c Law #79-ZSO
  11. ^ Law #78-ZSO
  12. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  14. ^ "Saratov". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. n.d. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "Saratov". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  16. ^ "Saratov". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  17. ^ Путешествие по России [Travel to Russia] (in Russian). Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  18. ^ Тамбовско-Саратовская линия (in Russian)
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ «Волжская рокада». Линия Иловля - Саратов - Сызрань - Ульяновск - Свияжск (in Russian)
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ [2][dead link]
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^ "Кинотеатр "Пионер" - бывший католический храм" (in Russian). February 27, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  25. ^ a b 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. ).
  26. ^ "" (in Russian). Retrieved September 8, 2007.
  27. ^ "Saratov Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  28. ^ "Saratov, Tramway — Vehicle Statistics". Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  29. ^ "Chronology: Saratov". Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  30. ^ "БЮДЖЕТ ГОРОДА" (in Russian).
  31. ^ "Информация о команде "Универсал" Саратов - Реестр - Федерация хоккея с мячом России" (in Russian). Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  32. ^ "Информация о стадионе "Динамо", Саратов - Реестр - Федерация хоккея с мячом России" (in Russian). Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  33. ^ "Побратимские связи". (in Russian). Saratov. Retrieved February 1, 2020.