Duration: approximately 2 hours
You can start the walk at the Alley of Heroes and go down to the low terrace of the Embankment. The Central Embankment starts with the Fountain “Art” (Fontan „Iskusstvo“), or “Friendship of Nations” (Fontan „Druzhba narodov“).
It is located in the centre of the Volga upper terrace and represents a bronze group on the base made of red granite. The sculpture shows 3 girls dancing in traditional costumes. The fountain was erected in 1957 by sculptor Sergey Aleshin and architect Vasiliy Shalashov. The official documents about the name of the fountain were not found. But at that time it had name “Druzhba” (Friendship). The new name “The friendship of Nations” appeared as analogy of the Moscow Fountain (VDNKh). The name “Iskusstvo” (Art) was mentioned on the post cards in 1985. Despite the fact that the name was changed many people call it “Friendship of Nations”. The Fountain is reference point of green alleys. In 1990-es it was illuminated. There are flower beds and benches around the fountain. Today the Fountain is the main decoration of the Central Embankement. Annually there are celebrations and different events. At weekends there is an atmosphere of piece and quite near the fountain. The citizens visit this place to walk along the Volga and enjoy picturesque view. In 2012, there was a reconstruction of the fountain, now it is the central element of the Embankement.
The wide stairs lead to the Volga low terrace and we recommend you to start your walk from the upper terrace
The Central Embankment (Tsentralnaya naberezhnaya) is one of the best park areas at the Volga. The most significant events of the city are organized here and the Volgograd citizens and guests adore this place. The Central Embankment got its nowadays appearance after the war in 1952. Its prewar history is a history of huge cargo port and riverstation where motor ships from different parts of Russia reached Volgograd.
Before 1930-es there was the Church of St. John the Baptist (Khram Svyatogo Ioanna Predtechi), the Assumption Church(Uspenskaya tserkov), the St. Trinity Churche (Troitskaya tserkov), and the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (Khram Nikolaya Chudotvortsa) which were completely destroyed in the Soviet period of the total destruction of the churches. Only at the beginning of the 21st c there was a historical reconstruction of one of the churches – he Church of St. John the Baptist.
During the Russian Great Patriotic War there were cruel battles at the Volga banks. There was an evacuation of citizens and provision of the defenders of Stalingrad with munitions and foodstuffs. The soldiers of the 62nd Army stopped the enemy and saved the Volga. After the war the embankment was named Naberezhnaya 62-y Armii after the 62nd Army that could defend the riverside territory of the city.
After the war there was the reconstruction of the Central Embankment. According to the design, the Embankment was the main entrance to Volgograd where you can visit other sights of our city. The upper terrace is called “The Park of Victory” (Park pobedy). At the low terrace there is the Concert Hall, River Port, cafés, restaurants and clubs. During water evacuation from the Volga Hydropower Station the level of water is rising and the low terrace is flooded. At the end of the Embankment there is the Monument to the Russian Cossacks “Cossacks glory” (Pamyatnik rossiyskomu kazachestvu „Kasachya Slava“). It was opened on November 4, 2010, on the National Unity Day and Orthodox fest of Our Lady of Kazan. The sculpture consists of 2 figures: a Cossack on the horse and his women with the icon in her hands. Every detail is thought over: costumes, weapons, face- everything illustrates anxious spirit of those times. The height of the sculpture is 2.85 m (including base), the width is 1.3 m. This monument immortalizes the lives of the Cossacks, their defense of Russia and keeping its unity. The Cossacks of Volgograd celebrate here different memory events and for the Volgograd citizens the monument is a part of the history.
Near the Monument there is the Church of St. John the Baptist. The Tsaritsyn Fortress was founded on July 2, 1589, by building a wooden church named after St. John the Baptist (Khram Svyatogo Ioanna Predtechi). The Don Cossack built the church. Soon the fire destroyed the church and many other wooden buildings. In 1615, it was restored and in 1664 it was made of stone as the first stone building of Tsaritsyn. According to the regional ethnographers, the famous Cossack rebel Stepan Rasin was baptized here. After the people of Rasin captured Tsaritsyn in 1670, the church worked as usual and bishops supported rebels. Peter the first visited this Church many times. Peter the first ordered to build a side-altar in honor of apostles Peter and Pavel in
From the right of the Church there is the Monument to Saint Peter and Fevroniya (Pamyatnik svyatym blagovernym Petru i Fevronii Muromskim) of Murom. This composition is set in Russian cities from 2009 within the framework of the national program “In the family’s bossom” (V krugu semyi) created by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II in 2004. The aim of this program is to support family values. The opening ceremony of the sculpture “Blessing” (Blagosloveniye) was on July 8, 2012, at Russian Family Day.
From the left of the Church you can see a small chapel in honor of Iberian Mother of God.
Opposite the church there is an unusual building – the Mayak Restaurant (Restoran Mayak, „Ligthouse“). The building was constructed in neoclassicism style in the 1950-es. It is a national building of architecture of XX c.. The author of the building is an honored architect of Russia Yefim Levitan. As the first restaurant reconstructed after the war Mayak was very popular. It was very difficult to book a table there. Different events were organized there: banquets, meetings, weddings, jubilees. There was a brass band, songs of prewar times and citizens could relax there after complicated war years. The Mayak Restaurant became a symbol of Stalingrad. After several reconstructions in 1980 and 2000, the restaurant became new and modern with overview of the Volga. From here you can reach the Central River Port.
The Volgograd River Port (Rechnoy port) is one of the most significant enterprises providing people and goods transportation. There is a regular water communication with Krasnoslobodsk city on the side of the Volga. Also you can get to Sarpinsky Island (the biggest in Europe) with recreation centres. There are voyages to Moscow, Saratov, Samara, Astrachan. The Volgograd River Port is one of the biggest ports that transport 1.3 mln people per year. The building of the Volgograd River Port is beautiful. The length of the building is equal to Red Square in Moscow (296 m), the width is 36 m, and the height is 47 m. 6 ships can moor at the same time to the River Port . The River Port was built in 1980-es. Firstly, waiting room and berths were opened in 1980 and several years later – the Central Concert Hall in 1989. Due to the Concert Hall, the city became one of the cultural centres of Volgograd. The main point of interest is the famous Rieger-Kloss Organ with 4899 organ-pipes, set in 1983. The Volgograd River Port has lots of cafés, restaurants, night clubs and sport clubs.
If you go upstairs and turn right you get to the Musical Theater.
The Musical Theater (Muzykalny teatr) is the oldest theaters on the Volga from 1932. It offers its guests operetta and comedy. The Theater had tours to many cities of Russia and abroad, performs more than 400 plays. The troupe takes part in international competitions and festivals.
From the Musical Theater you can walk across the green park. It is better to walk in spring or in summer, enjoy peace and freshness of trees and wonderful view of the Volga. Moreover there are some cozy cafés and restaurants.
At the end of the park there is the Stalingrad Battle Panorama Museum (Musey-Panorama „Stalingradskaya bitva“) and the Ruins of the Gerhardt Mill (Melnitsa Gerkhardta) as the memory of the fierce Battle of Stalingrad.
At the entrance of the Museum there is a magnificent view of the Volga andVolgograd automobile bridge across the river widely known as the Dancing Bridge (Tantsuyushchy most). The Bridge is one of the biggest objects of transport infrastructure in Russia and the key object of the programme of the Volgograd transportation development. The Bridge is 7 km long. It connects the bank of the Volga River and the Akhtuba River (Volgo-Akhtubinskaya poima). There is a beautiful view of the Volga and Volgograd.
The Volgograd Bridge provides the unloading of federal roads, highways and the city link with the Central Asian republics, as well as the basis for the creation of a new "East-West" transport corridor. The construction of the bridge was started in 1996, and the opening was held in autumn
Interesting facts: Legend about Peter and Fevroniya
According to the chronicle, pious Prince Peter was the second son of Murom Prince Yuri Vladimirovich. He came to the throne of Murom in 1203. In just a few years before Prince Peter got leprosy, and no one could cure him. In a dream he saw that Fevroniya, the daughter of apiculture worker, a farmer from a village in the Ryazan could heal him. Fevroniay was a wise, beautiful, pious and kind girl, wild animals listen to her, she knew the properties of herbs and knew how to treat illnesses. The prince promised to marry her but he didn’t and was ill again. Fevroniya saved him and married him. When he inherited the throne, no one wanted to see the princess without ancestry. He chose his wife and left the city. They enjoyed their life and the God helped them. Sometime later there was distemper in Murom and citizens asked Peter to be a prince. They came back and Fevroniya deserved people’s love. Being old, they took monastic vows in different monasteries and prayed to die at the same time. They willed to be buried in one coffin. They died at the same day on the 8-th of July in 1228. Their bodies were buried separately but next day they were together. They were buried in the cathedral church in Murom of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, built by Ivan the Terrible over their relics vow in 1553. Currently, there are the relics of saints in the church of the Holy Trinity of Holy Trinity Monastery in Murom.