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Astrakhan Oblast

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Europe : Russia : Volga Region : Lower Volga : Astrakhan Oblast
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Astrakhan Oblast
Location
Astrakhan in Russia.svg
Flag
Flag of Astrakhan Oblast.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Astrakhan(Administrative center)
Government Russian Oblast
Currency Russian Ruble (Pуб.)
Area 44,1002
Population 1,010,073(2010 est)
Language Official:Russian
Religion Russian Orthodox 46%, Non-Religious Spirituality 16%, Islam 14%, Atheist 24%, Other 14%
Electricity 220V/60Hz (European plug)
Time Zone UTC +4

Astrakhan Oblast (Russian: Астраха́нская о́бласть uh-struh-KHAN-skuh-yuh OH-bluhst’) is a region in the Lower Volga, descending from steppe along the Volga to the northwestern Caspian Sea. It borders Volgograd Oblast to the north, Kalmykia to the west, and Kazakhstan to the East

Regions[edit]

Cities[edit]

  • Astrakhan — the capital and the region's biggest city by far
  • Akhtubinsk
  • Kharibali
  • Znamensk — location of a major Russian missle test site, Kapustin Yar Cosmodrome (spaceport), and frequent UFO sightings, leading the town to be known as Russia's Roswell; Znamensk is currently a closed town due to its military significance

Other destinations[edit]

  • Astrakhansky Nature Reserve — located along the giant Volga River Delta, this reserve is a bird-lover's paradise

Understand[edit]

Astrakhan Oblast is a region steeped in the history of Central Asia. Before the arrival of Russian power, this area was at times ruled by the Jewish Khazar Khaganate, the Golden Horde, and the Astrakhan Khanate (centered on the present day city). In 1556 Ivan the Terrible conquered the region and annexed most of its territory at a time when Russian-allied Kalmyks were attacking and displacing the Muslim Tatars of the region. In 1580, having seen off Ottoman challenges to Russian rule, Russia constructed Astrakhan's magnificent Kremlin, which is a mix of traditional Russian and Baroque styles. Astrakhan's nature as a pivotal region for Central Asia continued when Peter the Great established a major shipbuilding yard on the Caspian Sea and established the region as the base for Russian expansion into the great Khanates of Khiva, Samarkand, and Bukhara, located in present day Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Today Astrakhan Oblast is a relatively sleepy, sparsely populated region near the confluence of the Volga River and the Caspian Sea, notable for its large gas reserves. The region retains sizeable Kazakh and Tatar minorities.

Talk[edit]

Despite its multicultural past, nearly everyone in Astrakhan Oblast speaks Russian as a first language.

Get in[edit]

Astrakhan Oblast is served by rail from Volgograd.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Itineraries[edit]

  • Volga River Delta

Do[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

The natural companion to an Astrakhan visit is its western neighbor Kalmykia. Probably the most convenient way to get there is to take a minibus (marshrutka) from Astrakhan to Elista.

It is also possible to relive your dreams of Russian conquest of Central Asia by taking the train west from Astrakhan to Atyrau, Kazakhstan.



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