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Saratov Embankment Wall Painting – Part 2.


Konstantin Simonov and Saratov

An illustration to a well-known poem by a Russian poet and playwright as well as a war correspondent Konstantin Simonov "Wait for Me". He lived in Saratov from 1927 till 1931: here Konstantin Simonov finished a secondary school with a seven-year study period, then worked as a lathe-turner at the Universal Mechanical Toolmaking Plant. It's in Saratov that young Konstantin started to poetize.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 more than 680 thousand residents of Saratov Region fought at the fronts of our motherland. Tens of thousands of Saratov Region townsmen and countrymen volunteered to join the Red Army: ten thousand applications to enter the ranks of the Red Army were registered in Saratov on the third day of the war. For feats of arms made in the Great Patriotic War, the title of "Hero of the Soviet Union" was conferred on 300 Saratov residents; 32 Saratov residents became "Full Cavaliers of the Order of Glory".

Saratov was one of the most important objectives of the German military forces: they planned to capture it by August 10, 1942. In Stalingrad the Germans distributed leaflets that contained the following text: "We'll come to Stalingrad bombing to reach Saratov playing a harmonica". From October 1941 to March 1943 on the approaches to Saratov six lines of defensive positions were built more than 600 km (324 miles) long, as well as 2500 pillboxes of concrete or wood and land or other materials. More than 158 thousand Saratov residents took part in the Battle of Stalingrad.

During the war, a road from Saratov to Stalingrad over Altynnaya Hill was called a "lifeline": it was the only way of motor transportation between the besieged Stalingrad and the rest of the country. For many car troops soldiers from Saratov this road became a "death line" because it was under incessant bombing by German air force. Nowadays there is a monument to the soldiers of car troops erected at the beginning of this road.

A railroad Saratov–Stalingrad had an immense significance for the outcome of battle for the Volga River. It was put into operation in August 1942 – by the beginning of decisive fighting. The workers of Ryazan-Urals Railways and South-East Railways supplied around 300 thousand railroad vans with troops, armament, and equipment for the fronts of Stalingrad. An armoured train that defended Saratov railroad bridge over the Volga River is installed in the Victory Park at Sokolovaya Hill in Saratov.

During the war years the Solovki Sea Cadet School of the Russian Navy Northern Fleet was open in Saratov. More than 4.5 thousand sea cadets completed their training here to fight in all the battles involving the navy. From 1942 to 1944 three hundred Saratov boys entered the school of which only 121 got back from the war alive.

Saratov sky was defended by anti-aircraft and projector units, surveillance and warning sub-units of Saratov and Balashov Anti-Aircraft Defense Division as well as regiments of 144th Air Fighter Division. Our anti-aircraft artillery fire and fighter aircraft action brought down 16 enemy planes over Saratov.

Saratov is a birth place of the Yak airplane – the most well-known aircraft of the Great Patriotic War: from 1941 to 1946 Saratov Aircraft Plant made 13569 Yak-1 or Yak-3 planes of all types. It's more than half of all planes that USSR had by the beginning of the war. Every third airplane of the Great Patriotic War was produced in Saratov. In addition to Soviet pilots, the Yak-1 and Yak-3 airplanes were aviated by the French fighter pilots from the Normandie-Niemen Regiment. During the war, Saratov Aircraft Plant was massively bombed by the German air force, as a result of which two thirds of the plant was destroyed.

In 1941–1945 Saratov accommodated more than 30 military hospitals that were given the best buildings of schools, institutes, hotels or sanatoriums. About 200 hospitals were deployed in Saratov Region. Its highly skilled medical staff of 2438 doctors available in 1941, the extensive bed fund of regional clinics and hospitals reaching 10500 pieces, a great number of public buildings along with well developed communication network allowed Saratov to deservedly receive during the war years an informal name of the "city of hospitals". From 1941 to 1945 Saratov hospitals received more than 634 thousand men, evacuated to heartland more than 150 thousand wounded or sick, healed up almost 484 thousand fighters of which 344 thousand were discharged and sent back to military units.

Graffiti made by Sergey Pshenichnikov and others (Samara).



Saratov fortress

Old Saratov – a record about its foundation by prince Grigory Zasekin and boyar Fedor Turov. You can find more about a memorial board devoted to the foundation of Saratov here.

Graffiti made by Alexander Vasiliev (Moscow).


Lipki City Park in Saratov

In honor of the Russian victory over Napoleonic France in the Patriotic War of 1812, Alexander Nevsky Sobor (Cathedral) was built at present day Sobornaya Square in Saratov. The cathedral gave name to the square and the adjoining street: Sobornaya. In the summer of 1824 in the area adjacent to the cathedral petty bourgeois Mikhail Smirnov and peasant Nikifor Fedorov planted out 1080 lindens "20 kopeks each". The park was initially called Alexander Boulevard or Gorodskoy (City) Boulevard, whereas the name "Lipki" (lindens) appeared in 1876.

In 1877 a hothouse for growing seedlings or winter conservation of agaves or Echeveria plants was launched in the garden. At the end of 19th century water pipes were laid in Lipki Park and "regular night watering of plants" began. The garden popularity with residents of Saratov grew, so ice-cream trays and kiosks "for conducting trade by mineral water, lemonade, and koumiss – under strict hygienic control" started to operate. An orchestra had played in the main alley to later occupy a new bandstand specifically made for it in 1901.

At the beginning of 20th century kerosene lighting of the park was gradually replaced with electric one, and in 1908 Lipki Park was fenced by forged fancy paling that lived through our days. Its cost was quite high for the time: 15 thousand rubles. The fence was made at Saratov Alexander Trade School (now Yuri Gagarin College) from the draft by an artist Sergey Chehonin.

In 1990s Lipki Park was declared a natural memorial of regional importance as well as an object of historical and cultural heritage of federal importance. The area of modern park is 4.7 hectares (11.6 acres). 34 species of trees, 16 species of shrubs, more than 1000 trees and 300 shrubs including lindens, poplars, pines, hazels, rowans, lilac, and maples grow there.

Graffiti made by Dmitry Kabanin (Moscow).



Saratov refrigerator plant

Saratov Electric Apparatus Production Association (SEAPA or SEPO in Russian) is one of the largest Russian enterprises in the area of electronic and electrical products. From 1951 SEPO (along with Moscow Likhachov Plant) was the first in the USSR to start production of household refrigerators. It's exactly this initial series that became legendary by its length of fault free service: the fridges of the 1950s simply served for half a century – up till the millennium...

By 1962, ten years after the start of production, about a million of fridges was made and sold. In 1992–1999 SEPO did not manufacture refrigerators, in spite of the fact that by that time around 15 million fridges were produced. Saratov refrigerator legend got back to production line in 1999. It's just that in the USSR "Saratov" refrigerators were exported to 37 countries including England, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium – whereas now they are supplied to CIS, the Baltic states, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. "Saratov" fridges enjoy 10% of the Russian refrigerator market.

Graffiti made by Andrey Filaretov (Ivanovo).



The Master and Margarita

A scene from a novel by a Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov "The Master and Margarita". In the summer of 1908 in Kiev the writer to be meets Tatiana Lappa whose family lived in Saratov. Mikhail Bulgakov first came to Saratov in December 1911 – to pay a visit to Tatiana. Her father was a manager of the regional public finance department, so Tasya's family occupied an apartment in a building of the Ministry of Finance at the corner of Volskaya Street and Bolshaya Kostrizhnaya Street (now Sacco i Vanzetti Street). In 1913 Mikhail and Tatiana got married.

Graffiti made by Alexander Bobrov (Penza).



Andrei Mironov and Saratov

"Let fierce wind rage in a fog of everyday seas, my sail is showing up white – so lonely against the background of steel ships." – these are the words from a song by Ostap Bender sung by a Russian actor Andrei Mironov in the movie "The Twelve Chairs" based on a novel of the same name by Russian writers Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov (verses written by Yuliy Kim, composed by Gennady Gladkov). In 1963 Andrei Mironov and a company of actors of the Moscow Theatre of Satire played on tour in Saratov.

In the background of the composition there is a building of the first Saratov motor-garage built in 1887 at 116, Moskovskaya Street (opposite the city head post office) that made till our days (the garage moved to the building in 1914). Its facade carries a modeled bas-relief of a dashing car. One of the authors of "The Golden Calf " novel (a sequel to "The Twelve Chairs" novel) Ilya Ilf was sent on business to Saratov in the summer of 1925 by "Gudok" newspaper. Some researchers believe that one of "The Golden Calf" characters, the Antilopa-Gnu vehicle driver Adam Kozlevich was made from Zakhariy Ivanov – a co-owner of the first Saratov motor-garage who was a taxi-driver as well as a well-known racing driver. During his business trip to Saratov Ilya Ilf did interview Zakhariy Ivanov.

Graffiti made by Yevgeniy Muluk (Saratov)



Koumissnaya Poliana Natural Park in Saratov

Koumissnaya Poliana Natural Park adjoins Saratov from the west. Here you can find growing oaks, lindens, maples, aspens; wild hairs, foxes, pests, elks, boars, squirrels, roe deers, and a variety of insects or wood birds including owls.

Graffiti made by Alexandra Samotaeva (Saratov).



Alexander Skaftymov and Saratov

Alexander Skaftymov was a Russian philologist, folklore scholar and ethnographer, professor of Saratov State University. He was born in 1890 at the settlement of Stolypino in Volsk District of Saratov Region. A great part of his life Alexander Skaftymov devoted to the research of the Russian epos. Alexander's most prominent work is "Poetics and Genesis of the Russian Bylinas".

Graffiti made by Ivan Klubkov (Saratov).



A lion, the Benders, and Saratov

A lion standing on the Earth huddled in sarpinka (printed calico) was a symbol of a famous Saratov merchant family of the Benders. From 1911 a merchant of the top guild Andrei Bender owned a house that now accommodates Saratov City administration (at the corner of Radishcheva Street and Pervomayskaya Street). So Andrei Bender ordered to mount a figure of a lion on the Earth at the building facade. Saratov sarpinka is a fabric that the Benders traded in. The name of the fabric comes from a place where it was mostly produced – in Saratov Region where the Sarpa River ran.

Graffiti made by Damir Bozik (Kazan).



Saratov beauties

An amiable miss enjoying Saratov all in flowers ;) The girl collectively symbolizes the beauty of Saratov ladies well known throughout the Volga region. The secret of mass irresistibility of Saratov lasses is uncomplicated: it has to do, first and foremost, with history. Saratov is a merchant city with strong commercial traditions. Since long ago, to promote sales, merchants brought beautiful girls to Saratov from near and far lands. The latter worked in shops as barkers teasing passers-by to come in and take a look at goods. The girls stayed here permanently, got married, bore children that bore their own, year by year and age by age multiplying the prettiness of the better half of Saratov.

Graffiti made by Dmitry Egorov, Vadim Prokopiev, Sergei Permyakov (Cheboksary).



Victor Borisov-Musatov and Saratov

A painting by a Russian artist Victor Borisov-Musatov "A Stroll at Sunset" which is stored at the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg. Victor was born in Saratov in 1870. In 1890s he studied the decorative art at a school of Saratov Society of Fine Arts. From 1898 Victor lived primarily in Saratov, but in 1901 and 1902 – at his family estate of Zubrilovka in Saratov Region. These two seasons in the estate found its reflection in works such as "The Gobelin" (1901), "A Walk at Sunset" (1903), "The Phantoms" (1903), "The Deity's Dream" (1904–1905).

Graffiti made by Natalia Ivanova (Saint Petersburg).



Alexander Kibalnikov and Saratov

Alexander Kibalnikov was a Russian sculptor. In 1929–1932 he studied at the painting department of Saratov Arts School. He is the author of monuments to Nikolai Chernyshevsky (Chernyshevsky Square, Saratov, Russia), Vladimir Lenin (Teatralnaya Square, Saratov, Russia), Konstantin Fedin (Fedin Square, Saratov, Russia), Alexander Radishchev (by the Radishchev Museum, Saratov, Russia), Vladimir Mayakovsky (Triumphalnaya Sqaure, Moscow, Russia), Pavel Tretyakov (by the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia), Sergei Yesenin (Spassky Yar, Trubezhskaya Embankment, Ryazan, Russia) as well as Vladimir Mayakovsky bust (Mayakovskaya Metro Station, Moscow, Russia), and a memorial complex "Brest Hero-Fortress" (Brest Fortress Defence Heros Street, Brest, Belorussia). In 1963 Alexander Kibalnikov was awarded the title of "People's Artist of the USSR".

Graffiti made by Andrey Elbakidze (Saint Petersburg).



Alexandre Dumas in Saratov

This one is a hyperbolic presentation of a French writer Alexandre Dumas who came to Saratov in October 1858 aboard a steamship "Nakhimov". This stop was not initially planned, but Alexander did not waste time in Saratov: he took a cab to go through the city streets, visited a photographer, had a dinner with a chief of the city police, picked up some information about Saratov trades, industries, and how much fish there is in the Volga River. Alexandre is portrayed against the Volga and navigation, so it makes sense to shortly dwell upon the origin of Saratov steamship lines.

In 1887 Ivan Prianishnikov together with brothers Ivan and Vasily Polskiy founded the Merchant Volga River Steamship company. Its two small vessels Askold and Dir started to service a new freight and passenger line Saratov–Balakovo.

In 1893 the steamship company became a property of a group of Saratov merchants headed by a merchant of the top guild Pavel Repin and a merchant of the second guild Alexey Dashkovsky. By that time the company flotilla increased up to 11 ships that provided transportation of passengers and goods as far as Kazan and Astrakhan. The steamship company office in Saratov was situated at the intersection of Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street (now Chernyshevskogo Street) and Kniazevsky Vzvoz where it was located in a small one-storey building that (in the rebuilt form) made it till our days.

Graffiti made by Anton Valiev (Samara).



Alexander II and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Saratov

A memorial to Alexander II – the Emperor of Russia, the liberator, the reformer, and the piecemaker. The monument was erected in Saratov at Novosobornaya Square, next to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (now Chernyshevskogo Square – by Kirova Avenue and Lipki Park).

In 1896 Saratov City Duma voted "to build a memorial in Saratov… at the expense of the city budget and donations of Saratov Region residents". All in all, about 35 thousand rubles of donations was made. Around 6.5 thousand rubles was allotted from the city budget. A competitive bidding was announced for the best memorial design. As a result, two bids were granted awards: the first one of 1500 rubles – to a sculptor Nikolay Volkonsky, and the second award of 500 rubles – to a sculptor Victor Perelman. The City Duma approved the jury decision.

The construction board however believed it was right to build the memorial according to the Zaria (daybreak) design by a sculptor Matvey Chizhov and the Pravda (truth) design by a sculptor Sergey Volnukhin. Of the first one they took a model of the Alexander II statue, and from the second one – a pedestal in the form of a tetrahedral pyramid with four symbolic figures: 1) a peasant with a bast basket on his left shoulder who is crossing himself (the emancipation of Russia's serfs); 2) a school mistress and a girl bending over an ABC book (the development of public education); 3) the goddess of justice holding the book of laws in one hand and scales in the other (the judicial reform); 4) a figure of a Bulgarian woman on bended knee with a broken chain in her hands who shows the liberator of the Slavs from the Turkish slavery to a little girl standing by her (the liberation by Russia of Southeast Europe nations from the Turkish oppression). The memorial was laid in 1907 and opened in 1911 – to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of Russia's serfs.

In 1918 the statue was taken off from the pedestal. The latter was used for a monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky at Privokzalnaya Square (1939), the Alexander II memorial was replaced by the statue of Nikolay Chernyshevsky (1953), one of the figures surrounding the statue became the First School Mistress Monument in a public garden at the intersection of Moskovskaya Street and Solianaya Street (1996), the design of the memorial was used in the monument to Pyotr Stolypin at the intersection of Radishcheva Street and Bolshaya Kazachiya Street (2002).

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was a main cathedral in Saratov before the Russian Revolution of 1917. The cathedral was laid in 1815 in memory of participation of Saratov militia (citizen volunteer soldiers) and the victory of the Russian people in the Patriotic War of 1812 with Napoleonic France. The design of the cathedral in the style of Russian classicism was made by an architect Vasily Stasov. The construction works were managed by an architect Vasily Suranov. In 1842 a belfry was set up to complete the ensemble. In 1930s the cathedral was dismantled. After the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945 they built the Dinamo Stadium at the place of the cathedral.

The memorial and cathedral photos can be found here.

Graffiti made by Alexander Ivchik (Moscow).



Saratovskaya garmonika

Saratovskaya garmonika is a type of the Russian accordion – with little bells and especial tone as well as greater power of sound. Saratovskaya garmonika appeared in 1855–1856. The instruments were made by accordion cooperatives in Saratov or Saratov Region. The first garmonika workshop in Saratov was opened by Nikolay Karelin in 1870 at Nikolskaya Street (now Radishcheva Street).

In 1920s the accordion handicraftsmen of Saratov organized the Saratovskaya Garmon cooperative that occupied a building at 5, Tsyganskaya Street (now Kutiakova Street). As time went by, the cooperative grew and turned into the whole enterprise making up to 8 thousand garmonikas every year.

In 1968 the garmonika workshop became part of Saratov Factory of Musical Instruments, and at the beginning of 1980s it merged with Engels Plant of Wind and Percussion Instruments. In 2013 Saratovskaya garmonika went into large-scale production at the Liser woodworking enterprise in Saratov.

There are creative associations that use Saratovskaya garmonika: State Pyatnitsky Russian Folk Chorus, Saratovskaya Garmonika Ensebmle, Kolokolchik Ensemble, Serebriannye Kolokolchiki Ensemble.

In 2009 at Kirova Avenue in Saratov they installed a monument to Saratovskaya garmonika. At certain hours the monument plays different compositions of a local Saratov instrumental band and reminds everybody about garmonika – the historical symbol of the city.

Graffiti made by Igor Shiryaev (Ivanovo).










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