Astrakhan, Southern Federal District, Russia

Medieval history | Modern history | Geography : Administrative status | Education | Astrakhan State Technical University | Astrakhan State University | Transport

🇷🇺 Astrakhan is the largest city and administrative centre of Astrakhan Oblast in Southern Russia. The city lies on two banks of the Volga, in the upper part of the Volga Delta, on eleven islands of the Caspian Depression, 60 miles (100 km) from the Caspian Sea. At an elevation of 28 meters (92 ft) below sea level, it is the lowest city in Russia.

Astrakhan was formerly the capital of the Khanate of Astrakhan (a remnant of the Golden Horde), and was located on the higher right bank of the Volga, 7 miles (11 km) from the present-day city. Situated on caravan and water routes, it developed from a village into a large trading centre, before being conquered by Timur in 1395 and captured by Ivan the Terrible in 1556. In 1558 it was moved to its present site.

The oldest economic and cultural centre of the Lower Volga, it is often called the southernmost outpost of Russia, and the Caspian capital. The city is a member of the Eurasian Regional Office of the World Organization "United Cities and Local Governments". The great ethnic diversity of its population gives a varied character to Astrakhan. The city is the centre of the Astrakhan metropolitan area.


Medieval history Astrakhan is in the Volga Delta, which is rich in sturgeon and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria and the Golden Horde. Astrakhan was first mentioned by travelers in the early 13th century as Xacitarxan. Tamerlane burnt it to the ground in 1395 during his war with the Golden Horde. From 1459 to 1556, Xacitarxan was the capital of Astrakhan Khanate. The ruins of this medieval settlement were found by archaeologists 12 km upstream from the modern-day city.

Starting in A.D. 1324, Ibn Battuta, the famous Berber Muslim traveler, began his pilgrimage from his native city of Tangier, present-day Morocco to Mecca. Along the 12,100-kilometer (7,500 mi) trek, which took nearly 29 years, Battuta came in contact with many new cultures, which he writes about in his diaries. One specific country that he passed through on his journey was the Golden Horde ruled by the descendants of Genghis Khan, located on the Volga River in southern Russia; which Battuta refers to as the river Athal. He then claims the Athal is, "one of the greatest rivers in the world". In the winter, the Khan stays in Astrakhan. Due to the cold water, Özbeg Khan ordered the people of Astrakhan to lay many bundles of hay down on the frozen river. He does this to allow the people to travel over the ice. When Battuta and the Khan spoke about Battuta visiting Constantinople, which the Khan granted him permission to do, the Khan then gifted Battuta with fifteen hundred dinars, many horses, and a dress of honor.

In 1556, the khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible, who had a new fortress, or kremlin, built on a steep hill overlooking the Volga in 1558. This year is traditionally considered to be the foundation of the modern city.

In 1569, during the Russo-Turkish War, Astrakhan was besieged by the Ottomans, who had to retreat in disarray. A year later, the Ottoman sultan renounced his claims to Astrakhan, thus opening the entire Volga River to Russian traffic. The Ottoman Empire, though militarily defeated, insisted on safe passage for Muslim pilgrims and traders from Central Asia as well as the destruction of the Russian fort on the Terek River. In the 17th century, the city was developed as a Russian gate to the Orient. Many merchants from Armenia, Safavid Persia, Mughal India, and Khivan Khanate settled in the town, giving it a cosmopolitan character.


Modern history For seventeen months in 1670–1671, Astrakhan was held by Stenka Razin and his Cossacks. Early in the following century, Peter the Great constructed a shipyard here and made Astrakhan the base for his hostilities against Persia, and later in the same century Catherine the Great accorded the city important industrial privileges.

The city rebelled against the Tsar once again in 1705, when it was held by the Cossacks under Kondraty Bulavin. A Kalmuck khan laid an abortive siege to the kremlin several years before that.

In 1711, it became the seat of a governorate, whose first governors included Artemy Petrovich Volynsky and Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev. Six years later, Astrakhan served as a base for the first Russian venture into Central Asia. In 1702, 1718 and 1767, it suffered severely from fires; in 1719 it was plundered by the Safavid Persians; and in 1830, cholera killed much of the populace.

Astrakhan's kremlin was built from the 1580s to the 1620s from bricks taken from the site of Sarai Berke. Its two impressive cathedrals were consecrated in 1700 and 1710, respectively. Built by masters from Yaroslavl, they retain many traditional features of Russian church architecture, while their exterior decoration is definitely baroque.

In March 1919 after a failed workers' revolt against Bolshevik rule, 3,000 to 5,000 people were executed in less than a week by the Cheka under orders from Sergey Kirov. Some victims had stones tied around their necks and were thrown into the Volga.

During Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the A-A line running from Astrakhan to Arkhangelsk was to be the eastern limit of German military operation and occupation. The plan was never carried out, as Germany captured neither the two cities nor Moscow. In the autumn of 1942, the region to the west of Astrakhan became one of the easternmost points in the Soviet Union reached by the invading German Wehrmacht, during Case Blue, the offensive which led to the Battle of Stalingrad. Light armored forces of German Army Group A made brief scouting missions as close as 35 km to Astrakhan before withdrawing. In the same period, elements of both the Luftwaffe's KG 4 and KG 100 bomber wings attacked Astrakhan, flying several air raids and bombing the city's oil terminals and harbor installations.

In 1943, Astrakhan was made the seat of a Soviet oblast within the RSFSR. The oblast was retained as a national province of the independent Russian Federation in the 1991 administrative reshuffle after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union.

In the present day, Astrakhan is a large industrial centre of the Volga country, Russia, with a population of 100,000. Starting nearly 400 years ago and continuing to the present day, Astrakhan has been Russia's main centre of fish processing. The market for fish is a large component of the economy in this city.

Owing to shared Caspian borders, Astrakhan recently has been playing a significant role in the relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. As the latter's government has been heavily investing into the wellbeing of the city, Astrakhan has recently begun to symbolize the friendship between both countries. In 2010 a bridge was constructed with donations from Azerbaijan, which was named "Bridge of Friendship". Moreover, Azerbaijani government sponsored secondary school number 11, which carries the name of the national leader Heydar Aliyev, as well as a children's entertainment centre named "Dream". Apart from that, a park has been built in the centre of Astrakhan which is dedicated to friendship between the two countries. In the last 5 years Astrakhan has been visited by top Azerbaijani delegations on several occasions.

After fraud was alleged in the mayoral election of 2012 and the United Russia candidate was declared the winner, organizers of the 2011–2012 Russian protests supported the defeated candidate, Oleg V. Shein of Just Russia, in a hunger strike. Protestors, buoyed by celebrities who support the reform movement, attracted 5,000 people to a rally on April 14.


Geography: Administrative status Astrakhan is the administrative centre of the oblast. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as the city of oblast significance of Astrakhan—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Astrakhan is incorporated as Astrakhan Urban Okrug.

The city of Astrakhan is further subdivided into four administrative districts: Kirovsky, Leninsky, Sovetsky and Truskovsky.


Education Astrakhan has five institutions of higher education. Most prominent among these are Astrakhan State Technical University and Astrakhan State University.


Astrakhan State Technical University Federal State Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education "Astrakhan State Technical University" is the legal successor of the Astrakhan Technical Institute of Fishing Industry and Economy, established in accordance with the Order of the People's Commissariat of Foreign and Domestic Trade of the USSR from May 9, 1930 № 695 "On fish schools, colleges, rybfakah and courses".

Order of the Russian Federation State Committee for Higher Education on June 3, 1994 № 547 "On the renaming of the Astrakhan Technical Institute of Fishing Industry and Economy" and the order of the Russian Federation of 08.07.1994 Goskorybolovstva, № 107 "On the renaming of the institutions of the Astrakhan and Kaliningrad, the fishing industry and the economy technical universities in the state, Astrakhan technical Institute of Fishing industry and economy renamed to Astrakhan State technical University.

Faculties • Institute of Economics • Institute of Information Technology and Communications • Mechanical Engineering Institute • Institute for Fisheries, Biology and Nature • Faculty of Law • Faculty of Civil Engineering • Faculty of vocational education • Branch Dmitrovsky • Institute of Distance Education • Institute for Advanced Professional Education • Institute for the Humanities • Institute of Oil and Gas • Institute of Marine Technology, Energy and Transport • Preparatory Faculty for Foreign Citizens • Volga-Caspian Sea Fishing College • Yeisk Sea Fishing College • Fishing Dmitrovsky College.


Astrakhan State University Astrakhan State University (formerly Astrakhan State Pedagogical University) is a university located in Astrakhan, Russian Federation. It was founded in 1932.

The traditional functions of Astrakhan State University include training specialists and fundamental researches; but ASU also works actively to export its educational services and to share new technologies with the industry and the business.

ASU in figures: • 6 Institutions; • 21 Departments; • 82 Chairs; • More than 40 research institutions, centres, and laboratories; • More than 100 specialties to train students; • 57 research specialties for PhD courses; • 11 thesis councils; • More than 16, 000 students (including more than 500 foreigners); • 600 postgraduate students (including 23 foreigners); • 10 university buildings for studies; • 6 comfortable hostels; • 37 computer centres with Internet access.

ASU actively develops its international links. Jointly with its partners from Finland, Italy, Japan, Germany, France, China, Iran, Egypt, United States, Uzbekistan, and from other countries, Astrakhan State University carries out the following programs: short-term language courses, student exchanges, joint research and innovative projects, joint courses for students, international conferences.

ASU successfully realizes its agreements on “double diplomas” signed with Université de Sophia Antipolis (France) and with Clark University (Worcester, Massachusetts, USA). The agreements concern joint Masters’ programs.

ASU has been chosen by Harvard University (USA) as a pilot site in Russia to organize an educational program in international competitiveness.

The two-year experience gained by ASU's Russian Language Summer School for American students has made it possible for the parties to sign a cooperation agreement till 2012.

ASU has become one of 16 basic Russian Universities to form the University of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

A UNESCO Chair operates at ASU; this Chair contributes to setting a systematic international cooperation and to enhancing international relations between universities and other organizations.

ASU's students can study the main European (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) and Eastern (Persian, Turkish, Arabian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.) languages.


Transport The city is served by Narimanovo Airport named after Soviet Azerbaijani politician Nariman Narimanov. It is managed by OAO Aeroport Astrakhan. After its reconstruction and the building of the international sector, opened in February 2011, Narimanovo Airport is one of the most modern regional airports in Russia. There are direct flights between Astrakhan and Aktau, Istanbul, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

There is also an military airbase nearby (Astrakhan (air base)).

Astrakhan is linked by rail to the north (Volgograd and Moscow), the east (Atyrau and Kazakhstan) and the south (Makhachkala and Baku). There are direct trains to Moscow, Volgograd, Saint Petersburg, Baku, Kyiv, Brest and other towns. Intercity and international buses are available as well. Public local transport is mainly provided by buses and minibuses called marshrutkas. Until 2007 there were also trams, and until 2017 trolleybuses.

Astrakhan Time 
Astrakhan Time
Image: Alexxx1979

Astrakhan has a population of over 475,629 people. Astrakhan also forms the centre of the wider Astrakhan Oblast which has a population of over 1,010,073 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Astrakhan see: Twitter:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Astrakhan has links with:

🇮🇳 Ahmadabad, India 🇮🇳 Ahmedabad, India 🇰🇿 Atyrau, Kazakhstan 🇧🇾 Brest, Belarus 🇨🇳 Dandong, China 🇺🇸 Fort Lauderdale, USA 🇧🇯 Grand-Popo, Benin 🇰🇷 Gwangyang, South Korea 🇵🇰 Islamabad, Pakistan 🇷🇺 Kazan, Russia 🇸🇮 Ljubljana, Slovenia 🇺🇸 Pembroke Pines, USA 🇮🇷 Rasht, Iran 🇮🇷 Sari, Iran
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Astrakhan is: -131.966,-46.349

Locations Near: Astrakhan 48.0339,46.3493

🇫🇷 Aubervilliers 48.917,48.917 d: 293  

🇷🇺 Kizlyar 46.717,43.85 d: 296.5  

🇷🇺 Makhachkala 47.472,42.982 d: 377  

🇷🇺 Khasavyurt 46.582,43.253 d: 362.8  

🇷🇺 Kaspiysk 47.623,42.887 d: 386.4  

🇷🇺 Elista 44.269,46.309 d: 289.1  

🇷🇺 Grozny 45.708,43.336 d: 382  

🇰🇿 Atyrau 51.915,47.118 d: 307.8  

🇷🇺 Volzhsky 44.738,48.805 d: 368.2  

🇰🇿 Aktau 51.15,43.65 d: 387.4  

Antipodal to: Astrakhan -131.966,-46.349

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 16425.1  

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 15219.7  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 14950  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 14841.2  

🇨🇱 Valdivia -73.233,-39.8 d: 15300  

🇨🇱 Osorno -73.133,-40.567 d: 15333.3  

🇨🇱 Port Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 15365.2  

🇨🇱 Puerto Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 15365.2  

🇨🇱 Coronel -73.217,-37.017 d: 15142.7  

🇨🇱 San Pedro de la Paz -73.1,-36.833 d: 15123.2  

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