|- City -|
Location of Saratov Oblast in Russia
|Administrative status (as of 2011)|
|Federal subject||Saratov Oblast|
|Administratively subordinated to||Saratov City Under Oblast Jurisdiction|
|Administrative center of||Saratov Oblast, Saratovsky District, Saratov City Under Oblast Jurisdiction|
|Municipal status (as of December 2004)|
|Urban okrug||Saratov Urban Okrug|
|Administrative center of||Saratov Urban Okrug, Saratovsky Municipal District|
|Head of Administration||Alexey Prokopenko|
|Representative body||City Duma|
|Population (2010 Census)||837,900 inhabitants|
|- Rank in 2010||16th|
|Time zone||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
|Postal code(s)||410000|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 8452|
Saratov (Russian: Саратов; IPA: [sɐˈratəf] ( listen)) is a city and the administrative center of Saratov Oblast, Russia, and a major port on the Volga River. Population: 837,900 (2010 Census); 873,055 (2002 Census); 904,643 (1989 Census).
It traces its history to the reign of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, who constructed several settlements along the Volga River in order to secure the southeastern boundary of his state. During the summer of 1586, the fortress of Samara was founded, followed by Tsaritsyn in 1589 and finally Saratov, located midway between Samara and Tsaritsyn, in 1590.
Saratov was built at the insistence of count Grigory Zasekin. All three forts were located in a region where the Volga and the Don flow nearest one another, which allowed the Duchy of Moscovy to secure both rivers and to ensure control over the recently annexed khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan in the years following the Livonian War.
The future town's buildings were first constructed in the upper reaches of the Volga, a full year prior to the in situ foundation of Saratov. In the spring of 1590, workers disassembled the constructions, marked each log, and delivered the "town" to its destination via the river. This method allowed the buildings to be rapidly erected in just a few weeks.
The name Saratov may derive from the Turkic words Saryk Atov, which mean "hawks' island". Another version of the name origin is Sary Tau (Сары Тау), meaning "yellow mountain" in the Tatar language.
By the 1800s, Saratov had grown to be an important shipping port on the Volga. The Ryazan-Ural Railroad reached Saratov in 1870. In 1896 (26 years later), 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 parts of the railroad for 39 years, before the construction of a railway bridge in 1935.
Until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, Saratov was designated a "closed city", that is, strictly off limits to all foreigners due to its military importance. This was due to the presence of a vital military aircraft manufacturing facility in the city.
German community 
Saratov is an important city in the history of the Volga Germans. Until 1941, the town of Pokrovsk, today 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. The Russian Tsars had invited German immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries to encourage agricultural development in the area.
The Volga German community came to include industrialists, scientists, musicians and architects, including those who built Saratov's universities and conservatories. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, the government forcibly expelled more than half of all Volga Germans to Uzbekistan, Siberia and Kazakhstan; few ever returned to the Volga region, even after rehabilitation. Others were expelled to western Europe after the end of the war.
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. Klementy Cathedral (seat of the historic Diocese of Tiraspol) on Nemetskaya Street the most notable. The building was converted into the children's cinema "Pioneer" during the Soviet period.
Administrative and municipal status 
Saratov is the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Saratovsky District, even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Saratov City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Samara City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Saratov Urban Okrug.
Saratov has 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.
Snow and ice are dominant during the winter season. Saratov receives about 92 centimeters (36 in) of snowfall annually. Days well above freezing and nights below −25 °C (−13 °F) both occur in the winter.
|Climate data for Saratov|
|Record high °C (°F)||8.1
|Average high °C (°F)||−4.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−7.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−10.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−37.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||41
|Avg. rainy days||6||5||7||12||14||15||14||12||13||14||12||8||132|
|Avg. snowy days||23||20||14||3||1||0||0||0||0||3||14||22||100|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||55.8||81.2||139.5||219.0||279.0||309.0||319.3||272.8||153.0||114.7||60.0||49.6||2,052.9|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory |
Economy and infrastructure 
Saratov Oblast is highly industrialized, due in part to the rich 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.
Saratov is served by the Saratov Tsentralny Airport, and also hosts the general aviation airfield Saratov West. The aerospace manufacturing industry is served by the Saratov South airport. Nearby Engels Air Force Base is the main base for Russian strategic Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers.
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 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 Radischev Art Museum, named for Alexander Radishchev. It contains more than 20,000 exhibits, including ancient Russian icons, as well as works by some of the finest Russian painters (e.g. Aleksandra Ekster, Pavel Kuznetsov, Aristarkh Lentulov, Robert Falk, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Martiros Saryan, Fyodor Rokotov).
Several sports clubs are active in the city:
|Kristall Saratov||Ice Hockey||1955||Higher Hockey League||2nd||Kirstall Sports Palace|
|Sokol Saratov||Football||2005||Russian Second Division||3rd||Lokomotiv Stadium|
|Avtodor Saratov||Basketball||1960||Basketball Super League||2nd||FOK Zvezndy|
|Universal Saratov||Bandy||1953||Bandy Supreme League||2nd||Dynamo Stadium|
Twin cities 
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Dallas, Texas, United States
- Dobrich, Bulgaria
- Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
- Shaoyang, Hunan, China
- Łódź, Poland
- Marseille, France
- Tours, France
- Bristol, United Kingdom (active in the early 1950s)
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Notable people 
- Roman Abramovich, businessman
- Boris Andreyev, actor
- Oleg Antonov, aircraft designer
- Boris Babochkin, actor, director
- Rachel Bluwstein, poet
- Alexey Bogolyubov, painter
- Viktor Borisov-Musatov, painter
- Mikhail Bulgakov, writer
- Nikolay Chernyshevsky, philosopher
- Gavrila Derzhavin, poet
- Konstantin Fedin, writer
- Anastasia Karpova, pop singer
- Lev Kassil, writer
- Kombinaciya, pop band
- Pavel Kuznetsov, painter
- Eduard Limonov, writer and politician
- Igor Lysyj, chess Grandmaster
- Konstantin Paustovsky, writer
- Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, painter
- Natalia Pogonina, chess player
- Jean-Victor Poncelet, geometrician
- Alexander Radishchev, writer
- Evgeny Romanov, chess Grandmaster
- Lidiya Ruslanova, Russian folk singer
- Alfred Schnittke, composer
- Sweeney Schriner, ice hockey player
- Nikolay Semyonov, Nobel Prize-winning chemist
- Fyodor Shekhtel, architect
- Leonid Sobinov, composer
- Pyotr Stolypin, statesman
- Oleg Tabakov, actor
- Evgeny Tomashevsky, chess Grandmaster and former World number 15
- Valeriya, pop singer
- Nikolai Vavilov, biologist and geneticist, died in a Saratov jail
- Mikhail Vrubel, painter
- Herwarth Walden, artist, died as a political prisoner in Saratov
- Oleg Yankovsky, actor
- Nikolay Zinin, chemist
- Charter of Saratov Oblast
- 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 №193/2012 от 1 января 2013 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 . Code 63 243, as amended by the Amendment #193/2012 of January 1, 2013. ).
- Law #79-ZSO
- Law #78-ZSO
- Official website of Saratov. Alexey Lvovich Prokopenko, Head of Administration (Russian)
- "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. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров." [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989) (in Russian). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Тамбовско-Саратовская линия (in Russian)
- «Волжская рокада». Линия Иловля - Саратов - Сызрань - Ульяновск - Свияжск (in Russian)
- 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 №193/2012 от 1 января 2013 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 . Code 63 401, as amended by the Amendment #193/2012 of January 1, 2013. ).
- "Pogoda.ru.net" (in Russian). Retrieved September 8, 2007.
- Climatological Norms of Saratov . Retrieved on: August 24, 2011.
- Саратовская областная Дума. Закон №46-ЗСО от 2 июня 2005 г. «Устав (Основной Закон) Саратовской области», в ред. Закона №34-ЗСО от 25 марта 2013 г. «О внесении изменений в статьи 34 и 35 Устава (Основного Закона) Саратовской области». Вступил в силу после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Неделя области", Спецвыпуск, №38 (156), 4 июня 2005 г. (Saratov Oblast Duma. Law #46-ZSO of June 2, 2005 Charter (Basic Law) of Saratov Oblast, as amended by the Law #34-ZSO of March 25, 2013 On Amending Articles 34 and 35 of the Charter (Basic Law) of Saratov Oblast. Effective as of after the official publication.).
- Саратовская областная Дума. Закон №79-ЗСО от 23 декабря 2004 г «О городских округах». Вступил в силу с 1 января 2005 г. Опубликован: "Саратов — столица Поволжья", №264 (1215), 24 декабря 2004 г. (Saratov Oblast Duma. Law #79-ZSO of December 23, 2004 On the Urban Okrugs. Effective as of January 1, 2005.).
- Саратовская областная Дума. Закон №78-ЗСО от 23 декабря 2004 г «О муниципальных районах». Вступил в силу с 1 января 2005 г. Опубликован: "Саратов — столица Поволжья", №267–268 (1218–1219), 29 декабря 2004 г. (Saratov Oblast Duma. Law #78-ZSO of December 23, 2004 On the Municipal Districts. Effective as of January 1, 2005.).
- Official website of Saratov (Russian)
- Old photos of Saratov
- Radischev Art Gallery
- Catalog of the Radishchev Gallery
- Cultural guide to Saratov
- Saratov city streets views