Encyclopedia > Volga River

  Article Content

Volga River

Volga river, the largest river system in Europe, has its source is in the Valdia Hills 225 m (740 ft) above sea level northwest of Moscow and about 320 kilometres southeast of St. Petersburg. heads east past Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan. From there it turns south, flows past Samara and Volgograd, and discharges into the Caspian Sea below Astrakhan where it is 28 metres below sea level. It has a drainage area in excess of 1.3 million km². The Volga River is the longest river in Europe. It flows 3,530 kilometres through western Russia. The Volga Delta is about 160 kilometres long and includes as many as 500 channels and smaller rivers.

The Volga has many tributaries. The most important tributaries are the Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, and the Sura rivers. The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system. The system drains an area of about 1,350,000 square kilometres in the most heavily populated part of Russia.

The Volga is frozen for most of its length during three months of each year. Canals link it with the Baltic Sea, the White Sea, and the Black Sea via the Sea of Azov.

The fertile river valley is a great wheat-growing region. Sexo It is also rich in minerals. The valley is the centre of a large petroleum industry. Other minerals include natural gas, salt, and potash. The Volga Delta and the nearby Caspian Sea are superb fishing grounds. Astrakhan, at the delta, is the centre of the caviar industry.

Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and Nizhniy Novgorod (formerly Gorki) are important manufacturing cities on the banks of the Volga. Saratov, Kazan, and Samara (formerly Kuybyshev) are other important cities on the river. Nine major hydroelectric power stations and several large artificial lakes formed by dams lie along the Volga. The largest of the lakes are, from north to south, the Rybinsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Samara, and Volgograd reservoirs.

The ancient scholar Ptolemy of Alexandria mentioned the Volga in his Geography. The river basin was important in the great movements of people from Asia to Europe. A powerful Bulgarian empire once flourished where the Kama River joins the Volga. Volgograd was the scene of the Battle of Stalingrad, the major victory of the Soviet Union over Germany in World War II (1939-1945). The Russian people's deep feeling for the Volga has often been told in their songs and literature.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... dos Deputados (http://www.camara.gov.br) - Official Chamber of Deputies site (in Portuguese) Senado Federal (http://www.senado.gov.br) - Official senatorial site (in ...

This page was created in 37.7 ms