Samara was a nice surprise I got to experience, while traveling for work to Russia. Here is what to see in Samara 😊 Of course, walking and photographing always go hand in hand 😉
Being on a business trip, the schedule did not allow me to see much of the beauty of Samara. I missed a few important spots, such as Stalin’s bunker, but I got to see some others, such as the Monument of Glory.
Overlooking the Volga river, the monument depicts a man with wings over his head and it is dedicated to the Kuybyshev workers of aircraft industry, who were working hard during and following World War II. The square in which it is located, Slavy Square, is a meeting point for locals and travelers alike, where kids play around the water fountains.
One other Orthodox attraction in Samara is the Iversky Women’s Monastery. Nuns live and work here, taking care of the monastery grounds and praying. As a woman, you are only allowed to enter the church with your head covered. Despite not being a fan of these type of rules, I still wanted to respect the traditions of the host country I was visiting, so I borrowed a scarf from one of the nuns (apparently sign language works fine in any circumstance 😊). Also, you are not allowed to take photos during the service, which makes sense! The interior was rather astonishing to tell you the truth, with a lot of gold decoration, apart from the already traditional wall paintings of saints and religious scene.
The grounds of the monastery are pretty big, considering it is located in the city, not on its outskirts. The green of the plants and trees, against the red of the brick constructions really gave an incredible sight.
Among all the Orthodox churches, whose domes you can see around the city, the Roman Catholics have built a spectacular church, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Built in a neo-Gothic architectural style, the church was, for a long time, the tallest building in the city, due to its two towers. Throughout its history, the church withstood many acts of vandalism, being shut down by the Communists. It was given back to the Roman Catholic church, for worship, in 1991.
One other attraction point in Samara is Leningradskaya Ulitsa, a pedestrian-only street, where you can admire the beautiful 19th century houses that used to be occupied by the merchants who sold various stuff in the nearby market. Even nowadays, the street is filled with shops, restaurants and street performs are a common sight.
Samara’s architecture is rather eclectic. On one street, you see gorgeous 18th and 19th century houses, made from red brick stone or embellished with various Western decorations…
…and on the other you have rude, simple, collective apartment buildings.
For good measure, you can also throw in some Art Nouveau, 20th century buildings and you have an interesting mix.
Some of the older buildings are either in ruins or poorly maintained, but I still think they keep their charm, either way. And since I have a thing for doors and windows, I took a lot of photos of those 😛