Volga River Facts

Volga River Facts
The Volga River is located in Russia and is Europe's longest river. It is also the largest river in Europe in terms of discharge and in terms of size of its watershed at 532,821 square miles. The Volga River flows 2,294 miles from the Valdai Hills through central Russia and eventually discharges into the Caspian Sea. The Volga River has been used for transportation through Russia for centuries and its watershed has been home to many cultures dating back to the Proto-Indo-European civilization. The Volga River is an important waterway in Russia today, carrying approximately 50% of its river freight and providing a source for hydro-electric power.
Interesting Volga River Facts:
The word 'Volga' is derived from a Slavic word meaning 'moisture, wetness'.
The Volga River's watershed (area of land drained by the river) is 532,821 square miles in size, and includes most of Western Russia.
The Volga River's major tributaries are Kama River and Oka River. There are approximately 200 other tributaries that join the Volga River along its route.
Major cities that the Volga River passes through include Astrakhan, Volgograd, Saratov, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavi, and Tver.
There have been many large reservoirs built along the Volga River, providing a source for hydro-electricity and for irrigation of crops.
The reservoirs built during the Soviet era include the Ivankovo Reservoir, the Uglich Reservoir, the Rybinsk Reservoir, the Gorky Reservoir, the Cheboksary Reservoir, the Kuybyshev Reservoir, the Saratov Reservoir, and the Volgograd Reservoir.
The Volga River has 10 dams along its route.
The suspension bridge crossing the Volga River in Tver was built between 1897 and 1900. It was damaged during the war and was repaired in 1947. In 1980 it was rebuilt.
The Volga River has been damaged due to the high levels of pollutants discharged into the water, including chemicals from industry. It is estimated that 10 billion cubic yards of waste are dumped into the Volga River each year by the thousands of factories located on its banks.
The Volga River is deep and so wide in some areas that you can't see across the river in certain locations. It freezes for approximately three months in the winter each year.
The Volga River is home to many large sturgeon fish, which are harvested for their caviar (fish eggs). Caviar is a Russian delicacy.
The Volga River at Volgograd was the site of one of World War II's deadliest battles, called the Battle of Stalingrad.
The Volga River is divided geographically into three parts including the Lower Volga, the Middle Volga, and the Upper Volga.
Because the Volga River does not fall much from its source to its mouth, it flows more slowly than many rivers of its length. It is estimated that 60% of the Volga River's drainage comes from melting snow.
The many reservoirs along the Volga River help to control flooding.
The Volga River is an important river symbolically to the Russian people. It is referred to as Mother Volga and is featured in Russian folklore, songs and stories.

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