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Michael & Alexandra Naisbitt
Rivers Lakes & Locks
For most, the word Volga is as synonymous with the geography of Russia as the words Siberia or St. Petersburg. Its banks are scattered with ancient towns, fortresses, monasteries and villages and unique wildlife, while its waters have been fished by generations of fishermen and sailed by countless leaders. The great ‘Mother Volga’ holds a unique place in Russia’s past, present and future.
Through a system of canals, reservoirs and waterways, the Volga is linked to Russia’s largest cities Moscow and St. Petersburg and no less than four seas, in an engineering feat that still remains one of the most ambitious in history. The construction of this grand Soviet scheme to control nature came at the cost of many lives, whilst hundreds of old towns were flooded to make way for shipping channels. Today many old bell towers and church domes can still be seen rising eerily from the free flowing waters, whilst huge locks topped with Soviet memorials remain a testament to Russia’s more recent history.