Despite the fact that Balakovo is rightfully considered the energy center of the Saratov region, it still attracts guests with its sights and interesting places. The city is located on the banks of the greatest Russian river Volga. The area around me amazes with its beauty and picturesque landscapes. In Balakovo, you can spend hours wandering through the streets, admiring the amazing architectural buildings, breathing fresh air and enjoying a quiet pastime.
Saratov hydroelectric power plant is the seventh stage of the Volga-Kama cascade of hydroelectric power plants on the Volga River. Its construction began in 1956, and in 1967 the power plant was put into operation. The Saratov HPP is characterized by a non-standard design. It does not have a catchment dam, it has the longest engine room in Russia with a collapsible roof. The length of the dam is 1108 meters, which makes it the longest in Europe. The maximum height reaches only 40 meters. 24 hydroelectric units have been installed at the HPP, such a number is no longer at any hydroelectric power plant in the country. Large gantry cranes move over the station on the rails. To replace the unit, the desired section of the roof is disassembled and multi-ton equipment is obtained with the help of a crane. In addition to the fact that the Saratov HPP generates electricity, it provides large-capacity shipping, water supply and irrigates arid lands.
Simultaneously with the construction of the hydroelectric power plant, locks were built. Over time, a navigable embankment stretched from them up to the building of the Drama Theater. Walking along the promenade, guests can admire the passing ships from a height, which creates stunning landscapes for memorable photos.
Today, a museum operates in the administrative building of the hydroelectric power plant. Admission is free. But the HPP itself is a protected object and to get to its territory you need to issue permits.
Official site: http://www.sarges.rushydro.ru/
Address: 10, Zaovrazhnaya str., Balakovo
House-Museum of V.I. Chapaeva
The city of Balakovo is considered the small homeland of Vasily Chapaev. It is here that the parental house is located, in which the commander lived for 10 years. The house itself is a small wooden hut. Carved shutters and platbands on the windows give it special significance. The building still retains things that belonged to the Chapaev family. Before the outbreak of the Civil War, the future commander worked as a carpenter. In the room, guests of the museum can see the buffet, which was made by Vasily Ivanovich himself.
With a house in Balakovo at V.I. Chapaev is associated with many life events. It was here that the family life of the Soviet hero began with his wife, who bore him a daughter and two sons. From here Chapaev went to the front. After the death of the commander, his daughter lived in the house. And in 1948 a museum was organized here.
Official site: http://www.museum.ru/M912
Address: Chapaev, 112, Balakovo, Saratov region
Manor of the Maltsevs
This is one of the most important architectural sights of the city of Balakovo. In 1886, P.M. Maltsev bought a manor in the city, which was located at the intersection of two main streets – Nikolaevskaya and Novouzenskaya. It was built according to the project of architect F.I. Shuster. The estate consisted of the main house, stables, house for yards, laundry, carriage. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the estate was decorated with artistic elements of F.A. Shekhtel. Griffins, amphorae, coat of arms, lilies, angels, wreaths of laurel, shepherds with pipes appeared on the buildings, which gave the estate a completely new luxurious look.
An important element of the architecture is the Greek amphora with flame, which spoke of the love of the owner for a beautiful foreigner. According to one of the legends, the estate was built for the beloved Paisy Maltsev. However, the girl still refused her fan, and the built palace with a lilac garden remained without permanent owners.
You can visit the Maltsev estate from 9:00 to 18:00, from Tuesday to Saturday.
Address: Kommunisticheskaya, 75, Balakovo, Saratov region
The building of the trading house “A.A.Schmidt and son”
Another interesting architectural monument is the Schmidt House, located in the old part of the city. Its construction dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century. It was built as a trading house of the Russian German A.A. Schmidt, who was one of the largest merchants of the Saratov and Samara provinces. In many towns and villages, Schmidt had shopping arcades. Among the goods were agricultural implements, manufactory, guns and haberdashery.
The eastern and northern façade of the building is made in the Art Nouveau style. They are connected to each other by a semicircular risalit. And the completion of this whole structure gives a scaly dome of hemispherical shape. The building is decorated with figured balconies, high reliefs. At one time, the trading house housed a pedagogical school, a school of two stages, a secondary school. Now it houses an auxiliary boarding school.
Address: corner of streets 20 years of the Komsomol and Chernyshevsky, Balakovo, Saratov region.
The commercial school was the first secondary educational institution in the city of Balakovo. Its construction took place in the early twentieth century, and in 1912 the lighting of the building took place. The costs of building the school were borne by Ivan Kobzar, who even had to sell his land for these purposes.
The educational institution was designed for 120 people. It could be taught boys and girls from the age of 10, while having primary education. Gifted children from poor families studied for free. In the postwar years, for a long time in the building of the school was the River Vocational School No. 6 named after N. V. Gribanov. Now guests of the city can admire the historical structure at any convenient time.
Address: Lenin, 2, Balakovo, Saratov region
Holy Trinity Church in Balakovo
The main temple of the city differs from other religious buildings of Russia by unusual architecture in the Art Nouveau style. If you look from the outside, it may seem that a medieval castle with strict walls and the highest tower appears before your eyes. Above the main entrance of the Holy Trinity Church is an icon of the Old Testament Trinity.
The first ideas for the construction of the temple appeared in 1905 after Nicholas II issued a decree on the basis of which the Old Believers could have their own stone churches. The temple was built in 1913. The architect Schechtel worked on the project, who recognized the church as his best work. Funds for the construction of the temple were donated by the Maltsevs.
In the 30s of the twentieth century, the church building passed to the new authorities. It was looted, the layout was partially swept away, mosaic frescoes and the iconostasis were destroyed. All luxury and wealth have gone into oblivion. In Soviet times, dance evenings and theatrical performances were held in the church building. Only in 1989 the temple again passed into the hands of believers, and now it has resumed worship.
Address: Naberezhnaya str., 1B, Microdistrict Old Town, Balakovo
Church of the Nativity
This is one of the newest buildings in the city. The history of the Church of the Nativity of Christ began in 2003. Initially, there was a small chapel of the Epiphany of the Lord. After the main temple was built nearby, the chapel was used for baptismal rites.
The non-standard facade of the temple building consists of three different convex parts. To the right of the building is a bell tower. Gilded domes are perfectly combined with the roof of dark green color. The territory of the temple is well-groomed and landscaped. To all extensions there are illuminated asphalted paths, ennobled flower beds. In 2016, the official ceremony of lighting the temple took place, and today its doors are open to all comers.
Address: 23, Geroev Avenue, Balakovo
Balakovo Nuclear Power Plant
Balakovo NPP is the largest source of electricity in Russia. Every year it produces 1/5 of the energy of all nuclear power plants of the state. It is located on the left bank of the Saratov reservoir, about 10 km from Balakovo. The first power unit was put into operation in 1985, now the station consists of 4 reactors. The company employs more than 3300 people, 60% of whom have higher education.
Today, upon prior request, excursions to the information center of the Balakovo NPP can be organized for groups. The hall presents unique exhibits, operating equipment, information stands. During the tour, they talk about the technological process of electricity production at nuclear power plants, demonstrate presentations and documentaries about the station. Excursions are held from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:30.
Official site: balnpp.rosenergoatom.ru
Address of the information center of Balakovo NPP: Saratov region, Balakovo, Naberezhnaya Leonova str., 67B
Waterfalls on the Big Irgiz River
This place is sure to appeal to lovers of outdoor activities and connoisseurs of beautiful nature. Irgiz waterfalls are artificial. They were formed during the construction of an overflow dam on the Big Irgiz River. During the construction work, the Sulak reservoir was created. The width of the dam is only 90 meters, and the height difference on the steps-waterfalls reaches 9 meters. The reservoir and dam were built under the guidance of civil engineer Vasily Alexandrovich Lifanov.
The waterfalls are located on the border of Balakovo and Krasnopartizansky districts. It is most convenient to get here by car. In summer, you can swim here, and the steps of the dam will give a free hydromassage session.
Often fishing enthusiasts come to the reservoir. Here are caught walleye, yaz, crucian carp, chub. You can even come to the waterfalls with a tent for the night. But it is better to do it early to take the most successful place, since there are always more than enough people who want to camp in these parts.
Interesting fact! The Big Irgiz River, on which the waterfalls are located, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most winding river in Europe. The total length of the river is 675 kilometers, and the distance between the mouth and the flow is less than 250 km. On the Big Irgiz there are more than 500 large bends-turns.
Desert Island is one of the most favorite places for guests and residents of the city of Balakovo. Despite the fact that it is located a few kilometers from the village, administratively the island is part of the neighboring Volsky district.
The area of the island is about the same as the city of Balakovo, and the most interesting thing is that almost all its shores are suitable for swimming. The coastline is covered with fine sand, which is sure to appeal to both adults and children. You can get to the island only by boat, so there is never a large crowd of people. And in the late afternoon the beaches are empty, and on the shore there are only those who came here with tents. Some stay here for weeks, going to the city only to replenish food and water supplies. It is better to visit the island in the warm season, so that you can fully enjoy water procedures, soak up the sun and take bright photos against the background of sunsets and sunrises. The entire territory of the Desert is available for walking.
In the city of Balakovo, as well as in its vicinity, a large number of interesting places that are sure to appeal to tourists of different ages. Amazing architectural buildings, religious buildings, museums are concentrated here. And thanks to the richest natural potential, there are conditions for active pastime.