A walk along Marshal Chuikov Street

An integral part of the old Tsaritsyn Fortress, the residence of Peter the Great, and the foremost line of defense of the 62nd Army during the battle for the Volga. This can all be found on Marshal Chuikov Street, the favorite place for Volgograd residents to take a stroll.

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On the central avenue of Victory Park, not far from Saint John the Baptist Church, is the Cossack Glory Monument. The idea for creating the monument came from local Cossacks.

Cossacks emerged on the territory of the Volgograd Region via the Don River in the middle of the 16th century. By the middle of the 18th century the Don Cossacks fully formed as a social class with separate settlements of Cossacks also appearing on the Volga River. The Cossacks became a major part of the population on the territory of the modern Volgograd Region and remain so to this day.

The design competition was won by Vladimir Seryakov, whose sculpture managed to capture Cossack good doers in bronze. The unveiling of the monument took place on November 4, 2010, when both National Unity Day and the Feast of Our Lady of Kazan were celebrated.

The sculpture contains two figures – a Cossack man on a horse setting out on a military campaign and a Cossack woman blessing her husband with the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. The monument pays interesting attention to detail with costumes and weapons from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century and displays precise emotions on the faces of the Cossacks.

At the intersection of Ulitsa Marshala Chuikova (Marshala Chuikova Street) and Ulitsa Volodarskogo (Volodarskogo Street) is a bust of Peter the Great. The first Russian emperor visited Tsaritsyn three times. On June 7, 1695 the 20,000th Army, sent on the first Azov campaign, came to Tsaritsyn under the command of Peter the Great along the Volga on 250 ships. The tsar spent three days here, preparing troops for a walking transfer to the Don. The next time was on June 28, 1722, when Peter was with a caravan of ships that passed through Tsaritsyn on its way to a campaign against Persia. On December 20, 1722 Peter visited Tsaritsyn for the third time while returning from successful military engagements on the Caspian Sea. He spent eight days here while waiting for transportation. The Russian emperor stayed at the commandant's house on Spasskaya Ulitsa (today called Ulitsa Volodarskogo). He continued a lot of work in Tsaritsyn, signing decrees, visiting the Trinity Church, and speaking with local residents. Legend has it that he gave locals his cane and said, "Defend against your enemies with it as I govern my friends with it." In response to questions from people who had relocated from Azov to Tsaritsyn Peter is said to have taken the cap off of his head and given it to a man from Azov with the words, "Just as no one dares remove this cap from my head, no one will dare take you away from Tsaritsyn." The cane and cap are currently kept in the Volgograd Region Natural History Museum.

The Peter the Great Monument is located in a historical place within the Tsaritsyn Fortress. It is here that the emperor stayed at the commandant's house. Nearby is the Trinity Church and not far from here a 60-kilometre (37-mile) long watch guard was built on order from Peter the Great. The monument was created by sculptors Alexandra Yeremenko and Pyotr Ostapenko and architect Valentina Kalinichenko.

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At the intersection of Naberezhnaya Shestdesyat Vtoroy Armii (Shestdesyat Vtoroy Armii Embankment) and Ulitsa Krasnozamenskaya (Krasnozamenskaya Street) stands a picturesque building. It is the Mayak restaurant, a monument of Soviet architecture from Stalingrad's postwar recovery period. The building was constructed in 1955 by the city's building trust and designed by architect Yefim Levitan.

In the 1980s the restaurant was renovated with the help of Uzbek restorers and was given a new name – Tashkent. After some time the name Mayak was brought back.

The monumental building with elements of classical style fits well with the architectural concept of Volgograd's embankment and serves as its artistic base. The Mayak building has a centric form and its stories are comprised of three drums with the diametres of 35, 18 and 13 metres (115, 59 and 43 feet). The construction is crowned with a pointed metal spire topped with a weather vane shaped like a sail boat, giving the structure a romantic edge. On the first story there is an outdoor terrace with tables. Vertical windows are decorated with stained glass. The column caps, trimmed with three horizontal stripes, are decorated with stucco.

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This sculpture, dedicated to Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom, has been installed in different cities throughout Russia as part of the national program called "In the Sphere of the Family."

Saints Peter and Fevronia lived a long and hard but pious life. They took monastic vows under the names of David and Euphrosyne and died on the same day and hour on July 8 (Old Style, June 25), 1228. Symbols of love and marital fidelity, Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom are heavenly protectors of the family and defenders of family values.

In Volgograd the Blessing sculpture was unveiled on July 8, 2012 and two celebrations were held – Saints Peter and Fevronia Day and the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity, which is dedicated to them. The monument is located near Saint John the Baptist Church. Metropolitan German of Volgograd and Kamyshin participated in the creation of bronze sculptures of the saints which are about three metres (10 feet) high. Peter and Fevronia hold two doves in their hands, a symbol of purity, fidelity, and love. Next to the statues on red granite are eight commandments from the New Testament which must be followed for the sake of creating and preserving strong families. The monument was created by sculptor Konstantin Chernyavsky.

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The Statue of Vasily Chuikov, Marshal of the Soviet Union and two-time Hero of the Soviet Union, is located on the street named in his honor, not far from the Battle of Stalingrad Museum. This location was not a random choice. During the Battle of Stalingrad the 62nd Army defended the embankment and central part of the city under the command of Lieutenant General Chuikov. The 62nd Army's line of defense was positioned along what is now Ulitsa Marshala Chuikova (Marshala Chuikova Street). There was particularly fierce fighting for access to the Volga here. Lieutenant General Chuikov was ordered to command the front and to defend Stalingrad at all costs. High hopes were vested in Chuikov. The decisive and determined lieutenant general with an extraordinary operative outlook and high sense of responsibility carried out the orders bestowed upon him.

It was here in Stalingrad that Lieutenant General Chuikov introduced close-in fighting tactics. His name is associated with the emergence of special storm assault groups that conduct attacks unpredictable to the opponent. This lead to Vasily Chuikov being known as "General Storm". He used this experience during the capture of Berlin.

After the war Chuikov became the chief military advisor in the construction of the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad memorial on Mamayev Kurgan. He was interned at Ploschad Skorbi (Skorbi Square) on Mamayev Kurgan.

The statue of Marshal Chuikov is the work of his son, sculptor Alexander Chuikov. It was unveiled on May 7, 1990 on the eve of the 45th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The monolithic commander faces the Volga, beyond which there was no land for his soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad. Around the statue are several rows of bricks that symbolize the urban combat assault group of the 62nd Army along with several of his memoirs, "There is a city in vast Russia that has my heart. It has entered history as Stalingrad."

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The statue of Viktor Kholzunov, Hero of the Soviet Union (1937), bomber pilot, and native of Tsaritsyn, is located on the embankment opposite the River Terminal and not far from Saint John the Baptist Church. In the 1930s Kholzunov served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War. He commanded the bomber aviation brigade from May 1937, and the Air Force from November 1937. When the hostilities ended, the legendary pilot returned to the USSR where he took command over test pilots. He died on July 28, 1939 during a test flight.

The bronze monument was erected in 1940, a year after the pilot's death, and was created by Mikhail Balashov and Yekaterina Alekseyeva-Belashova.

A year later, in 1941, the Great Patriotic War began. Fierce battles took place on the embankment of the Volga during the Battle of Stalingrad. Even though the statue was thrown from its pedestal in an explosion it was left practically unaffected. After the war, the monument was restored and returned to its original place.

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Today a branch of the Federal Statistics Service for the Volga Region is located at house No. 1 on Volodarskaya Ulitsa (Volodarskaya Street). But just a little over 100 years ago the building was home to the Mariinskaya Girls' Gymnasium. In 1877 the women's progymnasium began operating on Ulitsa Petrovskaya (today known as Ulitsa Marshala Chuikova (Marshala Chuikova Street)), in this building, which was owned by merchant Alexander Repnikov. In 1883 the Ministry of Education approved it to be transformed into a gymnasium, thus becoming the first women's gymnasium in Tsaritsyn.

The school was named Mariinskaya in honour of the future empress Mariya Fyodorovna. Heir to the Russian throne and future Emperor Alexander III visited Tsaritsyn in 1877. The first male gymnasium in the city was named after him. The Mariinskaya Gymnasium was closed after the Russian Revolution. The building was redone in 1930. An 800-seat movie theatre hall was housed here and then it was turned into the Palace of Pioneers. During the Battle of Stalingrad the building of the Mariinskaya Gymnasium was not damaged much, but during the process of restoration work the outdoor decoration was lost.

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August 23 is a particularly tragic date for the residents of the city. It was on this day in 1942 at 4:18 p.m. Moscow Time that Stalingrad incurred massive bombing from Luftwaffe aircraft under orders from Hitler. Within hours, the peaceful, sunny city was transformed into ruins and flames. None of the city's residents had time to leave. Intense bombing lasted an entire week. During this time, more than 12,000 bombs were dropped on Stalingrad. Over 40,000 civilians were killed and more than 50,000 people were injured. More than 80% of homes were destroyed. The Battle of Stalingrad went on for 200 days and nights. The civilian population remained in the city the entire time as crossing the Volga was not possible due to shelling from fascist aircraft. Women, children, and elderly people who survived the bombings stayed in burning buildings on the front line of battle and huddled in dugouts and cellars that had been preserved. During all of this, people did not stop working. Tanks were produced and repaired at the tractor factory and immediately sent into action.

On May 9, 1995, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Monument to Battle of Stalingrad Civilian Casualties, dedicated to the people killed by Hitler's aerial bombing, was unveiled near the intersection of Ulitsa Komsomolskaya (Komsomolskaya Street) and Ulitsa Marshala Chuikova (Marshala Chuikova Street). The top part of the high pedestal is designed as a bomb covering the city and the lower part features the images of women, children, and elderly people with the caption, "To the civilians who died during the Battle of Stalingrad." The monument was created by sculptor Nadezhda Pavlovskaya and architect Valentin Kalinichenko.

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Construction on Saint John the Baptist Church began in 1589, but the church burned down in the early 1590s. It was not until 1615 that reconstruction began, and in 1664 it was built again as a stone church and consecrated. Saint John the Baptist Church was the first stone church in Tsaritsyn.

Its top is tiled and on the railings of the right and left choirs are images of eight pagan sibyls prophesying about Jesus Christ. The images were painted on canvas with oil paint on a red base and date back to the 17th century. Saint John the Baptist Church is home to a large number of ancient icons and various church effects. The church was demolished under Soviet rule in 1932. Between 1995 and 2001 the church was restored in its historic form.