Academic Drama Theater of Samara

Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
As you walk on ulitsa Shostakovicha from Kuybyshev Square down to the Volga river, it is impossible not to notice a magnificent red building with white-stone boiseries reminiscent of an old manor. This is the Samara Drama Theater. It was built in 1851, and burned down in 1854. Citizens of Samara and the city duma (council) collected 3,000 rubles and used that money to purchase a grain barn, which was erected at Khlebnaya square and became home to the Samara theater troupe for many years. The stone building at Theater Square (currently Chapayev Square) was only erected by 1888.

A monument to Vasily Chapayev, one of the Civil War heroes (1917-1922) can be seen in front of the Drama Theater. For a long time this sculpture was the biggest one in the USSR. It's 10 meters high and it's base is 17 by 22 meters. The monument was created in St. Petersburg and sent to Samara. Sergey Kirov, an important statesman and politician, was one of the first people to see the sculpture. He liked it so much that he asked the authors to made an exact copy for Saint Petersburg. Today that copy can be seen in Saint Petersburg, near Budenniy Military Communications Academy.