Samara was officially founded in 1586 when on the bank of the Volga River the construction of the fortress to protect the Russian State from the incursion of martial nomadic tribes was started. But in fact, the settlement on the bend of the Volga River had been mentioned in the ancient chronicles since the 14th century. During World War II Samara, then named Kuibyshev, was considered to be the second capital of the USSR. Many famous people worked and lived in Samara including outstanding Russian writers Lev Tolstoy and Maxim Gorky, painters Ilya Repin, Vasily Surikov, and Ivan Aivazovsky. Even French writer Alexander Duma had paid a visit to Samara in 1858. Impressed by the travel he wrote the book «From Paris to Astrakhan» and gave his description of Samara in it.

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