Astrakhan

Astrakhan

Overview
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast
Astrakhan Oblast
Astrakhan Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Astrakhan.-Demographics:Population: Ethnic groups...

. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 at an altitude of 28 metres (91.9 ft) below the sea level. Population:

Astrakhan is situated in the Volga Delta
Volga Delta
The Volga Delta is the largest river delta in Europe, and occurs where Europe's largest river system, the Volga River, drains into the Caspian Sea in Russia's Astrakhan Oblast, north-east of the republic of Kalmykia. The delta is located in the Caspian Depression—the far eastern part of the delta...

, rich in sturgeon
Sturgeon
Sturgeon is the common name used for some 26 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common...

 and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

 and the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Astrakhan'
Start a new discussion about 'Astrakhan'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast
Astrakhan Oblast
Astrakhan Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Astrakhan.-Demographics:Population: Ethnic groups...

. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 at an altitude of 28 metres (91.9 ft) below the sea level. Population:

Medieval history


Astrakhan is situated in the Volga Delta
Volga Delta
The Volga Delta is the largest river delta in Europe, and occurs where Europe's largest river system, the Volga River, drains into the Caspian Sea in Russia's Astrakhan Oblast, north-east of the republic of Kalmykia. The delta is located in the Caspian Depression—the far eastern part of the delta...

, rich in sturgeon
Sturgeon
Sturgeon is the common name used for some 26 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common...

 and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

 and the Golden Horde
Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate that formed the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire...

. Astrakhan' itself was first mentioned by travellers in the early 13th century as Xacitarxan
Xacitarxan
Xacitarxan or Hajji Tarkhan , Hashtar Khan / Actarxan or Astrakhan, was a medieval city at the right bank of Volga, situated approximately 12 km north of the modern city of Astrakhan. The first mention of the town was recorded in 1333. In the 13th and 14th centuries it was one of the main...

. Tamerlane
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 burnt it to the ground in 1395. From 1459 to 1556, Xacitarxan was the capital of Astrakhan Khanate
Astrakhan Khanate
The Khanate of Astrakhan was a Tatar feudal state that appeared after the collapse of the Golden Horde. The Khanate existed in the 15th and 16th centuries in the area adjacent to the mouth of the Volga river, where the contemporary city of Astrakhan/Hajji Tarkhan is now located...

. The ruins of this medieval settlement were found by archaeologists 12 km upstream from the modern-day city.

In 1556, the khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible
Ivan IV of Russia
Ivan IV Vasilyevich , known in English as Ivan the Terrible , was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one billion acres,...

, who had a new fortress, or kremlin
Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

, built on a steep hill overlooking the Volga. In 1569, Astrakhan was besieged by the Cossack Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 army, which had to retreat in disarray. A year later, the Sultan renounced his claims to Astrakhan, thus opening the entire Volga River to Russian traffic. In the 17th century, the city was developed as a Russian gate to the Orient. Many merchants from Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Persia, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Khiva
Khanate of Khiva
The Khanate of Khiva was the name of a Uzbek state that existed in the historical region of Khwarezm from 1511 to 1920, except for a period of Persian occupation by Nadir Shah between 1740–1746. It was the patrilineal descendants of Shayban , the fifth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan...

 settled in the town, giving it a multinational and variegated character.

Modern history


For seventeen months in 1670–1671 Astrakhan was held by Stenka Razin
Stenka Razin
Stepan Timofeyevich Razin Тимофеевич Разин, ; 1630 – ) was a Cossack leader who led a major uprising against the nobility and Tsar's bureaucracy in South Russia.-Early life:...

 and his Cossacks. Early in the following century, Peter the Great constructed a shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

 here and made Astrakhan the base for his hostilities against Persia, and later in the same century Catherine II
Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia on as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg...

 accorded the city important industrial privileges.

The city rebelled against the Tsar once again
Bulavin Rebellion
The Bulavin Rebellion ' is the name given to a violent civil uprising in Imperial Russia between the years 1707 and 1708. It takes its name from the Don Cossack Kondraty Bulavin who rose to its forefront as a sort of figurehead...

 in 1705, when it was held by the Cossacks under Kondraty Bulavin. A Kalmuck
Kalmykia
The Republic of Kalmykia is a federal subject of Russia . Population: It is the only Buddhist region in Europe. It has also become well-known as an international chess mecca because its former President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is the head of the International Chess Federation .-Geography:*Area:...

 khan laid an abortive siege to the kremlin several years prior to that.

In 1711, it became the administrative center of a governorate
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

, whose first governors included Artemy Petrovich Volynsky
Artemy Petrovich Volynsky
Artemy Petrovich Volynsky was a Russian statesman and diplomat. His career started as a soldier but was rapidly upgraded to minister under Peter the Great and governor of Astrakhan...

 and Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev
Vasily Tatishchev
Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev was a prominent Russian statesman, and ethnographer, best remembered as the author of the first full-scale Russian history...

. Six years later, Astrakhan served as a base for the first Russian venture into Central Asia
Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky
Prince Alexander Bekovich-Cherkassky was a Russian officer of Circassian origin who led the first Russian military expedition into Central Asia.-Background:...

. It was granted town status in 1717. In 1702, 1718, and 1767, it suffered severely from fires; in 1719 it was plundered by the Persians; and in 1830 the cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 swept away a large number of its people.

Astrakhan's kremlin
Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

 was built from the 1580s to the 1620s from bricks pillaged at the site of Sarai Berke. Its two impressive cathedrals were consecrated in 1700 and 1710, respectively. Built by masters from Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl is a city and the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow. The historical part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. It is one of the Golden Ring cities, a group of historic cities...

, they retain many traditional features of Russian church architecture, while their exterior decoration is definitely baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

.

During Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Astrakhan was one of two cities (the other being Archangelsk) selected to mark the envisaged eastern limit of Nazi control. The military operation was to be halted at this A-A line
A-A line
The Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line, or A-A line for short, was the military goal of Operation Barbarossa. It is also known as the Volga-Arkhangelsk line, as well as the Volga-Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line...

, but never reached it in reality as the German forces failed to capture either of the two cities as well as Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. In the autumn of 1942, the region to the west of Astrakhan became one of the easternmost points in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 reached by the invading German Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

, during Case Blue, the offensive which led to the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

. Light armoured forces of German Army Group A made brief scouting missions as close as 100 km to the city before withdrawing. In the same period, the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 flew several air raids on the oil terminals and harbour installations of the city.

Climate


Astrakhan features a steppe climate with cold winters and hot summers. Astrakhan is the driest place in Europe. Rainfall is scarce but relatively evenly distributed throughout the course of the year. It's this even distribution of rainfall and the relatively low annual temperature that causes the city to fall under this climate category as opposed to an arid climate. Winters tend to be cold in the city, though by Russian standards, Astrakhan features relatively balmy winters. Summers in the city can be hot with high temperatures in excess of 40°C. Spring and fall are basically transitional seasons between summer and winter.

Education


Astrakhan has five institutions of higher education. Most prominent among these are Astrakhan State Technical University
Astrakhan State Technical University
Astrakhan State Technical University is a university located in Astrakhan, Russian Federation....

 and Astrakhan State University
Astrakhan State University
Astrakhan State University is a university located in Astrakhan, Russian Federation. It was founded in 1932....

.

Notable people

  • Boris Kustodiev
    Boris Kustodiev
    Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev was a Russian painter and stage designer.-Early life:Boris Kustodiev was born in Astrakhan into the family of a professor of philosophy, history of literature, and logic at the local theological seminary. His father died young, and all financial and material burdens...

    , a Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    n painter
    Painting
    Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

  • Joseph Deniker
    Joseph Deniker
    Joseph Deniker was a French naturalist and anthropologist, known primarily for his attempts to develop highly-detailed maps of race in Europe.- Life :...

    , French naturalist and anthropologist.
  • Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov
    Ilya Ulyanov
    Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov was a Russian public figure in the field of public education and a teacher...

    , father of Aleksandr Ulyanov
    Aleksandr Ulyanov
    Aleksandr Ilyich Ulyanov was a Russian revolutionary and a terrorist, convicted of attempted assassination of Alexander III. He was an older brother of Vladimir Lenin.- Life :...

     and Vladimir Lenin
    Vladimir Lenin
    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

    .
  • Vasily Kirillovich Trediakovsky, Russian poet.
  • Rinat Dasaev, Soviet football goalkeeper.
  • Marziyya Davudova
    Marziyya Davudova
    Marziyya Yusuf qizi Davudova, also spelled Marziya Davudova, was an Azerbaijani actress, People's Artist of USSR .-Life and career:...

    , Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

    i actress.
  • Velimir Khlebnikov
    Velimir Khlebnikov
    Velimir Khlebnikov , pseudonym of Viktor Vladimirovich Khlebnikov , was a central part of the Russian Futurist movement, but his work and influence stretch far beyond it.Khlebnikov belonged to Hylaea,...

    , a Russian
    Russians
    The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

     Futurist
    Russian Futurism
    Russian Futurism is the term used to denote a group of Russian poets and artists who adopted the principles of Filippo Marinetti's "Manifesto of Futurism"...

     poet
    Poet
    A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

    .
  • Emiliya Turey, Afro Russian handball player
  • Andrei Belyanin
    Andrei Belyanin
    Andrei Olegovich Belyanin is a modern Russian science fiction and fantasy writer, who wrote at least 15 novels with many of then selling over 2 million copies. He is especially known for humour and parody in his fiction. Belyanin's novels are mostly ironcal chrono-operas, where the pun is based on...

    , Science Fiction writer
  • Dmitri Dyuzhev
    Dmitri Dyuzhev
    Dmitri Petrovich Dyuzhev is a Russian film and stage actor, singer.- Early life :Dmitri was born in family of a famous actor Peter Dyuzhev and Ludmila Dyuzheva...

    , actor
  • Vasily Trediakovsky, the first Rissian academician (1733—1759), a poet, a translator

Airport Narimanovo


The city is served by Narimanovo Airport
Narimanovo Airport
Narimanovo Airport is an international airport in Astrakhan, a city in southern Russia near the Caspian Sea. It is operated by JSC "Aeroport Astrakhan".-Airlines and destinations:...

. It is managed by OAO Aeroport Astrakhan. After its reconstruction and the building of the international sector - opened in February 2011 - Narimanovo Airport is one of the most modern regional airports in Russia. There are direct flights from Astrakhan to and from Aktau
Aktau
Aktau , formerly known as Shevchenko , is a city in Kazakhstan's Mangyshlak Peninsula and country's only seaport on the Caspian Sea. It is the capital of Mangystau Province in western Kazakhstan...

, Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

 and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

.

Train connections


Astrakhan is linked by rail to the north - Volgograd
Volgograd
Volgograd , formerly called Tsaritsyn and Stalingrad is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is long, north to south, situated on the western bank of the Volga River...

, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, east - Kazakhstan, Atyrau
Atyrau
Atyrau , known as Guryev until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Province. It is located at the mouth of the Ural River, 2700 kilometers west of Almaty and 350 kilometers east of the Russian city of Astrakhan. Other transliterations include Aterau, Atirau, Atyraw, Atyraou,...

; south - Makhachkala
Makhachkala
-Twin towns/sister cities:Makhachkala is twinned with: Sfax, Tunisia Siping, China Spokane, United States Vladikavkaz, Russia Yalova, Turkey Ndola, Zambia-See also:*...

, Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

.
There are direct trains to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Volgograd
Volgograd
Volgograd , formerly called Tsaritsyn and Stalingrad is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is long, north to south, situated on the western bank of the Volga River...

, Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Brest
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

 and other towns.

Local transport


Astrakhan has no tramway system anymore. Public local transport is mainly organized by trolleybusses and marshrutkas.

Sister cities


Astrakhan is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Rasht
Rasht
Rasht is a city in and the capital of Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 551,161, in 159,983 families.Rasht is the largest city on Iran's Caspian Sea coast. It is a major trade center between Caucasia, Russia and Iran using the port of Bandar-e Anzali...

, Gilan, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

, Gujarat, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 Atyrau
Atyrau
Atyrau , known as Guryev until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Province. It is located at the mouth of the Ural River, 2700 kilometers west of Almaty and 350 kilometers east of the Russian city of Astrakhan. Other transliterations include Aterau, Atirau, Atyraw, Atyraou,...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 Brest
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 Grand-Popo
Grand-Popo
Grand-Popo is a town, arrondissement, and commune in the Mono Department of south-western Benin. The commune covers an area of 289 square kilometres and as of 2002 had a population of 40,335 people....

, Benin
Benin
Benin , officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. Its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin is where a majority of the population is located...

 Ljubljana
Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...


External links