River cruises to Chkalovsk
Valaam travel agency provides a wide range of river cruises in 2012. Visiting Chkalovsk, you will enjoy a City tour.
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History of Chkalovsk
Today, Chkalovsk is a district center of Nizhny Novgorod region. It is situated on the right bank of the Volga, 95 km from Nizhny Novgorod.
The population of the town is 15 thousand people. Chkalovsk is one of the oldest settlements on the Volga with its former name settlement Vasolevo, preceded by Vasileva Sloboda (district).
Ethnographers refer the origin of the settlement to XII century, its name being connected with the name of Russian Pronce Vasily Yuryevich, son of Yury Dolgoruky who built on the bank a small fortress as a reserve to defend the border Gorodetz-Radilov fortress.
Vasileva Sloboda was first mentioned in 1405. Before XVIII it was in the ownership of princes Shuyskys after which it became property of Ascension nunnery. The territory of Vasileva Sloboda comprised two nunneries – Ascension and Archangel nunneries and two friaries – Pokrovsky and Trinity monasteries.
In 1764 they were closed and Sloboda became the state ownership. It appeared to be off the beaten track, the main crafts of the population were ceramics and trade in grain.
The regular life of the settlement changed in 1883 with building of state owned repairing shops for dredging fleet, thanks to backwater convenient for winter stay, repair and recovery of dredgers.
The settlement started to expand; new streets appeared where workers lived. One of them was a bricklayer from Sormovo, Pavel Chkalov, and on February 2 1904 his son Valery was born who later became a famous pilot.
In 1937 after the famous flight of V.P.Chkalov and his crew to the USA across the North Pole, Vasilevo settlement was renamed into Chkalovsk.
During the Great Patriotic War, four residents of Chkalovsk – A.G. Grachev, R.S. Gasheva, V.V. Klochkov and A.P. Koryakov - became heroes of the Soviet Union.
In 1955 Chkalovsk got town status, however, because of building of Gorky Hydro-Electric Power Station, most part of Chkalovsk appeared to get into the flooding area.
The town had to be reconstructed. Since that time, Chkalovsk started turning into a modern town with developing industry and new enterprises. A new district was built with modern multi-storey buildings and modern architecture.
Attractions of Chkalovsk
The main attraction of Chkalovsk is Memorial Museum of V.P. Chkalov, which was opened in 1940. In the house of the legendary pilot, among its exhibits, there are his clothes, personal things, photographs and letters. The furnishing and the atmosphere in the house is preserved as it was during V.P. Chkalov’s last stay.
There is a hangar hall at the museum housing the airplanes Chkalov flew. There are two monuments to the heroic pilot in the town.
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