Despite being founded in 1737, Tolyatti was practically built from scratch in 50s of 20th century because most of the city area was flooded due to the construction of Kuibyshev Dam and Electric Station. In 60s city was enlarged and industrialized when AvtoVAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod), one of the world’s biggest factories, was built. The city was called Stavropol na Volge until 1964 when it was changed to Tolyatti/Togliatti after Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party.
As historical parts of the city were flooded, Tolyatti is dominantly industrial city. Main sights include monuments, sculptures and some museums. Surrounding nature is its biggest asset.
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There are four principal museums in Tolyatti – Technical Museum, Lada Cars Museum, City Museum and Art Museum. Except Technical Museum they are rather small but worthy of visit. City Museum and Art Museum are having many temporary exhibitions that are sometimes taking place in other exhibition areas.
You can see the program of museums here.
Monuments & Sculptures
The most famous statue is Tatishchev Monument. Vasily Tatishchev was the founder of the city. Monumental statue of this Russian statesman and historian on a horse is located near Volga, between Old and New Town.
Another famous monument is memorial to the fidelity represented by a sitting dog. It was built in memory of “Konstantin” that survived a car accidents while his owners did not. He was running along the road and awaiting them for 7 years until his death.
Remarkable is the composition of three sculptures called “The history of transport” on Revolutsionnaya street in the little park. They are representing different types of transport from the beginning of 20th century – steam boat, steam locomotive and hot air balloon. Sculptures were built in late 70s by Andrey Vasnetsov, Russian artist.
Right next to the steam boat from transport trilogy sculptures is a memorial to those who fall in 2nd World War.
Tolyatti Cathedral (Preobrazhensky Sobor) was finished relatively recently, in 2002. It is a modern cathedral, with huge chandelier as it is typical for orthodox churches and rather unusual mosaic decoration. Unfortunately, the cathedral seems to be open only during the weekends and religious holidays. For everyday use, small chapel near the cathedral is open. Women have to cover their hair but they are allowed to go in in trousers.
Tolyatti is located on Volga shores, therefore there are many nice places to visit, walk and relax, for some to swim too. In the New Town, there are Naberezhnaya of the 6th and of the 8th block with beaches, short promenades and some restaurants.
On Naberezhnaya of the Old Town Tatishchev Monument is located and Naberezhnaya of Komsomolskiy Disctrict is the longest and popular among cyclists and roller skaters.
Special atmosphere has a river promenade on Nosova street in micro district Shlyuzovoy that was built in the same time as the water dam and the architecture is remarkable.
More beach-like areas are located in the “Green Zone” between New and Old Town. The most popular are Italian Beach and Muravinyye ostrova (Ant Islands).
All city districts are located around the large forest that creates a geographical centre of the city. During the heat waves in 2010 half of the forest burned and reforestation has not fully started. The forest is full of paths, cycling and cross country routes. Near cross country recreational area, there are several spots with wooden statues representing old Slavic gods. They are all carved by one man who is there almost all the time.
Click here to find out more about the sights around Tolyatti.