Volga Federal District
Time: Yekaterinburg Time Zone (YEKT/YEKST). UTC offset is +0500 (YEKT)/+0600 (YEKST).
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Federal district: Volga (Privolzhsky) Federal District.
Main cities: Sol-Iletsk, Orsk, Novotroitsk, Buzuluk, and Gai.
Land and Resources: Orenburg Region is one of the largest regions of the Russian Federation. The region is located at the meeting point of Europe and Asia and is part of the Ural economic district. It borders on the Republic of Bashkortostan and Chelyabinsk Region in the north, Kazakhstan in the east and south, and Samara Region in the west. It occupies a huge territory in the Southern Pre-Urals, as well as territory along the middle Ural River and the Sakmara, Samara, and Ilek river basins. The most important river of the oblast is the Ural.
Climate: Orenburg Region has a continental climate with hot dry summers and relatively little snow in winter. Average January temperatures range from -14 C° to -18 C°, average July temperature from +19 C° to +22C°.
Transportation: You can reach Orenburg from any community by car or train. Orenburg is served by Orenburg Tsentralny Airport and is home to Orenburg air base. Public transportation in Orenburg consists of trolleybuses and buses.
Orenburg was founded in 1743, and from 1938 to 1957, was known as Chkalov.
Orenburg Region is known as the golden gate to Asia due to its location on routes connecting Russia with Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
Archeologists have discovered hundreds of kurgans near the city of Orsk and in Iletsky and Sharlyksky districts.
Today, Orenburg is one of Russia`s most beautiful cities, as confirmed by the preserved historical and architectural antiquities. An interdepartmental council for the protection of the region`s historical and cultural properties has inventoried 1895 sites, 1523 of which are on a government list of historical and cultural monuments, and 1438 archeological sites. More than 170 religious buildings are open at the present time.
At present, there are 12 state and 16 national museums. The state museums have a basic stock of 205 600 items, and the museum of fine arts owns a basic fund of more than 7000 exhibits, including rare collections of Orenburg goat down shawls. Other facilities that have been opened include exhibition halls in the cities of Gai and Saraktash, a museum of internationalist soldiers in Orenburg, and a rural ethnographic museum of Tatar culture in Kuvandyksky District.
Seven professional theaters operate in Orenburg Region, including a regional puppet theater, the Pierrot municipal puppet theater, the Faizi Tatar drama theater, the Orsk and Buguruslansk drama theaters, and the Gorki regional drama theater.
The region has begun holding annual days of Russian spirituality and culture; Kazakh, Bashkir, Tatar, Ukrainian, Mordvinian, and German cultural festivals; the "Colors of the Rainbow" (Kraski radugi) regional children`s festival; and a regional festival of guitar songs in Kuvandyk.
Arts and crafts, such as clay and wooden toys, woodcarving and wood painting, ceramics, stone carving, metal engraving, and traditional Orenburg knitting, are also expanding.
Lately some church and mosque buildings have been returned to the believers and are being restored. Of the newly constructed buildings at least two are worth to be mentioned. Both are in the centre of Orenburg: the clock—tower and the saving bank edifice.
Orenburg Drama Theater, Musical Theater, Tatar Drama Theater, and Puppet Show Theater Pierrot are located in Orenburg. Orenburg is also home to Orenburg Academic Russian Folk Chorus. The city is famous for its down Orenburg shawls. The thinnest lacy design, knitted by hand shawls and cobweb-like kerchiefs (pautinkas), is not only warm, but also is used for decorative purposes. A famous boulevard on the embankment of the Ural River is one of the most notable places in Orenburg. Orenburg TV Tower is a guyed mast of unusual design. It is a 200 metres tall mast equipped with 6 crossbars running from the mast structure to the guys.
Mountain and river tourism is developed in the region. There are a number of fast mountain rivers and rocks in pleated spurs of the southern edge of the Urals range, popular with tourists.
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.orb.ru/ - Official server of the Administration of Orenburg Region