Imperiia: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Samara

I should try not to forget the Zhigulevsky Brewery, the monument to Tsar Alexander II, and Dr. Postnikov's Kumiss Establishment.

The monument consists of a statute of the tsar - dashing and imposing - surrounded by a peasant, a Circassian, Bulgaria (yes, apparently all of Bulgaria), and Asia (again, in human form). I could not, for the life of me, work out what a Bulgarian (not a Bolgarian), was doing in Samara.
It turns out that these are the glories of Alexander's reign: "the abolition of serfdom, the conquest of the Caucasus, the delivery of the Balkan Slavs from the Turkish yoke, and the acquisition of Central Asia." While standing in front of the monument I learned this from a charming German from the ship and was impressed. Later I realized he was shamelessly cribbing from Baedeker, page 358. Embed from Getty Images

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