Volgograd (Волгоград) is a city situated in south-eastern European Russia on the bank of the Volga River (see map). Founded in 1589 as a defensive stronghold named Tsaritsyn, it was renamed Stalingrad in 1925 and Volgograd in 1961.
The city is most renowned for the battle that led to the demise and eventual defeat of fascist German forces during World War II. Within a period of 200 days (from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943) German and Soviet forces battled in the streets, buildings and staircases of a city completely destroyed by the ferocity of the fighting. Casualties on both sides are estimated at close to two million making it one of the bloodiest battles in the history of mankind. For the heroism shown during the Battle of Stalingrad was awarded the title Hero City in 1945.
Immediately following the war Volgograd was one of the first Russian cities to be rebuilt from the ground up. A beautiful city center was reconstructed and industry lost in the war was built anew. Today the city has a population of slightly more than one million inhabitants and is an important commercial and and industrial center.
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