Bolgar (Tatarstan Russia)

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Bolgar cruise port

Russia Rivers

Local Time
2024-06-15 06:58

min: 62 °F (16 °C) / max: 81 °F (28 °C) 64°F
Wind: 243°/ 1.9 m/s  Gust: 2.1 m/sWind: 243°/ 1.9 m/s  Gust: 2.1 m/sLight breeze
1.9 m/s
Min / Max Temperature81 °F / 28 °C
62 °F / 17 °C
  Port Map

Bolgar is a Volga River cruise port and town in Tatarstan (Russia). This was Volga Bulgaria's intermittently capital (8th-15th centuries), along with Bilyar and Nur-Suvar.

The settlement is on the river's left bank. It is located approx 30 km (20 mi) downstream from Volga's confluence with Kama River, and approx 130 km (80 mi) from Kazan. West of the historic site is the town of Bolgar. The historic site "Bolghar" was declared UNESCO Site in 2014. The excavated monuments are within easy distance from the town.

In 922, an embassy from Baghdad arrived here and converted the local residents to Islam. Due to regular Russian incursions and internecine fights, the capital was intermittently moved to Bilyar. In 1236, the town was devastated and burnt by the invading Mongols. After Bilyar's destruction by the Mongols, the older town became the capital of a separate province within the Mongol Empire. Soon it became the new state's most important trade point and the Golden Horde's first capital.

In the mid-16th century, the Kazan Khanate was conquered by Czar Ivan IV and incorporated into the Russian Empire. Czar Peter the Great issued a special proclamation to preserve the town's surviving ruins. During the Soviet (USSR) times, Bolgar was a pilgrimage site for Muslims from Tatarstan (and other parts of USSR/Soviet Union) who could not participate in Mecca's hajj (annual Islamic pilgrimage), so instead, they traveled to Bolgar.

Bolgar is popular among tourists for its white sandstone buildings, including extensive fortifications (10-15th centuries) raised from the ruins, and the world's most northerly monuments of Muslim architecture (3-14th centuries). Since 1954, the complex is systematically studied. Every year, the Bulgarian Museum-Reserve is visited by tens of thousands of tourists and Muslim pilgrims.


Bolgar cruise terminal

Among the Russian cruise ships visiting Bolgar are the VODOHOD-owned boats MS Pushkin, MS Kuchkin, MS Belinsky, MS Novgorod, MS Gorky, MS Suvorov, MS Frunze, MS Korotkov, MS Budyonny, MS Zhukov.

Departure ports for cruises to Bolgar are Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Kazan, Samara, Moscow, St Petersburg. Bolgar is visited on the following river cruise tour itineraries:

  • Novgorod-Kazan-Yelabuga-Novgorod, and Novgorod-Samara-Novgorod (6-day)
  • Novgorod-Astrakhan-Bolgar-Novgorod, and Novgorod-Perm-Samara-Novgorod  (13-day)
  • Novgorod-Perm-Volgograd-Novgorod, and Novgorod-Rostov on Don-Novgorod  (16-day)
  • Novgorod-Astrakhan-Novgorod (13-day)
  • Novgorod-Volgograd-Novgorod (11-day)
  • Novgorod-Perm-Novgorod (10-day)
  • Novgorod-Ulyanovsk-Bolgar-Novgorod (5-day)
  • Kazan-Samara-Bolgar-Kazan (3-day)
  • Kazan-Rostov on Don-Kazan (14-day)
  • Kazan-Astrakhan-Kazan (11-day)
  • Kazan-Perm-Samara-Kazan, and Kazan-Astrakhan-Bolgar-Kazan (10-day)
  • Kazan-Volgograd-Bolgar-Kazan (7-day)
  • Kazan-Samara-Ulyanovsk-Kazan (4-day)
  • Samara-St Petersburg (3 days)-Karelia-Samara (20-day)
  • Samara-Togliatti-Tetyushi-Bolgar-Kazan-Sviyazhsk-Ulyanovsk-Volga Cliff-Samara (5-day)
  • Samara-Novgorod-Perm-Samara (12-day)
  • Samara-Yelabuga-Samara, and Samara-Cheboksary-Mariinskiy Posad-Samara (5-day)
  • Samara-Bolgar-Novgorod-Samara (6-day)
  • Moscow-Kazan-Yelabuga-Moscow (12-day)
  • Moscow-Astrakhan-Moscow (19-day)
  • Moscow-Kazan-Yelabuga-Moscow (12-day)
  • St Petersburg-Samara-Ulyanovsk-Kazan-St Petersburg (17-day)
  • Saratov-Karelia-St Petersburg (13-day)
  • Saratov-Astrakhan-Novgorod (10-day)
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