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Astrakhan

Astrakhan is a city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on two banks of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of 28m below sea level. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 520,339; up from 504,501 recorded in the 2002 Census and 509,210 recorded in the 1989 Census.The oldest economic and cultural center of the Lower Volga, it is often called the southernmost outpost of Russia and the Caspian capital. The city is a member of the Eurasian Regional Office of the World Organization "United Cities and Local Governments" Its population is diverse and includes one hundred ethnicities and fourteen religious denominations.The city is located in the upper part of the Volga delta, on eleven islands of the Caspian Depression. The distance to Moscow by road is 1411km.HistoryMedieval historyAstrakhan is situated in the Volga Delta, which is rich in sturgeon and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria and the Golden Horde. Astrakhan itself was first mentioned by travelers in the early 13th century as Xacitarxan. Tamerlane burnt it to the ground in 1395. From 1459 to 1556, Xacitarxan was the capital of Astrakhan Khanate. The ruins of this medieval settlement were found by archaeologists 12 km upstream from the modern-day city.
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