The Volga is one of the largest rivers on the planet and holds more water than any other river in Europe. Hundreds of years ago the Volga served as one of the most important trade routes, connecting Arab countries and Scandinavia. The banks of the Volga are home to the Turkic and Finno-Ugric peoples that once settled there, and many old Russian cities can still be found along the banks of this mighty river. All of these cities served different and unique purposes from one another; Nizhny Novgorod was a medieval trading centre while Kazan brought together two cultures and two religions. Simibirsk – renamed Ulyanovsk – was the stronghold of the nobility and Volgograd a monument to Russia’s military history. For more than 1,000 years the Volga River has been connecting not only the people that live along its banks, but also their great histories.