The source of Volga River
The approximate age of the Volga exceeds 5 million years – the Caspian Sea had a different shape then and it originated in the Ural mountains. The river acquired a new channel only after the end of the ice age: now it originates on the Valdai hill and flows into the Caspian sea. The first written mention of the Volga is considered to be the works of Herodotus: in the story of the campaign of king Darius I against the Scythians, the father of history speaks of the Oar River – researchers identify the The Slavic name Volga took root-from the word moisture.
The geographical location and length of the Volga River made it the most important transport artery and feeder of many peoples: Chuvash, Mari, Russian, Scythians, Polovtsians, Bulgars. The Volga trade route was one of the earliest links between Scandinavia and the Caliphate – honey, wax, and furs came from Slavic lands, and Arab countries supplied fabrics and metals.
The length of the Volga is 3,530 km. it is the largest inland river in the world, since it does not flow into the world ocean. The width varies, in some places you can swim to the opposite shore, and somewhere even experienced swimmers avoid to overcome the river. At the same time, anyone can step over the Volga! The full-flowing mighty river begins with a small source in the Ostashkovsky district of the Tver region at the village of Volgoverkhovye at an altitude of 228 meters above the sea level. Several springs on the edge of an unnamed upper swamp form a small single reservoir known as the source of the Volga. Looking at the swamp one can hardly believe it is from here that the largest river starts its way to the Caspian See.
The Volga flows out of the swamp in a stream of only 1 meter wide and of 30 centimeters depth. In summer it sometimes even dries up and you can hardly witness it even in dozen meters from the source. The water is colored reddish-brown. The length of the first bridge over the Volga at this point is only 3 meters.
There is a cozy chapel that was built near the spring long time ago. Well-maintained wooden bridge arranged over a swampy area leads to the spring.
The source of the Volga is protected as a natural monument. A reserve of the same name which includes forests with a total area of more than 4,100 hectares has been created near the river.
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