The Samara Region is located in the south-eastern part of European Russia and is bordered by the Saratov, Ulianovsk and Orenburg Regions, the Republic of Tatarstan, and the independent state of Kazakhstan. The administrative centre of the region is Samara which, when known as Kuibyshev, was the backup capital of the Soviet Union should Moscow have fallen during the Second World War. A special 37 metre deep bunker was built especially for this purpose and many ministries and diplomatic missions were evacuated here, however Stalin never left Moscow. Samara also has the biggest square in Europe - Ploschad Kuibysheva.
Located in the region are the picturesque Zhigulevskie Hills which have given their name to the brand of the local beer - Zhigulevskoe, which remains popular today all over Russia. The Grushevsky Bard Music Festival is also held annually in the region.