The Volga Federal District gets its name from the Volga which flows through it and is the largest river in Europe. The district makes up about 6% of the total territory of the Russian Federation and is fairly heavily populated with five cities with a population of over one million (Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Samara and Ufa). It comprises 14 federal subjects including seven regions, six republics and one territory. Many cities of the Volga Federal District can be reached by an overnight train from Moscow, but the more distant cities in the Orenburg Region and Perm Territory can take a day to get to from the capital.
The so-called third capital of Russia - Tatarstan’s capital of Kazan - is located in the Volga Federal District. Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod are both famous for their impressive kremlins, but only Kazan’s is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vladimir Ulianov (Lenin) was born in the city of Simbirsk which has been renamed in his honour as Ulyanovsk and now has a museum-reserve dedicated to him. The Permian geologic period is named after the mediaeval state of Permia which is now the Perm Territory.