Previously known as Pokrovsk, the city was renamed Engels after the German socialist and co-author of the Communist Manifesto. Up until the Second World War the city was the centre of Russia’s Volga German population – ethnic Germans who settled around the Volga during the reign of Catherine the Great. Today the city is also linked with Yury Gagarin who fell to earth just outside the city after his historic space flight. Engels can be visited along with Saratov, which is located just on the opposite side of the River Volga; they are so close to each other in fact that there have even been calls to merge the two cities.
Name in Russian
City and administrative centre of the Engels District of the Saratov Region
10km south of Saratov; 640km south of Nizhny Novgorod; 860km south-east of Moscow
217,776 people (2014)
Pokrovskaya Sloboda, Pokrovsk