Syzran was founded by voivode G.A.Kozlovsky as a fortress in 1683 on the place where the Syzransky ancient settlement has been in the 4th century BC. The city was given the name of a river on which right bank it was built.
As Russia of that time continued to expand its territories on the east, the fortress cities were required for maintenance of security of a trade route. However the military function of Syzran paled quickly enough into insignificance, giving the first place to the commercial one. In 1780 a municipal arms of Syzran were established by Catherine the Great. It represents a black bull in a gold field, which symbolize the successful trade in cattle and bread.
Syzran burned twice. For the first time it was in July 1795, when the city has been burned almost to the ground. The new fire happened in 1906. There were only 954 buildings in the city, which managed to survive during the fire. After this event the prohibition on wooden building construction in the main city street has been accepted.
The city has a very advantageous transport-geographical location. The railway in six directions, which connects Syzran with all CIS countries, important federal highway and the Volga river rout run through the city. Syzran takes the third place on population (178.9 thousand persons) and industrial capacity in Samara region after Samara and Togliatti.
The most developed branches of economy of Syzran are petrochemical, chemical, power, light, wood-working and food-processing industries, as well as building, mechanical engineering, small business and trade. There are some large industrial enterprises in Syzran. The most important among them are Syzran oil refining plant and Syzran-Oktyabrsk railway hub of the Kuybyshev Railway.
The educational system in Syzran has rich traditions which were sat up at the time of a zemstvo. The building of the First female grammar school constructed in 1914, functions in the city up to now. Besides, Syzran Air Force Academy is the only educational institution in the country, preparing pilots of military aircraft helicopters.
The international festival of wind instruments called «The Silver pipes of the Volga region» is the main musical event being held in the city. Ensembles, orchestras and soloists of France, Italy and Russia take part in this festival.
Syzran is given by the status of historical settlement of Russia. The whole historical center of the city represents the single town-planning ensemble remained until now. Most of the remained old houses in the city are the monuments of Russian wooden architecture. The historical part of Syzran is decorated by the Spasskaya tower of Syzran Kremlin (constructed 1683), which is an object of a cultural heritage of federal significance. There is a Museum of Kremlin now in this tower.
There are 322 historical, cultural and architectural monuments in the city. The most significant among them are the Nativity church on the Kremlin hill (1717), the Church of Fedorovskaya Mother of God (1738), Ilinskaya Church (1776), Church of Ascension (1852-1957) and the Kazan cathedral (1872) with a bell tower. Along with old religious buildings there are a great number of other cultural sites in Syzran. These are: the railway station (1874), Klyarov’s house (1910), merchant Sterlyadkin’s detached house (1914) designed by Fedor Shekhtel in Art Nouveau style (now it is an object of a cultural heritage of federal significance), Syzran drama theater named after A. Tolstoy (1870) and manor of bourgeois Chernukhin (now it is the branch of local history museum).
City museum of local history founded by N.V. Guryev in 1923 keeps a rich historical heritage of Syzran. This museum is the modern cultural center of the Samara region, the active participant of the international, All-Russia, regional and city events. There is the Museum of Syzran icon painting school in the city.
Syzran also has an arboretum and six protected natural objects, which are the state natural monuments of local significance. The territory of arboretum, where about 110 species of plant are available, takes up 8 hectares.
One of the city sights is the Syzran tomato delivered by merchants from Astrakhan several centuries ago. In honor of the old traditions, the annual festival «Syzran tomato» is being held in the city. Thanks to excellent eating qualities of the tomatoes, cultivated here, Syzran is sometimes called «tomato capital of the Volga region».
Twin-cities of Syzran: Pingdingshan (China), Lankluatr (France).
City Day is celebrated in Syzran on 8th of September.