Along the roads of youth: a mini-guide to the city
Here you are in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, or, as it is also called, the City of Youth. It got this nickname thanks to the Komsomol members, who built it in 1932 as part of an All-Union construction project. Later they became its first inhabitants. For a long time, Komsomolsk-on-Amur was considered the youngest city based on the age of its inhabitants.
There were several cities named Komsomolsk in the Soviet Union, but only two of them are located on a river: Komsomolsk-on-Pechora and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The latter is the largest of them all and the fourth populated city in the Far East. Today the estimated population of Komsomolsk-on-Amur is over 250 thousand people.
Since December 2015, Komsomolsk-on-Amur has also obtained the name of #gorodpresidentskogovnimania (Russian: the city of special presidential attention), thanks to President Vladimir Putin, who called Komsomolsk-on-Amur the third most important center for the development of the Far East Federal District after Vladivostok and Khabarovsk.
Komsomolsk-on-Amur is located on the left bank of the Amur River, 400 km to the northeast of Khabarovsk, and is part of the Khabarovsk Krai.
The City of Youth is connected to the regional capital by Highway 08A-1. When the Amur River is navigable, Raketa high‑speed passenger hydrofoil boats sail the route Khabarovsk–Komsomolsk-on-Amur–Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. Several passenger trains run the tracks every day, connecting the Trans-Siberian Railroad and BAM (the Baikal-Amur Railroad). Moreover, Khabarovsk Airlines Company offers flights to Khurba airport. The best time to visit Komsomolsk-on-Amur is late spring or early autumn. It is a little chilly here in winter with temperatures of about -30°C and the wind blowing, while in summer it is +30°C and as humid as in equatorial countries. However, Komsomolsk-on-Amur is actually located on the same latitude as the areas of the Far North.
Must-see attractions in Komsomolsk-on-Amur
The Amur River embankment. This is where the first Komsomol builders landed. Now here stands a 23-ton memorial stone (made of quartz diorite), as well as the Monument to the First Builders, inaugurated on the city's 50th anniversary. There is also the River Port, which resembles the silhouette of the Columb and Komintern paddle steamers, which brought in the first builders of the city.
In 2013, during a major flood on the Amur River, a part of the embankment went under water and now needs restoration. Currently, the project for the reconstruction of the embankment is under development. The embankment also offers free Wi-Fi.
Make sure you take a stroll along the city's avenues (Prospekt Mira, Prospekt Pervostroiteley). Most of the buildings in the district are the ones in the Stalinist style or just the examples of beautiful buildings of the Soviet era. Komsomolsk‑on‑Amur was one of the cities designed by architects from Leningrad, due to which visitors can see examples of the best projects from the first half of the twentieth century.
Industrial tourism. Recently, there has been growing interest in tours about the city's giant factories, including the aircraft factory, shipyard, and Amurmetal plant. It is undoubtedly very interesting to see with one's own eyes the smelling of steel or assembling of Sukhoi Superjet 100 medium-range aircraft.
Youth House. The first Youth House in the USSR, it was built in 1967 to mark the city's 35th anniversary. Yuri Gagarin himself opened it. There is a mosaic on the facade of the Youth House dedicated to the heroism of the first Komsomol builders of the city. Above the building, supported by five titanium pylons, there is also a mosaic, depicting a massive Komsomol badge. There is a message embedded in the wall of the Youth House from the Komsomol members of the 1960s. The message will be released in 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the Lenin Komsomol organization.
Mylkinskaya dam. This attraction cropped up in Komsomolsk-on-Amur only a short while ago in 2013, during the unexpected flooding on the Amur River. Yet the 9-meter dam has been here for a long time: it is a former railway embankment, supporting an access road to a ferry.
In 2013, it actually saved the city from flooding. To prevent floodwaters from damaging the engineering construction, members of the Emergency Situations Ministry, the military and volunteers spent several days and nights using their bodies to protect the dam from the storm surge.
The Bolshevik resort. Even if you are neither a skier nor a snowboarder, make sure to visit the Bolshevik resort. From the top of the hill with the same name, you can get a magnificent view of Komsomolsk-on-Amur.