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Saratov: Thee Cool Place to Kiss

9. November 2009 by Marie 0 Comments

Saratov is for Lovers.


Virginians might bristle at that suggestion (remember the old bumper stickers?), but Saratov's Love Monument on the Embankment has become one of the most romantic spots on Earth. Or at least in Russia.


Actually, Saratov is best known as the hometown of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and hush-hush high-tech research. In fact, this southern Russian port city was closed to tourists until 1991. But its riverside Love Monument now draws thousands of couples and wanna-be's each year.


Lovers had long flocked to this picturesque spot along the Volga to hold hands, propose and dream. But in 2000, the government erected a giant curving statue of two lovers embracing. Almost overnight, the new addition to this old city officially became a lucky place for finding and keeping romance.


Lonely people come here to pray for a hit by Cupid's arrow -- and perhaps meet other lonely people. Sweethearts soak in its romantic ambiance and kiss at sunset. Newlyweds' motorcades make a beeline for this spot right after their ceremonies to bring that extra shot of luck to their marriages.


People leave ribbons, balloons, dolls and teddy bears on the statue in thanks or as an offering.


If you find your Russian love match in Saratov, take her by the hand and head to the enchanting Love Monument. Who knows, it just might bring you luck!