World Cup 2018 Samara was one of the hosting cities for the biggest event in soccer—the Fifa World Cup. See more information here.
Samara was officially founded in 1586 with the construction of a Russian fortress on the Volga. However, settlement there had been mentioned since at least the 14th century. During World War II, Samara, then named Kuibyshev, was the second capital of USSR. The city's growth was stimulated during the war due to its proximity to Moscow but distance from the war zone; several government offices were evacuated to Kuibyshev when Moscow was under threat. The city has also became one of the principal aircraft manufacturers due to Voronezh Aviation Factory, as well as part of Moscow Aviation Institute (this part has eventually grown into Kuybyshev Aviation Institute and later Samara State Aerospace University) evacuated there. More than 74% of the famous Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik battle planes have been produced in Kuibyshev. During the post-war period evacuated aircraft industry and scientific base, as well as development of the Volga-Urals oilfield, helped Samara to grow rapidly and become one the most important centers of aerospace science and industry. The city has contributed a lot to Soviet achievements during the Space Race. Due to this strategic importance, Kuibyshev was closed for foreigners till the very dissolution of the USSR.