Orenburgskaya Oblast is situated at the foot of Southern Ural. In the south Orenburgskaya Oblast borders upon Kazakhstan, in the west and northwest - upon Samarskaya Oblast, to the north lies the Republic of Tatarstan. The hydrologic system consists of the river Ural with its tributaries Sakmara, Or, Ilek and some lakes in the southeast of the region. The climate is distinctly continental. The average temperature of January varies from 14 to 18 degrees below zero; the average temperature of July is from +19 and +22 degrees centigrade. Precipitations are about 300-400 mm a year.
Orenburgskaya Oblast was founded on December 7, 1934. Its area is 124 thousand sq. km. (0,73 % of the total area of the Russian Federation). The oblast consists of 35 districts, 12 cities and towns, 7 urban districts, 24 urban villages, 523 villages. The regional centre is Orenburg. It was founded in 1743. Distance to Moscow is 1478 km. The city comprises 4 districts: Dzerzhinsky, Leninsky, Promyshlenny, Tsentralny.
Orenburgskaya Oblast is remarkable for its nature. There are plains and spurs, mountains and hills, steppes, forest-steppes and forests.
Orenburg is said to stand on mineral water. Mineral springs rise as sources and lakes. All this is favourable for development of tourism and medical treatment.
Forests and steppes of the region teem with animals and birds. Among them are the elk, bear, wild boar, roe, beaver, wolf, marmot, muskrat, marten, squirrel, fox, etc.
There are more than 200 species of birds in the region. They are bustards, partridges, wood-grouses, blackcocks, ducks, teals, sandpipers, etc. There are more than 11 thousand hectares for hunting, 20 game reserves and a preserve.
Trading traditions of the Great Wild Steppe go back to the ancient times. Just so was called the huge territories to the south of the Ural ridge. Here is the cradle of the Sarmatian civilization and other nomadic tribes of cattlemen and warriors. The Orenburg territory began to be settled only in the 30-es of XVIII century after it voluntarily joined the Russian Empire.
In 1744 the Empress Anna Ioanovna founded the Orenburg province to be the major trading centre between Russia and the East. Such statesmen as I.K.Kirillov and I.I.Nepluyev contributed to formation of the region. The province included the territories of modern Kazakhstan, Bashkiria, Tatarstan, Chelyabinskaya and Samarskaya Oblasts. In the south the province bordered upon the coasts of the Caspian and Aral Seas.
Advantageous geographical position of the province, its "privileges", business activity of Orenburg merchants promoted active development of trade and economical contacts with the countries of the East. Asian merchants delivered cattle, camel wool, sheepskin, fells, brocade, jewels, Indian silk, gold and silver. In exchange for it they received grain, various woolen and cotton fabrics, clothes, metals and minerals, honey, salt, fish, caviar, etc.
Due to its advantageous position Orenburg Oblast always was considered to be the Great bridge between Europe and Asia. Orenburgskaya Oblast abounds in original and bright monuments of history and culture. Nowadays 1895 objects are taken into account, 1523 of which are considered to be the historical and cultural monuments. Besides there are also 1438 archeological objects in the region.
There are 7 professional theatres in the region. They are the Oblast Drama Theatre named after M. Gorky, the Theatre of Musical Comedy, the Tatar Drama Theatre named after M.Faizi, the Regional Puppet Theatre, the Puppet Theatre "Piero" (Orenburg), the Drama Theatre named after A.S. Pushkin (Orsk), the Drama Theatre named after N.Gogol (Buguruslan). There is the famous Orenburg Philharmonic society in the oblast.
The appreciable events in the cultural life of the Orenburg region are the days of Russian spirituality and culture, holidays of the Kazakh, Bashkir, Tatar, Ukrainian, Mordovian and German cultures.
The museum network of the oblast includes 12 state and 16 national museums.