Astrakhan', a barren government in the SE. of European Russia, watered by the Volga, and washed on the SE. by the Caspian Sea. Area, 91,327 sq. m.; pop. l,003,500. - Astrakhan, the capital, is situated on a high island in the Volga, 41 miles from its mouth in the Caspian Sea. The Kreml, or fortress, and the White Town alone have houses of stone; the suburbs contain wooden buildings only. Lengthwise through the middle of the city runs a canal which connects the Kutum arm of the Volga with the main stream. Of nearly 40 Greek churches, the finest is the cathedral (1696), on the highest point in the Kreml. Pop. 113,710, consisting of Russians, Armenians, Tartars, and Persians. Almost the entire commerce with Persia and Transcaucasia passes through the city. Its great markets attract every year many thousands of merchants, and its three bazaars are among the busiest marts in Europe or Asia. The city is connected by steamers with all parts of the Caspian, and is the principal harbour of that sea. The industries are shipbuilding, dyeing, silk manufacture, etc.; the sturgeon and other fisheries are amongst the greatest in the world.