Saransk and Mordovia

Mordovia is situated in the centre of the European part of Russia at the intersection of the most important transport arteries connecting Moscow – Samara – Nizhniy Novgorod – Saratov. It borders the regions of Nizhniy Novgorod, Ryazan, Penza, Ulyanovsk and Chuvashia being a part of Volga Federal District. Population – 800 thousand people.

The climate is temperate continental. At the junction of the woodland and steppe natural zones the rivers Moksha, Alatyr and Sura are flowing through the virgin woods and vast fields. In general there are 114 large and small rivers and 500 lakes. In Mordovia there are more than 100 areas of outstanding natural beauty including Simkino Lanscape Reserve, Mordovian Natural Reserve named after P.G.Smidovich and National Park "Smolny".

Mordovia is a multinational republic. Throughout the centuries the Russians, Mordovians (Erzya and Moksha) and Tatars live here side by side. State languages are Russian, Erzya and Moksha. At the current years the republic is turning to the real centre of the Ugro-Finnish world. The Mordovian expats come here to study, work and live. In 2012 Russia celebrates 1000-year anniversary of the Mordovian People unity with the Peoples of the Russian State.

Patriarch Nikon, the most influential reformer of the Russian Orthodox Church and his opponent Protopope Avvakum both were the Mordovians. There are many legends about Alena of Temnikov – the nun who joined the army of Stepan Razin and consequently burned down being convicted in witchcraft. In the XX the famous sculptor Stepan Erzya globally glorified his small motherland, he had been staying in Argentina for a long time finally returning back home to Russia and bringing back the most of his masterpieces. His best works are exhibited in the Museum of Arts named in his honour. Legendary pilot Mikhail Devyataev, general Maxim Purkaev, Marshal Sergey Akhromeev and cosmonaut Vladimir Dezhurov all had been born in Mordovian villages.

The republic is famous for its spiritual centres of the national-wide scale striking with their beauty and majesty. They are Paigarm Nunnery and Sanaksar Monastery. The latter hosting the relics of Saint Warrior Admiral Fedor Ushakov.

Situated in 5 kilometres from Saransk in Makarovka village Monastery of St. John the Evangelist is a national centre of pilgrimage and a bright masterpiece of the Russian architectonic. A dozen of the cathedrals placed here attract with the opportunity to rest from the urban fuss and get closer to the orthodox saints.

On of the most famous centres of the Mordovian national culture is situated in a village of Staraia Terizmorga, an ancient place located in 65 km from Saransk on the bank of the river Sivin. A reconstructed ancient farmer's homestead with blacksmith's shop and a bath-house, a culture centre and a park neighbouring five-domed Church of St. Nicolas complete an attraction area for the tourists.

Contemporary Mordovia is an industrially developed and investment-attractive region. The main branches are machinery building and metal-works, light industry and food manufacturing. The republic is a location area for such industrial leaders such as JSC "Ruzkhimmash" – oils tanks and fright cars manufacturer of the federal importance, JSC "Sarankscable", JSC "Mordovcement", JSC "Electrovypryamitel", "VKM-Steel" PLC, JSC "Mordovspirt", JSC "SunInBev", agricultural companies "Octyabrskaya" and "Atemar" and many others. All of them provide working places for thousands of employees the latter being mainly the graduates of N.P.Ogarev Mordovian State University.

Saransk is not only one of the oldest cities in Middle Volga Region and the Mordovia's capital, but also a true university city. Every tenth of its citizens either studies or works at N.P.Ogarev Mordovian State University, the largest university of the Volga Region. Among other academic institutions, apart from University, there are Evsevyev Teachers’ Training Institute, Saransk Institute of Consumers’ Cooperatives and Institutes of Humanities. 

Cultural Heritage Saransk - the numerous theaters, museums, libraries: Mordovian Republican Museum of Fine Arts, SD Erzya, Mordovia republic museum, the Museum of Mordvinian culture, the Museum of the military and labor exploits, the State Russian Drama Theatre, Mordovia National Drama Theatre, State Musical Theatre named after I.M. Yausheva. 

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