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The Republic of Mari El

The Republic of Mari ElThe Republic of Mari ElThe Republic of Mari ElThe Republic of Mari El

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Republic of Mari El

Federal District: The Privolzhsky Federal District

Area: 23 375 km2
Population: 700 118 persons.

Emblem of the Republic of Mari El
Emblem of the Republic of Mari El

Flag of the Republic of Mari El
Flag of the Republic of Mari El


Subject of the Russian Federation:

The Republic of Mariy El

Federal District: Volga Federal District

Square: 23 375 km2

Population: 700 118


The Republic of Mariy El attracts tourists of all ages. Here the modern architecture coexists very seamlessly with numerous historical and cultural monuments. This is a krai of amazingly beautiful nature, rich in lakes and forests. Mari krai can be called a harbor of silence, a land of mushrooms, berries, birds and animals, the krai of ecological well-being.

At all times, the forest was a place of habitation, a source of food and holy temple of Mari-pagans. Up to now, a part of the native population remains committed to the traditional Mari religion.

Today, the Mari are the only people in Europe preserved the paganism almost unchanged as the official national religion. Pagan prayings are held in sacred groves "kusoto" having a special status formalised by Federal Law.

The Mari preserved celebrating traditions of such holidays as Agavayrem is a beginning of the agricultural season, before a plowing, Uginde payrem is a harvest holiday, Shoryk Yol is a pagan New Year, one of the most famous Mari ritual feasts. At the same time, new holidays and folk festivals, which appeared in the Soviet time, has become naturalized: Peyledysh payrem is a flowers festival widely celebrated at the beginning of June throughout the Republic, Mariy muro payrem is a holiday of the Mari song and others. This is a scope for a curious traveller! An original symbol of the Republic is considered rightly the traditional Mari embroidery, which has been developing for 300 years, and traditional music instruments - Mari gusli and drums, wood carving, rod-twinning.

How unusually beautiful Yoshkar-Ola is! No wonder the name is translated from Mari language as the "Red city", the beautiful city. Come and you will be sure of it. When you be in the capital of the Republic, Yoshkar-Ola, visit certainly a central square of the city - the square named after the first voivode of Tsarevokokshaisk knyaz Ivan Obolensky-Nogotkov. There are at once some monuments in the square - a horse monument to the voivode knyaz Ivan Andreevich Obolensky-Nogotkov, that became one of the city symbols and its main sights, a monument to priest-martyr Leonid, a Mari bishop and a copy of the Tsar Cannon. A special appeal, steadily attracting tourists, is mounted on the tower gallery unique musical clock with moving figures. A National Gallery of Art is also situated here. Be sure to visit a quay Malaya Kokshaga - one of the most beauty places of the city. The quay, decorated with artistic wrought fence in the central part of the city, along with the Kremlin of Tsarevokokshaisk, the temple buildings - the Annunciation Cathedral and Resurrection Cathedral, forms a single ensemble of historical Yoshkar-Ola. A quay part on the left bank of Malaya Kokshaga, received a name "Bruges quay", is very interesting. The quay in this part reproduces the main elements of the Gothic-style, building - houses of Flemish architecture with colourful facades, stepped gables.

If you're a lover of romantic antiquity, come to town Kozmodemyansk - an ancient merchant city, which preserved on the streets wooden houses, adorned with an openwork carving. Now in many pre-revolutionary buildings of the city there are next museums: of a merchant life, art and historical museum named after Grigoriev A.V. with a unique collection of paintings by Russian artists of XVII-XX centuries, exposures of history and porcelain by Russian, West European and East masters, the Museum of satire and humour named after Ostap Bender. Location of the single museum in the world of the famous literary character Bender exactly in Kozmodemyansk is no coincidence. The second name of the city, immortalized in the history by Ilf and Petrov, is New Vasyuki.

This is where the great schemer played his famous chess tournament, and it has already been carrying out for 13 years in Kozmodemyansk annually humour festival "Benderiada," in which everyone has the opportunity to meet with Bender, to fight in a chess battle and search for real diamonds.

The pride of the republic is the Ethnographic Open Air Museum - one of two in Russia, entirely dedicated to ethnography of non-Russian people. Currently, the museum has about two dozen wooden buildings, the oldest of which is a pyramidal Streletskaya chapel.

Be sure to visit the pearl of the Republic - a unique villa of the Grafen Sheremetyevy, built in the style of a medieval castle. Castle and park complex located on the picturesque left bank of the Volga River in the village Yurino and boggle the imagination by its splendour.

It's hard to tell everything about this delightful territory. It is necessary to go to relax here and always get an energy charge of the wonderful hospitality and warmth, which this ancient land gives.

The Republic of Mariy El is a subject of the Russian Federation.

Yoshkar-Ola is its capital. The Republic of Mariy El with a centre Yoshkar-Ola is situated in the centre of a European part of Russia, in the middle stream of Volga. It borders on Kirovskaya, Nizhegorodskaya oblast, Tatarstan and Chuvashiya.

Population is about 700 000 people.

The territory is 23,4 km2

Mariy El includes 4 cities (Yoshkar-Ola, Volzhsk, Kozmodemyansk, Zvenigovo) and 14 rayons.


The Finno-Ugric tribes inhabited the territory of modern western, northern and central Russia since prehistoric times. Archaeological sources relating to the first millennium BC were preserved on the territory of the Republic of Mari El. Since a Mari writing (Tishte) was used exclusively for the record of business information, and Tatar written documents were destroyed during the capture of Kazan, almost all written information about the history of the Middle Volga related to Russian sources.

Cheremis (the modern name - Mari) were first mentioned in the X century in a letter to the Khazar Kagan Joseph, a dignitary of cordovsky caliph Hasdai Ibn Shaprut. The ancestors of the modern Mari interacted with the Goths between V and VIII century, and later with the Khazars and Volga Bulgaria, which was in the territory of modern Tatarstan and was destroyed in 1236 attacking Russia with the Mongol armies of Batu Khan. Since the formed after that Golden Horde, the Mari were apparently in the allied relations. Between the XIII and XV century the Mari were part of the Golden Horde and Kazan Khanate.

Since IX the Mari also come into contact with the advancing to the East the Slavs of Kievan Rus, settled down on the land of the Western Mari (Merya) of Rostov, Galich, Yaroslavl, Suzdal, Vladimir and in 1221 Nigny Novgorod. Step by step Western Mari through acceptance of Christianity is becoming the slavs, unwilling to accept Christianity run to the inward of the Mari krai. In the Middle Ages Russian-Tatar clashes in the Mari lands are a common thing. In 1551 the lands of the mountain Mari (right bank of the Volga) fall under the control of Moscow, and in 1552 the tsarist troops catch Kazan and meadowy Mari start to pay a tribute to Moscow. It starts a 30-year period of Cheremis wars, which ended with the building of fortress cities for permanent maintenance of military posts (Kozmodemyansk was founded in 1583, Tsarevokokshaisk - in 1584, now Yoshkar-Ola, Yaransk, Sanchursk) and with the subsequent krai colonization.

Forced Christianization leads to the fact that Mari go to the woods, leaving empty the entire villages. Under Peter the First Mari start to be drafted into the army, Tarkhan estate is eliminated, the total impoverishment of the population begins. Along with this it is carried out the scientific study of the territory, the first written monuments of the Mari language in Cyrillic is drawn up. The first Mari grammar of Putsek-Grigorovich appears in 1775. The Mari situation remains serious and in 1775 the Mari massively supported the rebellion of Pugachev.

Kazan teacher's seminary is opened in 1872, one of the tasks of which was to train representatives of the Volgian people, including Mari. This gave a serious impact to the national revival, the Mari schools are opened, the books, including textbooks, are printed in the Mari language.

Before the October Revolution Mari hadn't their statehood and were scattered in the Kazan, Vyatka, Nizhny Novgorod, Ufa, and Ekaterinburg provinces. Today from 670,000 Mari only 324.3 live in the Republic of Mari El. For historical reasons 51.7 percents of the Mari live outside their republic, including 4.1 percents outside of Russia. After the October Revolution, November 4, 1920, it was formed Mari Autonomous oblast.

In 1920 two equal literature language norms were established: mari-meadowy and mari-mountain languages. These years, as in the other national republics, were marked as rapid development of national culture.

December, 5,1936 Mari autonomy was reorganized to Mari ASSR. October, 22,1990 - Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR). December, 9, 1992 - The Republic of Mariy El. A name - under the ethnic self-designation of its indigenous population - mari ("man, husband"). Mariy is "mari", El is "country, region".

Geographic position, natural resources, climate

Mari El is located in the east of the East European Plain in the middle stream of the Volga. The most part of the republic is on the left bank of the Volga. The swampy Mari lowland is situated in the western part of the Volga left bank. In the west of the republic Volga receives large inflows - Vetluga.

To the east on the lowland there are left tributaries of the Volga, which rise from the southern slopes of the Vyatskie ridges : Malaya Kokshaga with tributaries Maliy Kundysh and Bolshaya Oshla, Bolshaya Kokshaga with a tributary Bolshoy Kundysh, Rutka. There are many forest lakes in these valleys. The eastern part of the territory is located within Vyatskie ridges (altitude to 275 m), there are karst landforms, the surface is dissected by river valleys and ravines. Among them, the Vyatka Basin rivers: Nemda with tributaries Lazh, Tolman, Shukshan and others, Bui, Urzhumka, Shoshma; left Volga's tributary Ilet with tributaries Shora, Irovka and Yushut.

On the right bank it is situated only one of 14 rayons of the Republic - Gornomariysky, which occupies the north outskirts of Volga Upland. Here the tributaries Sura, Sumka, Yunga, Malaya Yunga, Sundyr flow into the Volga.

Cheboksar and Kuibyshev water-storage basins are situated on the Volga within the republic.

Resources: peat, clay, building stone, limestones, glass and silicate sands, mineral sources.

The climate is moderately continental with long cold winter and warm summer. The average summer temperature is +18 ... 20 ° C. The hottest weather is in the middle of July. The air is heated to +24 °... 28 C. In autumn the weather is cold and damp with a predominance of strong chilly winds and rain. The early frosts and snow are possible. November is the windiest month. Winter, as a rule, starts in November. The average winter temperature is -18 ... 19 ° C. The coldest month is in January. The Republic of Mariy El is a great place for winter sports: skiing, skating. Spring is generally cool and dry.


Leading industry are the production of petroleum products, pulp and paper production, manufacture of transport equipment, manufacture of leather, leather products and footwear, machinery and equipment manufacture, wood processing and wood products manufacture.


Agro-industrial complex is an important component of the republic economy. In the structure of gross regional product the unit weight of agriculture, hunting and forestry is 16.5%. The priority branches in the republic are dairy and beef cattle breeding, poultry farming, pig breeding and crop production with a major production of grain, potatoes and vegetables.


On the territory of the Republic there are an airport of inter-republic importance, railway station and two bus stations, river harbour.


  • The monument to a voivode knyaz Ivan Andreevich Obolenskiy-Nogotkov
  • Music clock with an original sculpture composition "12 apostles".
  • Culture and historical complex "Tsarevokokshaisky kremlin".
  • Sheremetyev's castle (The Sheremetyev's villa)
  • The monument to St. Petr and Febronia
  • Kozmodemyansk is a monument of wooden architecture.
  • State natural national park "Mariy Chodra".
  • Rock mountain
  • Sea eye
  • State natural reserve " Bolshaya Kokshaga"
  • Mining reserve, plot of land "Nolkinsky kamen".
  • Sculpture composition "Yoshkin kot".

Famous native-born citizens

  • Andrey Yakovlevich Ashpay (born in 1925) - composer, national artist of the USSR, a laureate of Lenin and state prize of the USSR
  • Nicolay Alekseevich Zabolotskiy (1903-1958) - poet
  • Valentin Hristoforovich Kolumb (1935 -1974) - poet, writer, journalist
  • Vasin Kim Kirillovich (1924 - 2005) - popular writer of the Republic of Mariy El, honoured science and culture worker of the State Prize of Mari ASSR, a laureat of state prize of Mari ASSR.
  • Nikitin Rudolf Ivanovich (born in 1937) - honoured science and technique worker, a prize laureat of council of Ministers of the USSR.
  • Shatunov Oleg - honoured master of sports of the USSR in volleyball, Olympic champion in 1996, bronz winner of the world championship in 1990, owner of the world cup in 1991, Russian champion in 1992-1993.
  • Filimonov Aleksandr - master of sports in Russia in football, 5-multiple champion of Russia. • Selunina (Rocheva) Nina - honoured master of sports of the USSR in cross-country skiing, silver winner of the Olympic games, champion of student games, champion of the USSR.
  • Safin Renat - honoured master of sports of the USSR in biathlon, champion of the Olympic games, multiple world champion of the USSR
  • Druzhinina (Voronina) Zinaida - honoured master of sports of the USSR in a sportive gymnastic, world champion in 1960 - 1964. Olympic champion in 1968, miss of the world gymnastic in 1968.
  • Kalyagina Tamara - honoured master of sports of the USSR in basketball, champion of the Olympic games, 7-multiple World champion, 10-multiple champion of Europe, champion of the USSR, the RSFSR.

Contact telephones in case of emergency

the Main Office of EMERCOM of Russia in the Republic Mariy-El (8362) 45-0563

Federal Service for Consumer Rights and Human Welfare Protection in the Republic Mariy-El (8362) 68-1997

Information sources about regional tourist possibilities

Ministry for Physical Education, Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Mariy-El

Informative tourist, cultural and business centre ITR