Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia Overview

The Republic of Mordovia is a federal subject of Russia situated in the center of the European part of the country, in the Volga Federal District. Saransk is the capital city of the region. As of 2015, the population of Mordovia is about 807,000, and the area, 26,128 sq. km.

Nizhny Novgorod became an important center in the fight against the Volga Bulgaria, the Mordovian lands around the town came under the control of Russians. However, further development of the region was disturbed due to the Mongol invasion. The Mordovians were subdued in 1242.

In the middle of the 15th century, the Golden Horde collapsed, and part of the land populated by the Mordovians came under the control of the newly formed Kazan Khanate. Other parts of Mordovian lands were ruled by the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Relations between the Russian state and the Kazan Khanate were strained. At the same time, the Crimean khans constantly raided the Russian state from the south.

Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia History

In the 11th and early 13th centuries, the political and military situation in the western part of the mid-Volga was characterized by the struggle of the Russian principalities and the Volga Bulgaria. Both sides wanted to subdue the Mordovian lands. In the year 1221, the town of Nizhny Novgorod was established at the place where the Oka River flows into the Volga.

Going towards the middle of the 15th century, the Golden Horde collapsed and part of the land populated by the Mordovians came under the control of the newly formed Kazan Khanate.

Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia Features

The Republic of Mordovia is situated on the easter part of the East European Plain, approximately midway between Moscow and the Volga River, just between the rivers of Oka and Sura. Mordovia is the closest city to Moscow national region. The traveling distance from Moscow to Saransk is somewhat about 650 km. All the railways and highways going through its territory connects to European Russia with the Volga region, the Urals, and Siberia.

The climate throughout the year in the Republic of Mordovia is continental. The average temperate in the month of Janurary is around minus 11 degrees Celcius, whereas in the month of July is plus 20 degree Celsius.

The largest cities and towns in the Republic of Mordovia include Saransk (308,000), Ruzaevka (46,000), Kovylkino (20,3000), Komsomol (13,000). The national composition of the population according to the 2010 Census: Russians made 53.4% of the total population, whereas the Mordovians make a total of 40% including the Tatars with 5.2%.

In the Republic of Mordovia, Orthodox Christianity is the dominating religion. Russian and Mordovian languages (Moksha and Erzya) are the official language that is spoken by the majority of the population in the Republic of Mordovia. Mordovian languages are spoken by a total of one-third of the entire population of the Republic of Mordovia.

The industry in the Republic of Mordovia specializes in the production of electrical products (including lighting production, electronic and optical equipment), with a wide range of cable products, transport engineering products (railcars), building materials. Mineral resources of Mordovia enable the production of cement, asbestos products, roofing materials, concrete products, building ceramics, and other materials. Agriculture also remains an important branch of the republican economy.

Transportation in the Republic of Mordovia, Saransk City

The municipal transit system of Saransk city, the Republic of Mordovia comprises primarily of a network of bus and trolleybus lines.

Saransk I railway station is a station in the Kuybyshev Republic. The features additional stations serving regional railways to Ruzayevka and Krasny Uzel. Previously, Saransk was served by two daily Penza- –Nizhny Novgorod passenger trains, carrying passengers from nearby villages mainly to either Ruzayevka junction station and Penza or to Arzamas and Nizhny Novgorod.

The city also offers a daily direct train service with Moscow city. The city is served by the small Saransk Airport (IATA: SKX, ICAO: UWPS) southeast of downtown. It is served primarily by small regional carriers; the most common aircraft is the An-24. There are scheduled flights to and from Moscow's Domodedovo airport on weekdays. Saransk is also home to the Lyambir airforce base.

Tourism in Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia

The Republic of Mordovia is one of the recognized centers of the Finno-Ugric world. It is indeed one of the most stunning and beautiful places in the Volga region which is rich in water resources. The region features two large rivers, the Moksha and Sura along with plenty of lakes, forest consisting 27% of the total area of the Republic, and fauna. The region also features two specially protected natural territories of federal significance in the region, The Mordovia State Reserve named after P.G. Smidovich and National Park ‘Smlony’.

The city features picturesque spa facilities that are situated in scenic wooden areas. The largest sanatoriums and resorts are ‘Saransky’, ‘Alatyr’, ‘Moksga’, ‘Sivin’, and ‘Sure’.

Being in Mordovia you can easily visit the places that are connected with the life and work of the admiral F.F. Ushakov, artist F.V. Sychkov, sculptor S.D. Erzia, and others. The city has so much to explore, so if you are planning to start your city tour, here are some of the best options that you should put on your list-

The main attractions of Mordovia (mainly situated in Saransk)-

  • Mordovian Republican Fine Arts Museum named after S.D. Erzia
  • Cathedral of Saint Righteous Warrior Feodor Ushakov in Saransk - the highest religious building in the Volga region
  • Mordovian National Culture Museum
  • Mordovian Republican Joint Local Lore Museum
  • Mordovian State National Drama Theater
  • Sanaksar monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God located in the Temnikov district
  • National-cultural center in the village of Staraya Terizmorga - one of the most famous Mordvinian cultural centers (Moksha center of national culture

Never Forgetting Highlight about the Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia

Are you aware of the fact that Saransk is one of the 11 Russian cities that hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Well, if not, then yes, it was. Mordovia Arena, the only football stadium in Saransk is one of the venues where the 2018 FIFA World Cup was organized.

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the city hosted four group matches of the World Cup, including the matches between Peru and Denmark, and Colombia versus Japan.

Saransk City Architecture & Cityscape

The city of Saransk is filled with a large number of building remaining from the 17th and 18th centuries. Although, many parts of this city are usually dominated by Soviet-era apartment blocks, dating mainly from the 1960s, similar to other provincial towns which expanded instantly due to fast industrialization.

All these buildings are nearing the end of their service life and are in deep need of serious refurbishment and, in many scenarios, replacement too. All the industrial enterprises are mainly located to the north of the town center. The eastern part of Saransk city, which is located on the east of the Insar River, is Posop. An interesting detail is the Soviet-era military base, belonging to Russia Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is located along the railway lines and serves of a time when Saransk city was a closed city.

Another important landmark in the city is the Saransk TV Tower. A 180 meter tall guyed tubular steel mast built in 1961. Other than that there are other iconic locations such as the Monument of Eternal Glory in memory of fallen soldiers. Let’s see, the other locations-

  • Monument to Sts. Cyril and Methodius
  • Monument to Patriarch Nikon
  • Monument to Pugachev
  • The Monument of Eternal glory
  • Monument to Pushkin
  • Monument to Polezhaev
  • Monument to Heroes-astronauts
  • Monument of The Plane

‘Family Monument’ in the City of Saransk

The Family Monument is one of the most noteworthy monuments in Saransk. It lies in the center of the city, near the Cathedral of St. Feodor Ushakov, at the crossroads of Sovietskaya and the Democraticheskaya streets. It was opened in 2008, which was declared the Year of Family in Russia. The author of the monument is sculptor Nikolai Filatov. This iconic monument is a symbol of absolute family values, the one and true foundation of society. The sculpture depicts a life-size large family; the husband with a little child on his shoulder, his pregnant wife, the mother of the children, and two more children, holding on to their parents.

Points of Interest in Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia

There are endless ways to entertain yourself while being in Saransk City. You can always visit the Saransk Regional History Museum, specially dedicated to the history of the city. Even the Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts features the world’s largest collection of more than 200 works the sculptor Stepan Erzia.

Apart from museums, the city of Saransk also boasts beautiful parks such as the Pushkin Park (named after the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin). You can visit Saransk’s central Park as it offers gardens, a Ferris wheel, brass band concerts on Sunday, a small-town zoo, and a train for kids and their parents.

The city of Saransk features three orthodox churches, and the most famous is the Cathedral of St. Theodore Ushakov.

If you are an opera lover, a night at the opera is also possible at the New Opera Ballet Theater. If you are looking for more, there is also the State Puppet Theater of the Republic of Mordovia and the Mordovia National Drama Theatre at Ulitsa Sovetskaya.

7 Interesting Facts About Saransk City, The Republic of Mordovia

1. Gerad Depardieu Lives in Saransk

The most celebrated inhabitant in Saransk City is Gerard Depardieu, who, having left France due to new tax laws, was eventually granted all Russian Citizenship to all those immigrants, by Vladimir Putin himself in the year 2013. Well, for some certain reasons which he never revealed, he chose Saransk City as his home address. He received a flat there as a gift from the famous Russian actor, Nikolay Borodachyov, and since then he renovated a cinema and started a cultural foundation named after him. While Depardieu is not known for strolling down the streets of Saransk himself, you can always go to see a film in this recently created theater.

2. Saransk Was Named About a Really Muddy River

It is an unknown fact that Saransk was named after the muddy river, Saranka river. This muddy river flows through the city in two different directions. The phrase ‘Sara’ means “a muddy place” in the Finno-Ugric language. Which was officially once spoken in the area.

3. Saransk is really into Racewalking

Racewalking is the traditional sports discipline in the region and the 2012 IAAF World Race Walking Cup was held there. The track went through the central streets of the city. However, Russian won seven medals (three gold) that year, second only to China with its eight.

4. Saransk only got its first street lamps around 100 years ago

If you don’t know then let us tell you that Saransk is now a very industrial place, but that has not always been the case. The city only started developing at the beginning of the 20th century, and the very first street lamps appeared as late as 1914.

5. Copenhagen and Saransk airports share the same IATA code

Almost all the airports in the world are assigned an IATA code, a three-letter code that is used at the check-in desks, on the baggage tags, and elsewhere. In addition to this, airports in the former USSR have their own coding system, assigning each airport a three-letter code in Cyrillic. The internal code of Saransk airport happens to be the same or we say identical to the IATA code of that of Copenhagen airport. So, while traveling to Russia, don’t get surprised if you arrive at Saransk only to find that your baggage has ended up at the Copenhagen airport.

6. Saransk is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia

When the Republic of Mordovia was first created, Temnikov, one of the oldest towns in the region, was meant to become its capital at that time. Well, later it was rejected because of the scarcity of a railway connection with the rest of the parts of the country.

7. Saransk’s Population Size had Increased Tenfold over the Past Century

In the year 1917, the year of the two Russian revolutions, at that point of time the population of Saransk was somewhere around 28,000, including more than 10,000 soldiers stationed there. Well, lastly in the year 2010, the total number of inhabitants increased up to 324,000, with Mordvins accounting for around 28% of the total population.