Mari El

mari-el REPUBLIC - РЕСПУБЛИКА марий-эл

The Republic of Mari-El is located in the middle reaches of the Volga River. As a national entity it was established in November 1920.  There are no outstanding historic attractions in the republic but Yoshkar-Ola the capital of Mari-El is surely worth visiting. It is the most colourful and architecture-wise unusual city in Russia.

Yoshkar-ola - йошкар-ола

The city was founded in 1584. In 2003 the local authorities launched a major renovation of the capital. The effort resulted in outstanding transformation of Yoshkar-Ola from a sleepy town to an attractive city. The renovation was carried out in the Venetian, Scandinavian and old Russian styles which created a peculiar architectural mix. The central square (Nogotkov-Obolensky Square) slightly resembles Piazzo San Marco in Venice.

Prince Nogotkov-Obolensky. The founder and first governor of Yoshkar-Ola.

At night the statue casts a spooky shadow.

The shadow seems to be chasing the monument.

A copy of the Moscow Tsar Cannon.

The national art gallery.

The city's clock.

Every hour on the hour a donkey carries a wonder making icon from one door to another.

Saint martyr Leonid. The Bishop of Mari-El was executed during Stalin's political purges in 1938.

Local government offices across the art gallery.

Yoshkar-Ola's coat of arms.

The national theatre.

The newly built part of Yoshkar-Ola is very colourful and photogenic especially in sunny weather.

The Annunciation Tower and the Annunciation Cathedral.

Office buildings nearby match the cathedral in color and in style.

The Theatre Bridge spans the Resurrection Embankment and the Bruges Embankment.

The Bruges Embankment.

The Puppet Theatre.

A shopping mall.

The Resurrection Embankment.

The Resurrection Church.

The Holy Trinity Church. Restored. The original one was commissioned in 1736.

The 1756 Ascension Church.

The Amsterdam Embankment. All three embankments are dotted with statues. Nikolay Gogol Russian/Ukrainian writer.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

Empress Elizabeth I, Peter’s the Great daughter.

The late patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexei II.

Prince and Princess of Monaco: Rainier III & Grace Kelly stand next to a marriage registration office.

Saint Cyril and Methodius inventors of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Little known Russian Czar named Fyodor. Son of Ivan the Terrible. Fyodor ruled 1584-98.

Tony Childs (USA) and Robin Purchase (Australia) enjoy their visit to Yoshkar-Ola.

The embankments at night.

Lenin looks like a good-natured person.

The Victory Boulevard calls for a stroll.

Church of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin.

The Ludovico Moro Hotel.

A block of flats.

Yoshkin Tomcat.

yurino - юрино

If you travel by car and a few hours of spare time it is advisable to go to the village of Yurino located west of Yoshkar-Ola in the direction Nizhny Novgorod. The sleepy village features an unexpectedly remarkable castle.

The castle stands close to the Volga River.

From Yurino you can cross to Nizhny Novgorod Oblast by a dirt forest road. Bear in mind the road may be very muddy.