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The Republic of Mari El

Republic Mari El is a keeper of unique national Mari culture, it is one of the ecological pure region in Europe part of Russia. The republic is located in the West-European plain, in the middle Volga, where the river joins some inflows: Vetluga, Rutka, Bolshaya Kokhsaga, Malaya Kokshaga etc. The most part of territory is occupied by forests: on the north and north-west there are fir forests and fir tree forests, on the west are pine forests, on the south-east are mixed forests.

At the west part there is a Vyatsky ridge, its surface is carved by river valleys and ravines. At this region is dwelled upland and water fowl, bears, elks, lynxes, beavers and foxes. As concerns climate here is a continental, winter is cold, summer is warm.

Economic base of Mari El consists of such fields as mechanical engineering and metal working, woodworking industry and pulp and paper industry. Pharmaceutical industry is at this region too. There is also a livestock sector, food industry, cereal crops. The capital of the republic is Yoshkar-Ola, other big cities of the republic are Volzhsk, Kozjmodemjansk, Zvenigovo. Almost half part of population contains Mari people, there are divided into three cultural-dialect groups. The state language of the republic is Russian language, but old men use Mari language too. As concerns national holidays we should mention such as Aga pairem beginning of farming season, Shyl kas autumn slaughter, festivals of folklore is arranged at the beginning of June the Flower holiday, in July there is Mari song. Museums and theaters are considered the national heritage.

The main interest is represented by the Ethnographic museum on open air in Kozjmodejansk the only in Russia, devoted to Mari culture. Other unique collection is placed in the National museum of Mari El Republic in the name of  T.V Evseev (Yoshkar-Ola). The museum of fine art of Mari El Republic keep the collection of Mari fine art and decorative applied art.

Mari Chodra National Park on Maple Mountain (Klenovaya Gora) is an interesting natural area. The Klenovaya Gora health center is located here, as well as popular tourist spots like Green Spring (Zeleny Klyuch) and Yalchik, Mashiner, Glukhoe, and Konaner lakes. The Ilet, Yushut, and Petyalka rivers flow through the park. An ancient oak, known as the Pugachevsky oak, is preserved here.

According to tradition, Emelyan Pugachev and his troops camped for the night under the canopy of this oak. The oak stands out from the rest of the grove because of its size. This gigantic tree with a mighty truck 159 cm in diameter reaches into the upper layer of the canopy. The Pugachevsky oak by itself represents a precious natural monument.

The republic has five recreational areas set aside for sports and leisure and educational tourism. There are also organized active recreational tours, for example, boat tours on the Malaya and Bolshaya Kokshaga, Bolshoi Kundysh, Ilet, Nemda, and Volga rivers; hiking and horseback riding in the southwestern, southern, and northeastern parts of the republic; and cycling and skiing throughout the territory.

Pilgrimages to holy sites (monasteries, churches, sacred springs) and sacred groves are always popular. The national culture of Mari El is rich and varied. Cultural and economic ties have traditionally been developed with other Finno-Ugric nations. Hungary, Finland, and the Baltic countries are long-standing stable partners of the Republic of Mari El.

There are many museums located throughout the Mari El territory. The largest ones include the National Museum, the Museum of History, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Yoshkar-Ola; the Museum of Arts and History, the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, and the Merchant Life Museum in Kozmodemyansk; and the Sheremetevo Castle Museum-reserve in Yurino. There are also museums dedicated to the poet Nikolay Mukhin and the composer Ivan Klyuchnikov-Palantay in Yoshkar-Ola and the house-museum of writer Sergei Chavayn in Chavaynur.

Five theaters are located in Yoshkar-Ola with performances in both the Russian and Mari languages.
Some cities of the republic had a good fame due to unique carvings, merchant's mansions and historical placement of the streets. On the territory of Mari El there is a National Park , here is developed tourist infrastructure, but people attract their attention to equestrian sport.


All articles of this section:

Equestrian tourism
Equestrian tourism emerged in the 1950s in Europe, and especially in France, at a time when machines were taking over from animal-drawn vehicles. Since then it has moved from being a potentially pleasant activity to become a very concrete reality and one of the surest ways of developing horse riding.
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The site of Yoshkar-Ola
This town was created as a fortress on the river Kokshaika in 1584 year, later had given the name of Kokshainskiy town, since 1781 year became a uyezd town of Kazan. In 1927 year this town got a new name as Yoshkar-Ola, which translated as the red town. This town is included in the number of historical towns in Russia.
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Kozjmodemjansk site
The first mention of the town appeared in 1609 year, since 1781 year it is the uyezd town of Kazan region. Kozjmodemjansk was one of the main timber processing complex and rich noble town. The town was named in the name of famous martyrs Sts. Cosmas and Damian.
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