Mari El Republic, Russia (Mariy El)

The capital city of Mari El republic: Yoshkar-Ola.

Mari El Republic overview

Mari El Republic (other spellings Mariy El, Marii El, Mary El) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation located in Volga Federal District.

The capital of the republic is Yoshkar-Ola. There are a lot of lakes (about 200) and coniferous forests on the territory of Mari El.

Mari El Republic population - 690,000 (2012); land area - 23,375 sq. km.

Mari El republic flag

Mari El republic flag

Mari El republic coat of arms

Mari El republic coat of arms

Mari El republic anthem

Mari El republic map, Russia

Mari El republic map of Russia

Mari El Republic territory features

Mari El is located in the east of East-European plain, on the mid-Volga. The larger part of the Republic is located on the left bank of the Volga. The western part of the territory on the left bank is marshy Mari lowland.

The eastern part is located within Vyatkasky hills (275 m high). Only one of the districts of the Republic - Gornomaryisky - is located on the right bank of the Volga.

Cheboksarskoye and Kuybyshevskoye water basins are located on the Volga within the territory of Mari El Republic. The resources are as follows: peat, clay, stone for construction, limestone, glass and silicate sands, mineral springs.

The climate of the region is of moderate continental type with long cold winter and warm summer. The average temperature in summer is 18-20 degrees Celsius above zero, in winter 18-19 degrees Celsius below zero.

There is an airport in Mari El, a railway terminal and 2 bus terminals, 14 railway stations, 51 bus stations, a river port on the Volga in the town of Kozmodemyansk, 4 smaller ports. The rivers Volga, Vetluga and Sura are navigable.

Main industries of the region are machine-building and metal working, timber, wood processing and paper and pulp, light and food industries. There are 2 industrial towns in the republic - Yoshkar-Ola and Volzhsk.

Agriculture is presented by meat and milk producing, sheep, goat and pig breeding, poultry farming. Crops are grown (barley, oats, rye, wheat) and vegetables.

Mari El Republic nature

Mari El republic nature

Mari El republic nature

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El republic the Volga river

Mari El republic the Volga river

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El republic winter

Mari El republic winter

Author: Alex Grachov


Mari El Republic history

Finno-Ugric tribes inhabited the territory of modern western, northern and central Russia from pre-historic times. The archaeological sites dating back to the first millennium B.C. are preserved on the territory of Mari El.

As Mari written language (tishte) was used only for writing down economical data and Tatar written sources were destroyed, almost all the written information on the history of mid-Volga is in Russian language.

Cheremises (present name - Mari) were mentioned in the 10th century for the first time. Between the 5th and the 8th centuries, the ancestors of Maris people interrelated with the Goths and later with Khazars and Volzhskaya Bulgaria which was located on the territory of modern Tatarstan and was destroyed by Mongol forces headed by Batyi in 1236.

Later, the Golden Horde was formed and the Maris might have been in friendly relations with it. Between the 13th and the 15th centuries, the Maris lands were the part of the Golden Horde and Kazan khanate.

From the 9th century, the Maris had contacts with the Slavic people of Kievan Rus who were moving eastwards and inhabited the cities Rostov, Galich, Yaroslavl, Suzdal, Vladimir and Nizhny Novgorod in 1221. These cities were built on the lands of western Maris who became Christians and more like Slavic people, the Maris who rejected Christianity escaped deep into the east of the Mari area.

In the Middle Ages, fights between the Russians and the Tatars on Mari lands became a common thing. In 1551, the territory of highland Maris (on the right bank of the Volga) was ruled by Moscow, in 1552, Russian Tsar army occupied Kazan and lowland Maris began paying tribute to Moscow.

Cheremis wars lasted during 30 years and they finished with the construction of towns-fortresses for keeping military garrisons (the town of Kozmodemyansk was built in 1583, Tsarevokokshaisk (present Yoshkar-Ola) in 1584, towns Yaransk and Sanchursk) and colonization of the region followed.

Forced convert to Christianity entailed Maris leaving their villages and escaping in the forests. Under Peter I the Maris were forced to join the army. At the same time scientific research of the territory began, the first documents of the Mari language in Cyrillic were written down.

Mari El Republic scenery

Mari El Russia forest

Mari El Russia forest

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El Russia small river

Mari El Russia small river

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El region cow

Mari El region cow

Author: Sergey Kozin


Maris lived under hard conditions and in 1775 they joined the Pugachov revolt. In 1872, a Teacher’s Training School was founded in Kazan. One of its objectives was to teach local people in the Volga area including Mari people. It gave a great impulse to national revival, Mari schools were open, books in Mari language were published and textbooks among them.

Before the October Revolution of 1917, Mari population didn’t have autonomy and lived in Kazanskaya, Vyatskaya, Nizhegorodskaya, Ufimskaya and Yekaterinburgskaya gubernias.

Nowadays only 324,000 Mari people out of 670,000 live in the Republic of Mari El. After the October Revolution, on November 4, 1920, Mari autonomous oblast was formed.

In 1920s, two equal literary language variants were established: lowland and highland languages. These years like in other national republics were remarkable for rapid development of national culture.

However, in 1930s, when mass repressions began this process slowed down, all the national intelligentsia was destructed. Mari population became the minority in the republic and the Mari language was replaced by Russian under the political circumstances.

On December 5, 1936, the Mari autonomous oblast was reorganized into the Mari ASSR. On October 22, 1990, it became the Mari SSR, on December 9, 1992 - The Republic of Mari El. The name is derived from the ethnic name of indigenous population - Mari (“man, husband”), el “country, region”.

Mariy El Republic views

Mariy El republic nature

Mariy El republic nature

Author: Alex Grachov

Mariy El republic view

Mariy El republic view

Author: Alex Grachov

Mariy El republic scenery

Mariy El republic scenery

Author: Alex Grachov


Mari El Republic attractions

Mari El Republic is one of the most ecologically pure territories in the European part of Russia. There are a lot of beautiful lakes, rivers and forests on the territory of the region. It is a popular destination for travelers and tourists who are enjoying nature.

The republic is an excellent place for winter sports: skiing and skating. There are National park Mari Chodra and nature reserve Bolshaya Kokshaga.

Mari Chodra national park situated in the Ilet river valley offers various opportunities of boating, fishing, horseback riding and mushrooming. Bolshaya Kokshaga National Reserve virgin forests and local wildlife also attracts people fond of nature.

There are some recreation places in the republic which are used by local population and neighboring regions, as well as a lot of hiking routes, equestrian routes, kayak water routes on the Kokshaga river, there are a lot of summer camps and sanatoriums on the lakes Yalchik and Tayir.

Mari El republic of Russia photos

Mari El Republic pictures

Mari El region landscape

Mari El region landscape

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El Russia republic view

Mari El Russia republic view

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El village scenery

Mari El village scenery

Author: Alex Grachov


Sheremetiev castle

Mari El Sheremetiev castle

Mari El Sheremetiev castle

Author: Alex Grachov

Mari El Republic Sheremetiev castle

Mari El Republic Sheremetiev castle

Author: Alex Grachov


The questions of our visitors

rudy asks: Where is Kokshaysk Russia?
Expert's answer:
Kokshaysk is a small village located in Zvenigovsky district of Mari El Republic, about 56 km from Yoshkar-Ola city.
Lorenzo asks: Where is the village of Pemba located
Expert's answer:
Pemba is a small village located about 20 km to the south of Yoshkar-Ola.

The comments of our visitors

s jackson
comment on web information
Very nicely written historical summary of the ethnology of the region. Most interesting. Nice photos to give feel for the country. Introduced by internet friend.

brankaleon
thank
Greetings from Greece. I love Mari El and Russia as second country.

CHIE
MARI EL
Mari El a peaceful and eco-friendly place to retire, my kind of town

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