Saransk is a city in the eastern part of Central Russia, the capital of the Republic of Mordovia, standing on both banks of the Insar River, 656 km southeast of Moscow (by road).
Several matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will be held in Saransk.
The population of Saransk is about 308,000 (2015), the area - 72 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 8342, the postal codes - 430000-430034.
Saransk was founded as a fortress in the south-eastern outskirts of the Russian kingdom in 1641. It was part of a large fortified line stretching from Belgorod to Simbirsk. The fortress was called Saransky Ostrozhek and was located on the bank of the Insar River, at the mouth of the Sarlat River (the Saranka River today).
The first inhabitants of the fortress were Cossacks, streltsy and gunners who came from the nearby towns, as well as people from the nearby villages. In 1651, Saransk become an administrative center of Saransk uyezd (county). After it, the settlement was called a town, although it received the official status of a town only in 1780. By the end of the 17th century, Saransk had a population of more than 4,000 people.
By the beginning of the 18th century, Saransk almost lost its military significance. The town gradually became a craft and trade center (grain, wood, leather, meat, honey) because of its advantageous geographical location - at the crossroads of paths that connected Astrakhan and Moscow, Crimea and Kazan.
More Historical Facts…
In July 1774, Emelyan Pugachev, the leader of the largest peasant uprising in the history of Russia, stayed in Saransk. It was a memorable moment in the history of the town. In 1785, Catherine II approved a new development plan of Saransk. By the beginning of the 19th century, the population of Saransk reached 7,400 people.
At the end of the 19th century, the Moscow-Kazan railway went through Saransk, which revived the economic and political life of the region. However, the town didn’t become a major industrial center. In the 19th century, the art school of K.A.Makarov (1828), a bank (1844), the first small power plant (1886), a paid public library (1893), a free public library (1899) were opened in the town. By the late 19th century, the local population reached 14,000 people.
During the Russian Civil War, Saransk was one of the centers of formation of military units of the Red Army. The war led to hunger, unemployment, a drop in production. A lot of factories were closed due to lack of fuel and raw materials. By 1927, most of the existing enterprises and workshops were restored, several new plants were opened. In 1930, a radical restructuring of Saransk began.
By 1935, forty five streets were provided with electricity. From 1927 to 1940, the industrial production output of Saransk increased more than 50 times. In 1934, the city became the capital of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Mordovia. About 17,000 inhabitants of Saransk fought on the fronts of the Second World War, more than 8,000 of them died.
In the postwar years, new industries were created: electrical, engineering, medical, food industry, production of building materials. In 1960, the construction of new residential areas began: the north-western district (known as Svetotehstroy today) and the south-western district. In 1965, the first trolley appeared in the city. By the 1970s-1980s, Saransk became a developed industrial center.
At the end of the 20th century, large economic and political changes took place in Saransk. In 1991, the city became the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. Most of the local enterprises were not ready to a market economy, which led to a significant decline in the socio-economic development of Saransk.
Economic recovery in the early 2000s revived the development of Saransk. September 29, 2012, Saransk was officially included in the list of the Russian cities that will host football matches of the World Cup 2018.
Museum of Mordovian Culture in Saransk
Saransk architecture - the House of Unions
Saransk City Day is celebrated on June 12. The coat of arms of Saransk, an image of the running red fox beneath the three arrows, symbolizes the hunt - one of the main occupations of the indigenous population.
The climate is temperate continental, characterized by relatively cold, frosty winters and moderately hot summers. The average temperature in January is minus 11.8 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 19.2 degrees Celsius.
The main industries of Saransk economy: mechanical engineering, metalworking and instrumentation, lighting industry, electric power, nonferrous metallurgy, ferrous metallurgy, chemical, timber and wood industry, construction materials, light industry, and food industry.
Saransk public transport consists of buses, trolleybuses, mini vans, and taxis. Saransk airport offers regular flights to Moscow.
The city is an important cultural center of the Finno-Ugric peoples.
Race walking is a traditional sport in Saransk. Olympic Training Center of the Republic of Mordovia in race walking is located in the city.
Chapel of Alexander Nevsky in Saransk
Electronics store and apartment buildings in Saransk
Saransk places of interest
The main architectural monuments of Saransk are Church of St. John the Evangelist (Demokraticheskaya Street, 28), Three Saints Church (the second half of the 18th century, Moskovskaya Street, 48), Pugachev tent (Moskovskaya Street, 48).
- Mordovian Republican Museum of Fine Arts named after S.D.Erzya (Kommunisticheskaya Street, 61),
- Mordovian Republican Joint Local History Museum named after I.D.Voronin (Moskovskaya Street, 48),
- The Museum of Military and Labor Heroism (1941-1945) (Sovetskaya Street, 34a),
- International Friendship Museum (Botevgradskaya Street, 43),
- The Museum of Mordovian Culture (Sovetskaya Street, 19),
- The Museum of A.I. Polezhaev (Saranskaya Street, 51),
- Fire Safety Museum (Furmanova Street, 15a.).
- State Russian Drama Theater of the Republic of Mordovia (Sovetskaya Street, 60),
- State Puppet Theater of the Republic of Mordovia (Volodarskogo Street, 90a),
- Mordovian State National Drama Theater (Sovetskaya Street, 27),
- State Musical Theater of the Republic of Mordovia named after I.M.Yaushev (Bogdana Khmelnitskogo Street, 36).
- The monument to Stratonavts at Railway Square,
- The monument to the poet A.I.Polezhaev,
- The monument to A.S.Pushkin,
- The memorial complex to the soldiers of Mordovia, who fell in 1941-1945.