Saransk, Russia

Saransk

Description of Saransk

Saransk (Moksh. Saransk Osh, Saransk, Ers. Saran Osh, Ers. Saransk) is a city in Russia, capital of the Republic of Mordovia. Forms the urban district of Saransk. Founded in 1641. The city was named after the river, which flowed through its area and was called Saranka. Since the beginning of 1934 is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. Saransk is located in the central part of the East European Plain on the Volga Upland on both banks of the Insar River. Saransk occupies 64th place in Russia in terms of population, which as of January 1, 2018 is 318,841 people.

In the summer of 2018, Saransk hosted matches of the World Cup.

 

Orientation

The center of Saransk is bounded by Polezhaeva Street from the north and the banks of the Saranka River in the south, the main thoroughfare of the center is Kommunisticheskaya Street, which runs in the latitudinal direction. The core of the city is Sovetskaya Square. All the key objects of Saransk are located here or in the immediate vicinity: walking along it, you can get an idea of the city in about fifteen minutes.

The area of private development on the right bank of the Saranka is called Nizy. Here you can see how the whole city looked before the 30s of the twentieth century, and appreciate the authentic wooden houses of the Mordovians. Private houses are being actively demolished and replaced by modern high-rise buildings - hurry up.

Tourist Information Center, st. B. Khmelnitsky, 26, of. 106. ✉ ☎ +7 (8342) 777-677. Mon-Fri 9:00–18:00. It is located on the Millennium Square, in the right entrance of the National Library. A.S. Pushkin

 

Sights

Ensemble of the Soviet Square:
1 House of Soviets, Sovetskaya street, 26. Monumental pre-war stalin (1938) with bas-reliefs on the theme of friendship between the peoples of the USSR.
2 City administration, Sovetskaya street, 30. Located in the building of a commercial club (1916). In front of the entrance there is an unusual monument “Flowers of the Millennium”: a metal forged bouquet, reminiscent of forged sculptures in Donetsk.
3 House of the Republic. Wikidata element A heavy late Soviet building with a huge hammer and sickle on the pediment. 1987, architect Isakovich.
4 House with a clock, Sovetskaya, 47. Corner house built before the war for the Saransk nomenklatura. Here the corner is unusually decorated: an arcade with a clock tower.
5  Cathedral of the Holy Righteous Warrior Fyodor Ushakov (2005)  (western edge of the square). The main symbol of modern Saransk. The monumental cathedral turned out to be surprisingly successful and blended well into the surrounding urban environment. The bells are placed on four belfries in the corner turrets. Next to the cathedral there is a monument to Patriarch Nikon, who seemed to be an ethnic Mordvin, and a monument to Admiral Ushakov, who was not a Mordvin and did not live in Saransk, but in the Temnikovsky district of the Tambov province, which became part of Mordovia only in the 20th century.
6  Memorial complex. In Saransk, they were able to find a non-standard solution for a complex in memory of participants in various wars. In the eastern part of the square there is a black-and-orange building of the museum of military and labor feat, and to the right of it there are three groups of monuments: to the participants of the First World War, the Great Patriotic War (with the figure of a soldier who is blessed by a woman in national costume - Motherland) and soldiers -internationalists.
7  Children's art school, Moskovskaya st. 5. One of the few surviving examples of functionalism in Saransk.
8 Church of St. John the Evangelist, st. Democratic, 28. The oldest building in Mordovia (1693): a one-apse church with brick cornices and kokoshniks.
9 Main building of Moscow State University, Bolshevistskaya street 68/1. The University of Saransk is not called anyhow, but MSU - Mordovian State University. Apparently, in an attempt to catch up with Moscow, the main building was built in the center of the city, clearly stylized as a building on Sparrow Hills. The decision can hardly be called successful, but the building has become a high-rise dominant of Saransk.
10 Pugachevskaya tent, st. Moscow (in the courtyard of the Three Saints Church). The oldest civil building in the city (beginning of the 18th century) is the pantry of the estate, which belonged to the widow of the Saransk governor Kamenitsky. Here Pugachev arranged his bet for the duration of his stay in Saransk, and, according to legend, he hung the mistress of the house on his own gate after a denunciation of mistreatment of servants. Civilian buildings of this age and in general in Russia are rare, and for the Middle Volga region this is an unusual rarity, especially since the architecture of the tent fully corresponds to the 17th century, even before any European influence.
11 Church of the Three Hierarchs, 48 Moskovskaya st. An example of the late Baroque (1760s), more familiar to the townspeople as a museum of local lore. In 2017, the museum left the building, which is now being prepared for restoration. Behind the church, along Moskovskaya Street, there is a small square of the Fighters of the Revolution, in which there is a monument to the food detachments, modest in form, but creepy in fact.
12 House on Sovetskaya, Sovetskaya 16. Pre-revolutionary buildings in Saransk are generally countless, and this is a pretty good example of wooden Art Nouveau.
✦   Mordovian wood carving. Between Moskovskaya and Staroposadskaya streets are sandwiched several quarters of wooden log cabins, some of which have preserved carved national decorations. Most of these houses are on Mordovskaya Street, (houses No. 9, No. 12, No. 18, No. 28) and Republican (No. 73). In some incredible way, a wooden house in the Art Nouveau style, known as the “house with a star” (Gruzinskaya, 34), has crept in here.

 

What to do

1 Museum of Fine Arts. S. D. Erzya, st. Communist, 61. 9:00–18:00 except Mon; Thu 11:00–20:00. 150 rub. The museum exhibits more than 200 works by the outstanding modernist sculptor of Mordovian origin Stepan Erzya, a woodworking master. From 1927 to 1950, the sculptor worked in Argentina, and his best works are created from South American woods - quebracho and algarrobo. There is nothing similar in the Russian sculptural tradition, and the museum is certainly worth a visit. In addition to the Erzi collection, there is also a collection of Russian paintings at the level of an average museum in the regional center. Do not miss contemporary artists, they are rarely exhibited anywhere, but they are worth a look.
2  Museum of Mordovian National Culture , st. Sovetskaya, 19 (corner of Sovetskaya and Rabochaya). Located in the mansion of the merchant Barablin. Mordovian national clothes, household items, icons. The museum is quite interesting, but there are no visitors at all.
3 Mordovian Republican United Museum of Local Lore. I. D. Voronina, Saranskaya street, 2. Tue–Sun 10:00–18:00. Standard local history museum.
4 Mordovian National Drama Theatre, st. Sovetskaya, 27. The building of the theater is notable for its national ornaments and sculptures in national costumes on the pediment. A rare opportunity to hear Mordovian speech in Saransk: the performances here are in Moksha and Erzya with simultaneous translation into Russian.
5  Park of Culture and Leisure. A. S. Pushkin (south of the center). The entrance to the park is decorated with an Empire arch. The most interesting thing here (except for the attractions, of course) is the flower calendar, a flower bed in the form of a portrait of A.S. Pushkin and a small monument to Lenin by M. Manizer (1936): Ilyich stands on top of a disproportionately large pedestal, installed on the base in the form of a five-pointed star.

 

Getting here

By plane

Air traffic was resumed at the beginning of 2018, there are two flights a day to Moscow in the morning and in the evening.

If you are flying to Saransk during daylight hours, just before landing, look around: the glide path passes over the Makarov Monastery, which looks no less impressive from the air than from the ground.

1  Airport. The airport is located on the southeastern outskirts of the city. Theoretically, you can get to the center (to the station) by bus number 13, in practice it is better to call a taxi. A unique feature of the Saransk airport is a holiday village located between the runway and the air terminal: from the platform to the exit to the city, the airport bus travels almost two kilometers past vegetable gardens and chicken coops. In 2018, all flights arrive and depart from the temporary terminal, which is located quite far from the old building.

 

By train

Saransk stands on the Arzamas-Penza line, which is not very busy. Several trains pass through it a day, mainly from the Urals and Western Siberia to the South and back. From Moscow there is a night branded No. 42, as well as a daytime No. 120 (which takes 8.5 hours and is suitable mainly for trips Saransk-Ryazan, which is 5.5 hours away). From St. Petersburg there are direct trains 347 St. Petersburg-Ufa and 337 St. Petersburg-Samara (30 hours), but it will be a few hours faster to go with a change in Moscow or Ruzaevka.

Ruzaevka, a large station on the Ryazan-Samara line, is located 20 km south of Saransk. Many trains from central Russia to Samara and further east go through it: sometimes it makes sense to get to Saransk through Ruzaevka, which is well connected with Saransk by minibuses.

There is practically no suburban communication in the vicinity of Saransk.

2  Saransk-1, st. Vokzalnaya, 7. Open: around the clock. The new station building was built in 2009. On the station square, take a look at the monument to the stratonauts: in 1934, three aeronauts climbed on the Osoaviakhim stratospheric balloon to a record height of 22 km, but during the descent, the stratospheric balloon crashed on the territory of Mordovia. 20 minutes walk from the railway station to Sovietskaya Square.

 

By car

Saransk is located on the highway R-158 "Nizhny Novgorod - Saratov".

From Moscow you can get on the M7 to Vladimir, then on the M72 to Arzamas. You can also get on the M5 highway to the village of Zarubkino, then along the M180 to Saransk.

 

By bus

3  Bus station  , st. Polezhaeva, 184. It mainly serves flights around the region, as well as a few flights to neighboring regional centers: Penza (4 hours), Ulyanovsk (4.5 hours), Nizhny Novgorod (5.5 hours) via Arzamas - usually 3-4 times a day each. There are direct buses to Moscow, Saratov, Togliatti.

 

Get around

City public transport is represented by trolleybuses, municipal and private buses and fixed-route taxis. The fare is 23 or 25 rubles (2020) depending on the type of transport. However, all the sights of the city are within walking distance.

 

Shopping

1  SEC "RIO", st. Sovetskaya, 55a (behind the Ushakov Cathedral). 10:00–22:00. Mall with a large supermarket.
2  SEC "Ogaryov plaza"  , st. Bogdan Khmelnitsky, 28 (on the Millennium Square). 10:00–22:00.
3  Shopping center "Versailles", st. Communist, 35. 10:00–20:00.
4 "Planet" shopping center, Proletarskaya street, 118.

 

Eat

1 Grill-bar "Big Pig", st. Bolshevik, 60 (opposite Millennium Square). 10:00–24:00. Hot: from 500 rubles. The institution specializes not so much in pork as in all kinds of grills. Noisy in the evenings.
2   Cafe "Karma" (Former Pyramid Cafe), st. Proletarskaya, 43 (Near the Republican Palace of Culture). 12:00–2:00. An interesting cafe under the square with pyramidal glass domes. European and Japanese cuisine, hookah. The average bill for dinner is about 1000 rubles per person.
3 McDonald's, st. Polezhaeva, 36 (corner of the Bolshevik). 7:00–24:00. There are self-service kiosks in the hall, where you can pay for your order with a card, and then pick it up at the pickup point.
4  Excellent dumplings  , st. Sovetskaya, 31. Mon–Fri 10:00–23:00, Sat–Sun 11:00–23:00. 200 rub. It serves soups, meat, and about a dozen types of dumplings and dumplings, including Mordovian ones. Cozy (there are places with sofas), tasty, but the portions are small.
✦  Pizzeria Milano. Chain of cheap pizzerias.
5   Lenin Avenue, 18. 10:00–22:00.
6   st. Communist, 59a. 10:00–22:00.
7  Pizza "Sorento"  , st. Moscow, 3A (at the entrance to the park). 10:00–22:00. Establishment of the Volga network of pizzerias-snack bars: pizza slices, nuggets, fried potatoes. Prices are low, there are many visitors, and there are few places: it is better to take food to go.
8  Dining room "Niva", st. Vasenko, 1 (corner of Lenin). Mon–Fri 9:00–19:30. Cheap eatery near the train station. Good feedback.
9 AlecCoffee, Sovetskaya street, 47. Mon–Fri 8:00–21:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–21:00. A popular coffee shop in the heart of the city.

 

Hotels

In Saransk hotels, the ratio of price and quality leaves much to be desired. Look for apartments for rent. If you are coming from Moscow, then the train schedule is such that you will arrive early in the morning and leave late in the evening - this is quite enough to explore Saransk.

1  Hotel "Sura"  , st. Polezhaeva, 49. ☎ +7 (8342) 24-15-77. Double room: from 2700 rubles. Mostly positive reviews.
2  Saransk Hotel, st. Communist, 35. ☎ +7 (8342) 47-88-82. Double room: from 2300 rubles. Soviet typical hotel, recently renovated. Conflicting reviews.
3  Hotel "On Kutuzova", st. Kutuzova, 4. +7 (8342) 33-91-27. Double room: 2000 rub. Mini-hotel with 10 rooms, there is a bar. Good reviews, but located on the outskirts.
4  Complex "Park-hotel", st. Red, 4. ☎ +7 (8342) 23-29-19. Double room: 4000 rub. Hotel on the southern coast of Saranka. The “park” in the name, apparently, refers to the adjoining TsPKIO them. Pushkin.

 

Connection

Several mobile operators operate in Saransk: Megafon, MTS, Beeline, TELE2.

 

Neighborhood

Makarov Monastery. The main architectural ensemble of Mordovia is located within the administrative boundaries of Saransk, but in fact, 5 km southeast of the city. The complex was built at the end of the 17th-beginning of the 18th century, and its main decoration is the magnificent Baroque Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (1704). The ensemble also includes two more churches, Michael the Archangel (1702) and Znamenskaya (1800s, exactly repeating the architecture of Mikhailo-Arkhangelskaya) and a fence with towers from the beginning of the 18th century. At the same time, after the revolution, all the buildings of the monastery were demolished, except for the St. John the Theologian Cathedral and the bell tower; churches and the fence were restored in the 1970s according to the drawings. The monastery is now functioning, but the monks live outside the wall, on the territory where you just won’t get there (yes, you don’t need to go there), the residence of the Metropolitan of Saransk and Mordovia is also there.
How to get there: bus number 7 to the village of Lukhovka (about a kilometer from the monastery) or 200 rubles by taxi from the city center to the gates of the monastery.

Ruzaevka. Large interchange station. If you have free time before the train, you can take a walk along Lunacharsky Street and the surrounding area, where dozens of Mordovian houses with characteristic onion-shaped cutouts on the pediments have been preserved.

 

History of Saransk

Etymology

The origin of the word is attributed to the hydronym erz. sara - "large sedge swamp", "marshy floodplain". In such an area, at the mouth of the Sarley River (modern Saranka), a fortress was founded, called the Saransk Ostrozhek. Saransk received its current name in 1780, being in the status of a county town.

 

Foundation of the city and the 17th century

Saransk was founded in 1641 as a small wooden fortress on the southeastern outskirts of the Russian kingdom on the Simbirsk notch line. The notch line consisted of reliable forest notches, was the least labor-intensive type of fortification and served as protection against predatory raids from the Crimea, the Black Sea region, and the North Caucasus. The fortress was called Saransky Ostrozhek and was located on the banks of the Insar River at the mouth of the Sarley River on its left bank. In addition to the notch line, the future location of the city was influenced by elevated terrain with lowlands on at least two sides. On the southern side facing the enemy there was a steep slope and a river.

The Saransk fortress was part of the Atemarsko-Saransk notch line. It also included Atemarskaya, Inzerskaya and Shishkeevskaya fortresses. Their forest barriers accounted for 82% of the total length of the line. The remaining 18% are treeless areas formed from earthen ramparts and various types of wooden fortifications.

The earliest description of the fortress dates back to 1703. It consisted of powerful walls made of oak logs, had an almost square shape. In the corners there were four hexagonal towers up to 16 meters high, up to 8 meters in diameter, with platforms for mounting guns. Four more square towers were located in the middle of the walls. The ninth tower stood in the center of the city (in case the enemy broke through), ammunition was stored in it. From all sides the fortress was surrounded by an earthen rampart, on the outer side of which deep ditches were dug. A city wall clock was installed on the tallest Spasskaya Tower. The Crimean-Kazan road passed through the northern and southern square towers. Inside the fortress there was the Znamenskaya Cathedral Church, the courtyard of the first Saransk voivode Savva Kozlovsky, a command hut, state-owned barns with provisions and weapons, a prison, log cabins to accommodate nearby civilians in the event of a siege. Only the governor and a few other people who belonged to representatives of privileged social groups had a permanent estate inside the fortress. Outside the fortress, around it, there were settlements inhabited by a garrison and townspeople.

The first inhabitants of the fortress were Cossacks, archers and gunners, transferred to it from the nearest cities, as well as the population of nearby villages (Erzyans, Mokshans and Tatars). The basis of the garrison in 1642 was 200 Cossacks and 15 archers.

In 1651, Saransk became a city and the administrative center of the Saransk district.

In the autumn of 1670, it was captured by one of the detachments of Stepan Razin led by Mikhail Kharitonov, the city and the county for some time became a stronghold that supplied Razin's troops with food, fodder and weapons. In December of the same year, after repeated attempts to storm the city, the tsarist troops captured the city, and Razin's troops were forced to leave Saransk.

By the end of the 17th century, the population of the city was more than 4 thousand people. Along with Sloboda, a street division of the city appeared.

 

From the 18th to the 20th century

In 1708, during the reign of Peter I the Great, the voivodeship was replaced by a governor's, and the territory of the Russian kingdom was divided into 8 large provinces. Saransk was initially assigned to the Azov province, but already in 1711 it was assigned to Kazan. In 1719, a reform was carried out aimed at disaggregating the poorly managed vast territories - the provinces were divided into provinces. Saransk became part of the Penza province of the Kazan province.

By the beginning of the 18th century, Saransk had practically lost its military significance. The wooden fortress was very dilapidated and the military officials who examined it noted that all its structures required thorough repairs. Saransk gradually became a handicraft and trading city (the main items of production and sales are grain, hemp, wood, leather, meat, honey). This was favored by a favorable geographical position - the city was located at the crossroads of large horse-drawn tracts connecting Astrakhan with Moscow, Crimea with Kazan.

A memorable historical event of the 18th century was the stay in the city in July 1774 of the leader of the Peasant War in Russia in 1773-1775. Emelyan Pugacheva. On July 26, the representative of the rebels, the Yaik Cossack ataman F.F. Chumakov arrived in the city with 30 mounted Cossacks and brought a decree instructing him to prepare a worthy meeting for "Sovereign Peter III" (for whom Pugachev pretended to be). The next day, the people, as well as the city nobility, led by the archimandrite of the local monastery on the banks of the Insar, met the army of Pugachev, approaching the city from the side of the Inzer prison, with a cross and bread and salt. After a solemn prayer service, the inhabitants of the city were sworn allegiance to the "sovereign". During his stay in Saransk, Pugachev issued a manifesto on granting liberties to the peasants, ordered the release of prisoners from among the peasants, courtyards and working people from the city prison, and also distributed salt and grain from the city barns to the poorest population. Meetings of the military college were held, many nobles, officials, merchants and church ministers were executed. On the morning of July 30, 1774, Pugachev's army left Saransk, heading towards Penza. A day later, Count Mellin entered Saransk with a detachment of tsarist punitive troops and arrested the governor of Saransk appointed by Pugachev, representatives of the clergy who met Pugachev and other persons "involved in indignation."

In 1785, Catherine II approved a new development plan for Saransk, the settlements were replaced by a rectangular street network with quarters and squares.

In 1780, Saransk became part of the Penza province. In 1797 he was assigned to the Simbirsk province. By the beginning of the 19th century, the population of Saransk reached 7.4 thousand people.

In September 1801, Saransk again became part of the Penza province.

At the beginning of the Patriotic War of 1812, one of the detachments of the people's militia was formed in the Saransk district, which became part of the 1st Infantry Regiment. When the militia began to be sworn in, an uprising broke out in Saransk and Insar, in which about 5 thousand people participated. The militia from among the peasants demanded that they and their families be freed from serfdom, as they go to shed blood for the fatherland. The uprising was brutally suppressed. The regiment went on a campaign at the beginning of 1813, he participated in the liberation of cities such as Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg from French troops.

At the end of the 19th century, the line of the Moscow-Kazan railway passed through Saransk (the railway station began operating in 1893), which revived the economic and political life of the region. However, the city never became a major industrial center; its economy remained small-scale with a predominance of the agricultural sector.

In the 19th century, the painting school of K. A. Makarov (1828), the city bank (1844), the first small power plant (1886), a paid public library (1893), and a free public library (1899) appeared in Saransk. By the end of the century there were 10 educational institutions in the city. The population was over 14 thousand people.

In 1817, 1852 and 1869 there were three major fires, each of which destroyed several hundred houses. The city was quickly rebuilt, but wooden buildings prevailed in its development until the middle of the 20th century.

In 1893, with the beginning of the movement of trains through the Saransk station, the first building of the Saransk railway station was built.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the labor movement intensified in Saransk, as well as throughout Russia. Strikes and strikes took place in the city, illegal workers' circles arose. In July 1906, an uprising took place, in which about 200 people participated, it was suppressed by the police.

In 1904, the society of fine art lovers was founded by the city intelligentsia, which made a significant contribution to the cultural life of the city. Members of the society carried out cultural and educational work, staged charity performances, on their initiative in 1914 the first public cinema was opened in the city park (several cinemas that existed in the city were privately owned).

 

Soviet period

On March 3 (according to the old style), 1917, after the abdication of Nicholas II, the bodies of the tsarist administration ceased to operate in Saransk, power passed to a temporary executive committee chaired by the mayor. In the spring of the same year, councils of workers' and soldiers' deputies and a council of peasant deputies were created in the city. On December 8, 1917, Soviet power was established in the city.

During the Civil War, Saransk was one of the centers for the formation of military units of the Red Army; the mobilization department of the 1st Army of the Eastern Front worked in the city. From April to August 1919, during the offensive of Kolchak's army, the Bashkir Military Revolutionary Committee was evacuated to Saransk.

The war led to hunger, unemployment, and a decline in production. Many enterprises in Saransk did not work for a long time due to lack of fuel and raw materials. But even in such a difficult time for the city, the cultural life of the city continued: the house of educational workers, a workers' club were opened, and in 1918 a museum of local lore was founded.

By 1927, most of the existing enterprises and workshops were restored, and several new enterprises were created. In the 1930s, a radical restructuring of the city began. By 1935, 45 streets were supplied with electricity. From 1927 to 1940 industrial output in Saransk increased more than 50 times. Developed health care, education, culture. In 1930, the radio station began broadcasting in Russian and Mordovian languages.

On July 16, 1928, Saransk became the center of the Mordovian District as part of the Middle Volga Region, on January 10, 1930, the center of the Mordovian Autonomous Region, and on December 20, 1934, the capital of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

During the Great Patriotic War, the 326th Roslavl Red Banner Rifle Division was formed in Saransk. The enterprises of the city produced food, ammunition, uniforms, vehicles for the army. Many enterprises and institutions were converted into evacuation hospitals for wounded soldiers. In 1941, a mechanical plant began to operate, in 1944 a solid converter plant (the future "Electric rectifier") was evacuated to Saransk from the Saratov region. About 17 thousand inhabitants of the city fought on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, more than 8 thousand of them died. In the post-war years, new industries were created in the city: electrical, engineering, medical, food industries, production of building materials. Thus, in the 1950s, a plant for reinforced concrete structures, an asphalt concrete plant, a tool plant, a cable plant, a brick plant, a locomotive repair plant, an electric lamp plant, an instrument-making plant, an excavator plant, a dump truck plant, a medical preparations plant, a decorative fabrics factory, and a meat processing plant were created. At the same time, the city center was formed: Grazhdanskaya Street (now Lenin Avenue) connected Sovetskaya Square with the railway station. It housed 4-storey residential buildings, a school for leading collective farm personnel, the House of Unions (S. O. Levkov, 1957), the House of Political Education (S. O. Levkov, 1953), the Music and Drama Theater (M. S. Gelfer, 1961), made in neoclassical forms. In the late 1950s in Saransk, the aesthetics of utilitarianism and minimalism were established, and functionality prevailed in the layouts of microdistricts and the architecture of buildings. Thus, the housing problem was solved in the city; in 1959, the provision of living space was 3.7 m² per person.

In 1960, the construction of new residential areas of the city began: northwestern (currently known as Svetotekhstroy) and southwestern. Saransk was included in the gas supply system using the Saratov-Gorky gas pipeline. In 1965, the first trolleybuses appeared in the city. The industrial and cultural development of Saransk continued. By the 1970s and 1980s, the city had become a developed industrial center.

 

Modernity

At the end of the 20th century, great economic and political transformations took place in Saransk.

On December 7, 1990, the Mordovian ASSR was transformed into the Mordovian Soviet Socialist Republic, Saransk remained its capital. In 1991 the city became the capital of the Republic of Mordovia.

The unpreparedness of enterprises for a market economy led to a significant decline in the socio-economic development of the city. Almost all of his enterprises experienced layoffs, there were significant delays in paying wages, and the number of unemployed was growing. Health, education, culture and other institutions found themselves in the same difficult situation.

The economic recovery in the early 2000s, observed in Russia, was reflected in Saransk. Recently, the urban infrastructure has been significantly developed. A new Yubileiny stadium, several large residential areas, hotels and other facilities are being built. Construction of two ring roads and a direct route between the urban-type settlement Nikolaevka and one of the central arteries of the city, Polezhaeva Street, is underway.

On July 19, 2007, the international festival "Shumbrat, Finno-Ugria!" took place in the capital of Mordovia. June 12, 2011 was the celebration of the 370th anniversary of the founding of the city, and August 23-25, 2012 - the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the unity of the Mordovian people with the peoples of Russia.

Sports events are regularly held in Saransk. On September 8 and 9, 2011, the international sports forum "Russia - a sports power" was held. In May 2012, the city hosted the 25th IAAF Race Walking World Cup, which brought together participants from 62 countries, which was a record. On September 29, 2012, Saransk was officially included in the list of cities that will host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Since 2004, Saransk has been participating in the All-Russian competition "The most comfortable city in Russia". During this time, 4 times the city became the owner of a diploma of the II degree and 2 times - of the III degree. In 2012, Saransk took first place in the competition and, following the results of 2011, became the owner of the title "The most comfortable urban settlement in Russia" among cities of the 1st category.

In 2017, the first avenue in Russia named after the Russian army appeared in Saransk. The decision to rename Yubileiny Avenue into the Russian Army Avenue in Saransk was made by the Council of Deputies of the Saransk City District at the November session. The avenue runs along the Yubileiny microdistrict under construction and goes to the Mordovia Arena stadium, where the World Cup matches were held in 2018.

From 14 to 28 June 2018, Saransk hosted four matches of the World Cup at the Mordovia Arena stadium.

 

Physical and geographical characteristics

Geographical position

Saransk is located in the central part of the East European Plain on the Volga Upland in the forest-steppe landscapes of the central part of the Insar river basin. The connecting link of the location is the Saransko-Ruzaevsky junction, formed at the intersection of the main lines of railways and highways of republican and federal significance. It is located about 250 km south of Nizhny Novgorod. The area of the city is 81.478 km².

Saransk is located in the eastern part of the Republic of Mordovia. Distance from Moscow in a straight line - 500 km, by road - 642 km. The nearest regional center is Penza.

Saransk is located in the MSK time zone (Moscow time). The offset of the applicable time from UTC is +3:00. In accordance with the applied time and geographic longitude, the average solar noon in Saransk occurs at 11:59.

 

Climate

The climate of the city is temperate continental, characterized by relatively cold, frosty winters and moderately hot summers.

The coldest month of the year is January. Winter in Saransk lasts from the beginning of November to the end of March. The season covers 5 months and is characterized by cyclonic activity with zonal movements of cyclones. This period is characterized by sharp and intense temperature fluctuations arising from the activation of atmospheric processes. The absolute temperature minimum was recorded in January 1942 and amounted to -44.0 °C.

The warmest month of the year is July. Summer in Saransk is relatively short and moderately warm. The period with an average daily temperature above +15 °C usually lasts 3 months and is characterized by a weakening of the intensity of the general circulation of the atmosphere. This time of year is characterized by wet cyclones from the Atlantic, causing showers and thunderstorms. The greatest duration of sunshine is characteristic - up to 10 hours a day. The absolute temperature maximum was recorded in 2010, the air temperature rose to +39.4 °C.

The average annual precipitation in Saransk is at the level of 500 mm. The largest amount of precipitation of all seasons falls in summer - about 180 mm. In 1978, 280 mm of heavy precipitation fell on 3 summer months. Summer precipitation of a general nature in Saransk is associated with western cyclones passing near the city. The least amount of precipitation usually occurs in winter - about 100 mm or less. The driest season was the winter season of 1944-1945. During this period, only 22 mm of precipitation fell.

 

Relief

The relief of the city is determined by its location on the Volga Upland. The main residential areas of the city are located in the altitude range of 125-200 m. The average height of the city center is 160 m above sea level. In watershed spaces, absolute heights reach 230–250 m. Most of the slopes in the territory of Saransk are oriented towards the valley of the Insar River. It is characterized by the smallest height marks (125 m). The complication of the relief morphology is influenced by the valleys of small rivers - Saranka, Tavla, Penzyatka. A characteristic feature of the relief is the asymmetry of the slopes. The steepest are the slopes of the southern and western exposures. The slopes of the northern and eastern exposures in conditions of slow thawing and drying of the soil reach an extremely low steepness.

 

Geological structure

Saransk is located in forest-steppe landscapes. In the southeastern part, on the outskirts, elevated remnant-watershed massifs are common, composed of eluvium of siliceous-carbonate rocks with light gray and gray forest gravelly soils and areas of broad-leaved forests. In the central part, these geocomplexes consist of wavy, gently undulating surfaces formed by eluvial-deluvial deposits of terrigenous rocks with dark gray forest soils and podzolized chernozems. The geological environment in the city is composed of Carboniferous, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Quaternary deposits. Modern technogenic deposits are widespread in the city - bulk soils up to 7.7 m thick. Loams predominate, which contain different amounts of construction waste.

 

Vegetation

Secondary deciduous forests dominate on the territory of the urban district. Mostly pedunculate oak, but small-leaved linden, common ash, Norway maple, and less often smooth elm, rough elm, and field maple are also widely found. The undergrowth consists of warty euonymus, hazel, brittle buckthorn, bird cherry, mountain ash. Near the edges there are laxative joster, forest apple trees, and steppe cherries. Birch occurs occasionally, as separate trees. The forests of Saransk are characterized by significant steppe formation and a rich floristic composition. Many southern species grow in the clarified areas. There are shrubs: blackthorn, spirea crenate. Among the herbaceous vegetation, coastal brome, steppe timothy grass, pubescent oatmeal, fine-leaved peas, steppe sage, Marshall's thyme and others are common.

 

Economy

The leading industry is mechanical engineering, represented by the electrical and automotive sub-sectors. The industry of the nearby regional centers (Lyambir, Kochkurovo, Ichalki) is mainly engaged in the processing of agricultural raw materials.

Main Industries
mechanical engineering, metalworking and instrument making (LLC Saransk plant of precision instruments, Medoborudovanie, Orbita, Saransk instrument-making plant, Saranskkabel, EM-Plast LLC, Sura, Electric rectifier, Iskra software, Saransk Mechanical Plant);
lighting industry Lisma LLC, Optic Fiber Systems JSC;
electric power industry (JSC Mordovskaya GRES Concern, Saranskaya CHPP-1, Saranskaya CHPP-2, a branch of PJSC Rosseti Volga — Mordovenergo);
non-ferrous metallurgy (Mordovvtorsyrye LLC, production of secondary aluminum alloys);
ferrous metallurgy (VKM-Steel LLC (formerly known as the State Unitary Enterprise Saransk Foundry, does not produce ferrous metallurgy products), is part of the RM Rail holding (RM Rail));
chemical (OJSC Biokhimik, OJSC Saransk Plant Rezinotekhnika);
machine tool industry (OJSC "Stankostroitel");
production of the Voronezh-DM radar station (JSC Saransk Television Plant);
timber and woodworking industry (SE "Mordovlestopprom", OJSC "Mirta" (furniture), LLC "ORIMEKS" (tables and chairs made of oak), "Heat insulation");
production of building materials (JSC ZhBK-1, OJSC Saransk Face Brick Plant);
light industry (JSC Saransk Sewing Factory, Sarteks, Mordovian Patterns);
food industry (OJSC Cannery Saransky, Saransk branch of OJSC SUN InBev (beer production), OJSC Mordovspirt, confectionery factory OJSC Lamzur, butter and dairy plants (OJSC Saransky Dairy Plant) , Saransk Pasta Plant OJSC, Khlebozavod JSC, Saransky Meat Processing Complex CJSC, etc.).

In the rating of innovative development of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation for 2016, annually compiled by the Higher School of Economics, Mordovia takes 4th place, second only to Tatarstan, Moscow and St. Petersburg. In many ways, this result was facilitated by the development of industrial clusters of fiber optics and lighting technology in the region. The new cluster became one of the winners of the priority project under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia "Development of innovative clusters - leaders in investment attractiveness of the world level."