Yoshkar-Ola, Russia

Description of Yoshkar-Ola

Yoshkar-Ola (Yoshkar - red, ola - city - Red City) is a city in Russia, the capital of the Republic of Mari El. It is the administrative center of the urban district "City of Yoshkar-Ola". Until 1919, it was called Tsarevokoksha, in the period from 1919 to 1928 - Krasnokokshaisk. In 1984 he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. It is one of the centers of culture of the Finno-Ugric peoples.


Yoshkar-Ola (Yoshka among the local people) owes its appearance to the Mari uprisings that often happened after the conquest of the Kazan Khanate by Ivan the Terrible. For their suppression, the royal troops needed fortified bases in the depths of the Mari forests, and it was for this purpose that in 1584 the “Tsaryov city on Kokshag” was built, or simply Tsaryokvokkshaysk. For a while, city performed this function with varying success, but when the uprisings stopped, the city was out of work: there was practically no industry in it, and its population in the middle of the 19th century was only a couple of thousand people, including the exiles - for example Poles.

A new flourishing city experienced only in the 1920s, having received the status of the capital of the Mari autonomy and the appropriate national name, which in Russian means “Red City” and is, in fact, the local version of the name approved in 1919 by the name Krasnokokshaisk, which the young Soviet The authorities tried to hide the monarchical overtones. Until the end of the 20th century, Yoshkar-Ola remained a city, no more fascinating than Maykop, Saransk and other capitals of weakly expressed national autonomies, but in the early 2000s, the Mari capital quite unexpectedly began to gain popularity among travelers for an outsider. Under the leadership of the eccentric governor Leonid Markelov, the city center was almost completely rebuilt, and although the new style of Yoshkar-Ola echoes slightly the neighboring republican cities, the scale and boldness of the Yoshkar-Ola transformations are unparalleled. Now the architecture of the capital resembles a dozen great cities in Europe, albeit with a peculiar shtetl accent. It is not difficult to imagine that in half a century the future mayor’s office of Yoshkar-Ola will take the post-Soviet city, unique to Russia, under state protection.



Yoshkar-Ola stands on the banks of the Malaya Kokshaga River. The center (including what is left of Tsarevokokshaisk, and Stalinist buildings, and new buildings) is located on the right (western) bank and is approximately limited by Krasnoarmeyskaya, Pervomaiskaya and Leninsky Prospekt streets. New "ceremonial" buildings (with the exception of the central square of Nogotkov-Obolensky) gravitate towards the shore of Kokshaga and even go a little beyond it. The territory near the new buildings is landscaped and quite pleasant for walking. Outside the center, a mixture of former villages and high-rise microdistricts, one of which bears the strange name of Szombathely in honor of the Hungarian sister city, is common for a city that has grown strongly in Soviet times. This part of the city looks rather ugly and not very well maintained, especially in terms of roads.

Tourist Information Center, st. Voznesenskaya, 39 (Museum of the History of Yoshkar-Ola). ✉ ☎ +7 (800) 222-11-05. Open: apparently, along with the museum.



New buildings

1  Nogotkov-Obolensky Square. The main square of modern Yoshkar-Ola. It houses the city hall and the republican government, as well as one of the most famous buildings of the city - the National Art Gallery (which is also a shopping center), stylized as the Venetian Doge's Palace. In addition, a copy of the Tsar Cannon, monuments to the first Tsarevokokshai governor Ivan Andreevich Nogotkov-Obolensky and Bishop Leonid of Mari, who was executed by the NKVD, are installed here. The clock on the gallery building every hour shows a performance on the theme of the icon of the Mother of God "Three Hands".
2 Assumption Cathedral, Uspenskaya st. 40 (next to Nogotkov-Obolensky Square). Built in 2006, the cathedral was, apparently, the "first sign" of future transformations. The cathedral clearly imitates (in the context of Yoshkar-Ola, of course) Byzantine architecture, which, according to the plan of its creators, carries a certain connotation: from their point of view, Yoshkar-Ola, like Constantinople, is “Tsarevgrad”.
3  The embankment of Bruges. As the name suggests, this embankment is built in the style of the Flemish cities. Republican ministries and departments are located here, as well as monuments to Prince Rainier III of Monaco and his wife Grace Kelly (symbolizing marital fidelity) and Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, where for some reason she is depicted in a very caricature.
4 Patriarchal Square and the 12 Apostles building, Tsargradsky Prospekt, 37. A building reminiscent of the Peace Palace in The Hague. It is alleged that he also has a Mari "ancestor", which is quite unexpected for Yoshkar-Ola - the Sheremetev Castle in Yurin. There is also a mechanical clock depicting the procession of Jesus and the 12 apostles (at 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00, 21:00). On the square there is also a puppet theater building, monuments to Patriarch Alexy II and Peter and Fevronia of Murom, as well as boat rental in summer and a slide in winter.
5 Tsarevokokshaysky Kremlin. Tue–Sun 10:00–20:00. Perhaps it would be more correct to call the Kremlin not “Tsarevokokshaisky”, but “Yoshkar-Ola”: nevertheless, under Nogotkov-Obolensky, they would hardly have built a completely empty fortress inside. You can climb the walls of the Kremlin, although the view of the city from there is not impressive. Inside, there are tablets about the ancient inhabitants of Mari El, starting from the Paleolithic.
6 Resurrection Cathedral. By the standards of other new buildings, this temple is not so eclectic and clearly imitates the temples of the late 18th century in a style moving from baroque to classicism, although the color scheme and materials are typical for Yoshkar-Ola. The temple area is fenced with a red-brick wall with "swallowtails" and looks like the "Tsarevokokshay Kremlin" much more than what is under this tablet. Previously, another one (but of the same name) stood on the site of the cathedral, and its tragic history is rather non-standard - it did not suffer too much in the 1930s, it was opened in 1944, and in 1961 it was suddenly demolished.
7   School "Ordinary Miracle", st. Volkova, 126. Of all the Yoshkar-Ola new buildings, one noticeably stands out from the general style (at least using silicate brick instead of red), which is not surprising - it is at least 5 years older than any of them. It is a building of a private school built in the spirit of castle-themed fantasy.
8 Square of the Republic of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Despite the name in the spirit of Catholic Europe, this place has a distinct flavor of Moscow. The square is equipped with a copy of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin (aka a police tower), another tower of this kind stands opposite the square, and the Annunciation Cathedral under construction evokes similar associations. The ensemble is completed by a service building at the cathedral, from a distance frighteningly similar to a mausoleum. However, the architects did not forget about the more familiar Yoshkar-Ola plots: it is here that the entrance to the square with the monument to Lorenzo Medici is located.
9 Arkhangelskaya Sloboda, next to the Republic Square of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A dozen neat eclectic houses. Built specifically for banks and other similar institutions, which are located in them.
10  Promenade Amsterdam. Located opposite the Bruges waterfront. In contrast, this embankment is shorter and, as of winter 2016, was not quite ready. Nevertheless, according to the good Yoshkar-Ola tradition, several monuments have already been erected: Rembrandt, the Pied Piper of Hamelin and Pushkin, who is much more amazing in such scenery, and together with Onegin.
In addition to these "postcard" objects, in the center of Yoshkar-Ola there are many less spectacular buildings built in the same style: now they almost completely determine the appearance of the city center.


Old Yoshkar-Ola

There is not much interesting old architecture in Yoshkar-Ola, it does not form any integral ensembles. There are literally countless buildings that have been preserved from Tsarevokokshaysk, there are also several interesting examples of architecture of the 1930s-1950s - look for them south of the center, in the direction of the station. Paradoxically, with the construction of the new city center, interest in historical buildings has also increased, so that they are generally in good condition.

11  Ascension Cathedral  Wikidata element, st. Voznesenskaya, 31. Among the new buildings, an interesting baroque church of the middle of the 18th century unexpectedly wormed its way. However, the bell tower is also brand new. Not far from the church, the house of the merchant Pchelin, who financed its construction, was preserved, built in the 18th century, as well as the Church of the Resurrection built in the era of Perestroika, which has nothing to do with the cathedral of the same name.
12  Trinity Church, Voznesenskaya street. It can be attributed to historical buildings rather conditionally - the church, decapitated in the 1930s, was actually rebuilt in the 1990s in forms that differ noticeably from the original ones, but with the use of Mari folk ornaments in the decor.
13 Karelin House, st. Chernyshevsky, 40 (next to Arkhangelskaya Sloboda). Possibly the oldest building in the city. Some sources date the stone two-story mansion to the middle of the 18th century, although it is listed as a cultural heritage under a completely different article: in 1934-35. later the executed Mari poet Sergei Chavain lived here. Against the backdrop of the Arkhangelsk Sloboda, the Spasskaya Tower and other Mari new building, the abandoned, but still strong building looks like an alien from another era - which, however, it is.
14 House of merchant Naumov, st. Sovetskaya, 104. One of the prettiest pre-revolutionary buildings in the city is located directly opposite the Tsarevokokshaysky Kremlin. The two-story mansion with a stone ground floor and a wooden second floor is distinguished by openwork carvings with distinct national motifs and cozy shutters, reminiscent of the entrance to a hobbit's hole.
15 Tikhvinskaya Church, st. Komsomolskaya, 122B. In the past, a cemetery church, now on the edge of the Park of Culture. An ordinary building built in 1774.
16  Lenin Square. A corner of the Soviet Yoshkar-Ola, which presents all varieties of Stalinist architecture. Pay attention to the building of the Mari University (1936), which bears distinct signs of constructivism: it was built by the famous for his works of the 1920s. Alexander Zinovievich Grinberg. Until the 1970s the house of the Soviets was located in the building, and its shape resembles an airplane, which, however, was very skewed. In front of the entrance there is a monument "Yoshkin cat", with which tourists are constantly photographed, rubbing his paw or nose for good luck. An exact copy of this monument was installed in June 2018 in Simferopol.



17  Botanical Garden  Wikidata element, st. Mira, 2-b (eastern part of the city). 🕑 Mon–Fri 8:00–17:00. In addition to the Mari State University (former Pedagogical Institute) in Yoshkar-Ola, since the 1930s. there is a forest engineering institute, now proudly called the Volga State Technological University. The park of culture and recreation in the center of Yoshkar-Ola grew out of the first nursery of the Forest Engineering Institute. The current arboretum on the outskirts of the city was founded in the 1940s. and quite large - more than a kilometer in diameter, and in the center there is a botanical garden with beautiful flower beds and a greenhouse.



1 National Museum of the Republic of Mari El. Evseeva, st. Sovetskaya, 153. 10:00–18:00 except Mon; on Thu: until 20:00. 80 rub. If you are not very interested in modern urban architecture, the museum is a great place to pass the time. It is arranged quite academically and is based on collections collected back in the 1920s. under the leadership of the first director, local historian Timofey Evseev, who studied his native land in collaboration with Finnish, and not Russian ethnographers, for which he was later accused of treason and repressed. There are three departments in the permanent exhibition: nature, history, ethnography. Of course, the latter is especially curious, because only here you can see all kinds of national costumes and learn about Mari traditions, including pagan holidays. Do not miss also everyday sketches made in the 1920s and 30s. You won't see anything like it in the country now. The museum building was built in 1903 as an arrest house. Later it was rebuilt and now it looks more like a "box" of the Soviet era.
2 Republican Museum of Fine Arts, st. Gogol, 15. 10:00–18:00. The museum is more of a club function: there are children's clubs, workshops and a gift shop. The permanent exhibition apparently consists of those works by Mari artists that were not transferred to the national gallery, as well as Russian graphics of the late 19th - early 20th centuries. There are temporary exhibitions of the same Mari artists.
3  National Art Gallery  , Leninsky Prospekt 24 (on Nogotkov-Obolensky Square). Tue 12:00–20:00, Wed–Sun 10:00–18:00. 80 rubles, exhibitions separately. The building is mainly used for exhibitions, although there is also a small permanent exhibition of Mari art. The gallery has an art salon.
4 Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, st. Chernyshevsky, 23. 40 rub. If arts and crafts are found in other museums of the city, then the building itself is unique: this is the Lokhanov House (1900), a carved wooden mansion - one of the best in the city.
5 Museum of the history of the city of Yoshkar-Ola, st. Voznesenskaya, 39. Tue–Fri 10:00–18:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–16:00. 60 rub. An ordinary museum of local lore, made, however, with great love: in combination, it is a tourist information center where you can, for example, book a city tour. The museum building is Chulkov's estate (1911), one of the few pre-revolutionary ensembles in Yoshkar-Ola with a gate and an outbuilding.
6 Memorial Museum of I.S. Klyuchnikov-Palantaya, st. Leo Tolstoy, 25. 30 rub. Ivan-Stepanovich Klyuchnikov-Palantay (1886-1926) is famous for being the first Mari composer and creator of the first professional Mari choir. The atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century is recreated in a wooden house.



7 Mari National Drama Theatre. M. Shketana  , pl. Lenina, 2. The theater has been leading its history since 1919. The building is a typical example of Stalinist classicism without the slightest sign of the national style.
8 Mari State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Erika Sapaeva, st. Komsomolskaya, 130. The theater “spun off” from the national drama, but for a long time shared the same building with it, and received its own only in 2014.
9 Academic Russian Drama Theatre. G.V. Konstantinova  Wikidata Element  , pl. Nikonova, 1.
10 Puppet Theatre, 35 Tsargradsky pr.
11  Central Park of Culture and Leisure. It is located in the very center of the city, dividing two parts of the same boulevard - Pobeda and Chavain. The park contains the usual concentration of monuments for such places, including a large military memorial and a miniature monument to Lenin.
12  Zoo "Wonder Island"  , pos. Medvedevo, st. Komsomolskaya ( tb. 8.12). 9:00–20:00. There are not many places in the center of Yoshkar-Ola where you can go with children, but there is such a place on the outskirts - more precisely, in the village of Medvedevo adjacent to Yoshkar-Ola. The zoo is private, but not the most ordinary animals live in it - for example, a bear and a wolf. You can also jump on a trampoline or go boating.


Getting here

By plane
Yoshkar-Ola Airport has regular passenger traffic only with Moscow. Flights are operated by Rusline on CRJ-100 and CRJ-200 aircraft, five days a week. The nearest major airport is in Kazan.

1 Yoshkar-Ola Airport (IATA: JOK), Aeroport settlement (7 km north of the city, on the P176 Vyatka highway). You can get to the airport by regular bus (traffic from 6:00 to 20:30 with an interval of 30 minutes) or by taxi (150-200 rubles).

By train
The city is located on a branch of the Moscow-Kazan main line, which is why the railway communication is poorly developed. The only long-distance train (aka the Mari El branded train) connects Yoshkar-Ola with Moscow (one pair per day). The train goes along the Kazan course through Murom, Arzamas, Sergach, Shumerlya and Kanash, turning off it in Zelenodolsk. The journey takes about 14 hours, and as of October 2016, the train departs from Moscow during the day.

Often there are more convenient options with a transplant. It is much easier to get to Kazan from anywhere by train, and it is easy to get to Yoshkar-Ola from there by bus or minibus; similarly, you can go through Cheboksary, although there is no such variety of trains as in Kazan.

There is no suburban communication with neighboring cities as of February 2017. Trains to Kazan and Yaransk sometimes (usually in the summer) appear on the schedule, but they run a couple of days a week, and much longer than the buses.

2  Railway station, st. Yanalova, 3 (at the end of Sovetskaya st., 2 km from the center). A nice building in the Stalinist style with a slight touch of St. Petersburg.

By bus
From Cheboksary, buses and minibuses run almost like city buses: from 6:00 to 20:00 several times an hour, the journey is a little less than two hours.

From Kazan from 6:30 to 23:00 every half an hour or an hour, the journey takes about 2.5 hours. These are mainly flights of private companies (in Kazan they depart from the Central Department Store, Rustem Yakhin Street), but, despite this, buses are sometimes also large. There are direct flights to Kazan airport (departure from Yoshkar-Ola daily at 3:00 and 19:20), and from it (departure from the airport at 22:00 and 05:00 strictly by prior reservation).

From Kozmodemyansk through Cheboksary 4 hours on the way, but during the navigation period it is faster and more pleasant to first move from Kozmodemyansk to the opposite bank of the Volga in Korotnya and take a bus to Yoshkar-Ola there. The bus leaves 7 times a day, the travel time is a little less than 3 hours.

Other directions: about once an hour you can go to Yaransk and Volzhsk. Several times a day there are buses to Kirov and Nizhny Novgorod, but get ready for a slow road. There are several buses a day from Moscow, all depart in the evening and arrive in Yoshkar-Ola in the morning, departures are both from the Shchelkovsky bus station and from other places (Kazansky railway station, Albatross shopping center). For big fans, there are also ultra-long routes, for example, to Yaroslavl or even Ukhta, but not more than once a day, and as a rule, much less often.

3  Bus station, Kokshaisky pr-d, 19 (station square). ☎ +7 (8362) 45-03-05.
4  Stop "Eshpaya" (House of the Unions, Danio shopping center), Leninsky Prospekt, 38. 6:00–19:20. Stop Kazan minibuses. A small but warm pavilion with benches and a ticket office.

By car
Two roads leading from the M7 highway lead to Yoshkar-Ola from the south: P176 Vyatka from Cheboksary (95 km) and A295 from Kazan (150 km). After passing the city, P176 goes further north to the Kirov region and the Komi Republic. The nearest city along it to the north is Yaransk (84 km), 310 km to Kirov, and the shorter route is not directly along the highway, but through Sovetsk.

There is a road to Kozmodemyansk (120 km), but there is no bridge across the Volga along it, but there is a ferry crossing in the village of Korotni. If it does not work, you need to go around through Cheboksary, which is almost one and a half times longer.

On the ship
Navigation on Kokshaga is impossible. Cruises along the Volga may include a bus tour to Yoshkar-Ola from Cheboksary, less often Kozmodemyansk or Kazan.


Get around

Public transport - buses (mainly minibuses) and trolleybuses, and the trolleybus network also covers the urban settlement of Medvedevo, which has practically grown together with the city. The fare in minibuses is 20 rubles. (2017), in buses and trolleybuses 18 rubles. (2017). There is a semi-official website with a list and route map.



There are unexpectedly many souvenir shops in the city, and all of them use national themes in their assortment of goods in one way or another. There is no shortage of grocery stores, most often in the center for some reason you can find SPAR.

1 Eurospar, Tsargradsky pr. 37 (Patriarch's Square). around the clock. One of the main branches of the chain is located right in the 12 Apostles building and is accompanied by SPAR Cafe - also around the clock.
2  Central Market  , st. Pervomayskaya, 115. 8:00–19:00. The once bustling and chaotic central market has been turned into two shopping complexes with the funny names "Shanghai" and "Eco-Market". The Eco Market has a lot of local products.



Just as the national Mari style does not find a place for itself in modern urban architecture, so the Mari cuisine in Yoshkar-Ola is given a purely secondary role. For a long time, there were no local dishes in catering, in principle, then a Sandal cafe resembling a canteen (and located literally in the middle of nowhere) appeared, and only by 2015, when the new center of Yoshkar-Ola shone with all the colors of the rainbow and shades of European architecture, establishments in the city center began to slowly introduce national dishes into their menus. If you are specifically interested in the question, it is still worth going to Sandal, even if this is not the best place for a measured meal. If you just need to eat, just go to Chavaina Boulevard, where there are most catering establishments.

The most popular Mari dish is podkogoli (podkogylyo), a local analogue of dumplings or boiled pies: they are really larger than the usual dumplings, and even more so dumplings (a portion of the usual size is only 3-4 pieces). Boiled blood sausage (sokta) is peculiar, and the most interesting thing is three-layer pancakes (koman melna), which are made from three different types of dough and supplied with filling - there is nothing like this even in the neighboring Volga republics.

✦  SPAR. As a rule, these stores are equipped with inexpensive and popular cafeterias, or at least a department that sells ready-made food.
1   Tsargradsky Avenue, 37 (Patriarchal Square). Cafeteria
2  Blinnaya  , blvd. Chavayna, 36. Mon–Thu 9:00–21:00, Fri–Sun 9:00–22:00. Hot: about 100 rubles. Self-service cafe. Hot canteen food and many types of pancakes, including such a rare thing as a pancake pie. Visitors praise.
✦  Cafe "Plate". A network of urban canteens with the usual assortment of food and a rather cozy interior. You can have breakfast for 100-150 rubles, lunch - for 200-250 rubles.
3   blvd. Chavaina, 31 (next to the Spasskaya Tower). 10:00–22:00.
4   Leninsky pr. 21 (Lenin Square). 9:00–21:00. In this case, a democratic coffee house named "Cup" adjoins the "Plate".
5 McDonald's, st. Pervomayskaya, 109A. 6:00–5:00. There is a McAuto.
6  Podkogolnaya, st. Volkova, 166. 9:00–21:00. A local variety of cheburechnaya-glass, where the main dish is national podkogoli, although it cannot do without international alcohol. Dirty, but colorful and cheap.

Average cost
7 Cafe Africa, Arkhangelskaya Sloboda, 7. 8:00–2:00. There is no more Africa in this cafe than on the streets of Yoshkar-Ola the atmosphere of Venice or Bruges. An ordinary city cafe with the usual "European" menu and average prices. Mostly good reviews.
8  Cafe "Giraffe"  , st. Volkova, 166. For a couple with a Greek salad or hodgepodge, you can order some national dishes. A more cultured version of the Podkohlnaya located in the same building. Good feedback.
9  Medelan Cafe  , blvd. Chavayna, 42. Mon–Thu 8:00–2:00, Fri 8:00–7:30, Sat 10:00–7:30, Sun 10:00–2:00. Nice cafe open until late at night. The atmosphere and assortment is more like a coffee shop. In the evening there may be many who want to smoke a hookah and the corresponding smell around. WiFi.
10 Cafe "Sandal", st. Proletarskaya, 46 (to the north of the city center, in the depths of the sleeping area). 9:00–21:00. Hot: 100-250 rubles. The first and last cafe of Mari cuisine in the world is located where it would never occur to anyone to look for it - on the first floor of a residential building in the microdistrict with the promising name "Bolnichny". This is a hybrid of a canteen and a cafe: during the day, food is taken from the distribution, in the evening it is served by waiters, and you can sit at wooden tables imitating the national style with a fake log wall. The cafe is sloppy in every respect, some of the dishes will probably not be available, but the price is fully consistent with the quality, and the folk character of the dishes is emphasized by the carelessness of their preparation. The small number of tables is compensated by the small number of visitors wandering here, although in some situation there may not be empty seats.

11 Restaurant Camelot, blvd. Victory, 5 (behind the park of culture). 11:00–23:00. A restaurant that has found a place for culinary delights such as foie gras and seafood. Good feedback.


Night life

1  Hookah Bar Marrakech  , blvd. Chavaina, 41. 12:00–8:00. A lot of oriental symbols and, of course, a lot of hookahs - they say that non-smokers may not be very comfortable. Some snack food.
2  Pub "Bulldog"  , blvd. Chavayna, 33. 12:00–2:00, Fri and Sat: until 5:00. Sports bar, which is also the main point of sale of craft beer in the city. This is accompanied by food, which, however, does not cause great delight among visitors.



1  Arabica Hotel, st. Leo Tolstoy, 60. ☎ +7 (8362) 33-02-10. Double room: 1600 rub. A bit spartan but a good hostel alternative. Rooms with private facilities, guests note their slightly strange arrangement - for example, the lack of a sink - but they are quite satisfied with the price-quality ratio.
2 Hostel "Yoshkin Kot", st. Lobachevsky, 9. ✉ ☎ +7 (987) 719-02-49, +7 (937) 113-99-16, +7 (967) 758-01-74, yoshkinkot.hostel. 450 rub/person Rooms for 4-10 people and one double (900 rubles for one, 1350 rubles for two). Wi-Fi, bike rental.

Average cost
3  AMAKS City Hotel, st. Karl Marx, 109. ☎ +7 (8362) 49-68-29. Double room: 2700 rub. Under the new sign is a slightly renovated Soviet-era hotel. Cheap and angry. If you want normal plumbing, take a more expensive room. WiFi.
4 Virginia Hotel, per. Pervomaisky, 12. ☎ +7 (8362) 42-20-55, +7 (8362) 79-69-31, +7 (8362) 42-40-56. Double room: 1800-2400 rubles. One of Yoshkar-Ola's first post-Soviet hotels is housed in a hastily built building with dirty carpeting and creaky floors. The rooms themselves are somewhat better, the prices are reasonable, and the location is not bad - 15 minutes walk to the center. WiFi.
5  Hotel Evrika  , Chekhov Street, 73 (Trolleybus No. 11). ☎ +7 (8362) 46-90-74. double room 2400 rub. The hotel is in the city center, but away from noisy streets. Free parking, own cafe, Wi-Fi, free registration of foreign citizens.
Guest House "Saiver", Zarubina, 35. ☎ 89194135582. round-the-clock registration. rooms of both economy class and deluxe category.

6 Hotel Ludovico Moro, st. Uspenskaya, 15. ☎ +7 (8362) 45-24-24. Double room: from 3500 rubles. Located in one of the Yoshkar-Ola new buildings. Everything is done at the highest level, but it is not cheap, and breakfast, for example, is also for a fee. WiFi.



The most famous sights of Mari El, the ancient Kozmodemyansk and the Sheremetyev’s castle in the village of Yurino, are located in the most inaccessible part of the republic from Yoshkar-Ola, it’s quite difficult to go there in one day, but as a continuation of the trip they are completely logical. On the same day, it is better to go to the Mari Chodra National Park with classic Mari forests, lakes and good places for summer holidays.

To the south of Yoshkar-Ola there are two large regional centers, through one of which you will probably arrive in Yoshkar-Ola. Kazan needs no special introduction, and Cheboksary is a curious city. Less popular is the way to the north, towards Kirov, the nearest city on which is Yaransk, which is very neglected, but historically connected with the Mari lands and architecturally at least interesting.

1 Ezhovo-Mironositsky Monastery (15 km northeast of Yoshkar-Ola). Founded in the middle of the 17th century, the monastery consists of a single Myrrh-bearing church with a hipped bell tower, a fraternal building and a kind of walls. The church is interesting because it was built in the 1710s. - for the middle Volga region, this is a very, very respectable age. Stylistically, the temple resembles the old churches of Cheboksary with their provincial and archaic variety of Russian style.
2 Kazan Church in Nurma (15 km northwest of Yoshkar-Ola). The village church in the style of classicism (1825) is one of the few old churches that have survived in the vicinity of Yoshkar-Ola.
3  Complex "Miracle horses", village. Big Shaplak (10 km north of Yoshkar-Ola, behind the airport). A large equestrian sports complex, designed primarily for professionals. Most likely, it makes no sense to come here without warning, but it is possible to sign up for riding courses or just for an excursion.



The city was founded during the reign of Fyodor I Ivanovich in 1584 on the Kokshaika River (now Malaya Kokshaga) and was originally called the Tsar's City on Kokshaika. Later the name was shortened to Tsarevokokshaysk. The etymology of the hydronym "Kokshaika" has not been precisely established. There are known attempts to interpret the hydronym from meadow mars. koksha - "bald" or from Kashka - "fast, impetuous" with the subsequent rearrangement of "shk" into "ksh". After the establishment of Soviet power, in 1919 the city was renamed Krasnokokshaisk for ideological reasons, and in 1927, as the center of the Mari Autonomous Region, it was named Yoshkar-Ola (literally, “red city”: meadowmar. yoshkar - “red”, ola - “ city").


History of Yoshkar-Ola

Early period

Archaeological excavations show that people in the vicinity of modern Yoshkar-Ola have lived since the Mesolithic era (12 thousand years BC).

Until the middle of the 16th century, this territory was part of the Galician Daruga of the Kazan Khanate and was inhabited by the Mari. In October 1552, Ivan the Terrible annexed the lands of the Kazan Khanate to his kingdom. The local population was sworn allegiance to the new sovereign, but soon refused to obey and pay yasak. In the spring of 1553, a widespread uprising began, which marked the beginning of the Cheremis wars. To participate in the war, Ivan the Terrible used troops that were content only with temporary military resource bases in this territory. The uprisings periodically flared up again, and in order to strengthen his power, the king decided to set up “fortified cities” here. It is to this event that the city of Yoshkar-Ola owes its birth.

The "Tsar's City on Kokshag" (hence the long-established official name of the city - Tsarevokokshaysk) was founded in 1584 under Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich after the death of Ivan the Terrible. Initially, Tsarevokokshaisk was a typical military fortification, surrounded on four sides by earthen ramparts with wooden walls. Over time, the city ceased to fulfill its military function, turning into a craft and trade center. Craftsmen, merchants, peasants began to settle here, the boundaries of the city also went beyond the previous limits, forming a settlement and a settlement. The main occupation of the population was agriculture. Hops were grown in the vicinity of the city. Fur, timber and distillery industries flourished. But the main part of the population was still military.

Tsarevokokshaysk for a long time remained a military-administrative center in the depths of the Mari region. The city housed the county administration and a military garrison, consisting of Russian archers and servicemen, who more than once had to suppress spontaneous unrest of the local population. For example, the rebellious peasants of the Volga region and the Vyatka side (Russians, Tatars, Chuvashs, Mari) in the winter of 1609 captured Tsarevokokshaysk with a fight. To pacify the rebels, the tsarist punitive detachment arrived from Kazan, which brutally cracked down on the rebels.

Tsarevokokshaytsy participated in the militia of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky. They were sent to strengthen Russian influence on the Don and the Kalmyk steppes. Traditions have been preserved that Tsarevokoksha residents also participated in the military campaigns of Peter I.

With the creation of the Tsar's city on Kokshaga, the Russian population also appeared here. Near the fortress there was a settlement where merchants and artisans lived, mostly from the central regions of the Russian state. In the middle of the 17th century, the villages located in the vicinity of Tsarevokokshaisk, now included in the city (Varaksino, Lapshino, Gomzovo, Berezovo, Kozhino, Markovo, Pakhomovo, Shiryaykovo, Zhukovo, Knyazhna), belonged to the royal prince V. G. Romodanovsky. In the second half of the 17th century, after his death, they came under the jurisdiction of the palace administration, that is, the state treasury. From the non-Russian population in the city and its environs lived newly baptized service people - Tarkhans, which the name of the city microdistrict "Tarkhanovo" still reminds of.

Having emerged as a fortified city, Tsarevokokshaisk became the center of the county more than 300 years ago. In the 17th century, the city and county were ruled by a voivode appointed by the Discharge Order and subordinate to the order of the Kazan court. He led the armed forces, performed legal functions, collected yasak from the Mari population.

Under Peter I, Tsarevokokshaisk was assigned to the Kazan province, which included the entire Volga region from Nizhny Novgorod to Astrakhan. In 1775, a decree was issued, according to which only the Middle Volga region was included in the Kazan province. Tsarevokokshaysk became the county center of the newly transformed Kazan province.

In the 18th century, the city changed somewhat: stone houses appeared, five Orthodox churches were built: Trinity (1736), Entrance Jerusalem (1754), Voznesensky (1756), Resurrection Cathedral (1759), Tikhvinsky (1774). In the “Economic Notes of the Tsarevokokshai Uyezd”, compiled at the end of the 18th century, it was indicated that the Resurrection Cathedral had a storeroom for storing the collected state treasury; in the government building near the Trinity Church housed the city police and prison. In the XVIII century, the first industrial enterprises appeared in the city, there was a boom in stone construction (before that, the city was completely wooden). The Alexander-Elizabeth fair began to be held in the city. At the same time, merchant dynasties formed in the city.


XIX century in the history of the city

In 1835 the first regular plan of Tsarevokokshaysk was created. On March 1, 1835, Emperor Nicholas I inscribed on it with his own hand: "To be according to this." According to this plan, the city developed further, gradually turning into a trade, economic and cultural center of the Mari region, although its population was only about 2,000 people.

From the middle of the 19th century, Tsarevokokshaysk became a place of political exile. Participants of the Polish uprising of 1863 were exiled here.

In terms of the level of secondary education, Tsarevokokshaisk in this period ranked first in the province, ahead of Kazan itself: there were five schools for two thousand people. But at the same time, there was no developed industry in the city. In 1837, a local historian, district police officer, Baron Alexander von Keller, wrote in essay notes: “... there are no factories and factories ... there are different artisans: a carpenter - 1, shoemakers - 2, tailors - 2, coppersmith - 1, tinsmith - 1 , dyers - 2".

Almost half a century later, in 1876, another local historian, teacher I.O. education of the population, not a single branch of industry is known to the urban population. Only at the end of the 19th century a small distillery was built in Tsarevokokshaysk, which employed 70 workers.


XX century in the history of the city

By the beginning of the 20th century, Tsarevokokshaisk remained a quiet provincial town, consisting of 13 streets and 300 different buildings; in this form, it remained almost until the 20s of the XX century. The basis of the economy was agriculture, the most numerous estate was the peasantry.

On November 13, 1918, the district committee of the RCP (b) raised the issue of renaming the city, and on February 17, 1919, by a decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR, Tsarevokokshaisk was renamed Krasnokokshaisk. June 18, 1920 became part of the Vyatka province. On November 4, 1920, the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR on the formation of the Mari Autonomous Region was adopted, and on November 25, Krasnokokshaisk became its administrative center.

On January 23, 1928, by the Decree of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the city of Krasnokokshaisk was renamed and received the Mari national name - Yoshkar-Ola, which means "Red City" in the Mari language. This resolution was approved by protocol No. 43 of the meeting of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR of March 10, 1928. In December 1936, the Mari Autonomous Region was transformed into the Mari Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and the city of Yoshkar-Ola became its capital.

During the Great Patriotic War, it was decided to evacuate some factories in Yoshkar-Ola, which gave a powerful impetus to industrial and socio-economic development, the city began to be actively built up in the western and southern directions, and then in the river part. Of great importance for the economic growth of the city was the construction of a high-voltage power line from Zelenodolsk (1959) and a gas pipeline (1967).

In the 1950s - 1960s, an ensemble building of the central district of the city was carried out, which was a great achievement of Yoshkar-Ola architects. Gradually formed building on the street. Institutskaya (now Leninsky Prospekt), which became the main street of the city. New buildings of the city administration, government houses, Yoshkar-Ola hotels were erected here. In the 1970s - 1980s, the largest urban planning event in Yoshkar-Ola was implemented - the development of the left bank of the Kokshaga and the creation of a new residential area Zarechny - the Szombathei microdistrict.

The Szombathely microdistrict is named after the Hungarian sister city of Yoshkar-Ola. In turn, in Szombathely one of the districts of the city is called Yoshkar-Ola.

One of the most memorable dates in the history of Yoshkar-Ola is the awarding of the city in 1984 with the Order of the Red Banner of Labor "For the successes achieved by the working people of the city in economic and cultural construction, and in connection with the 400th anniversary of its founding."


Modern period

In 1990, Yoshkar-Ola was given the status of a historical city and a protected area protected by the state was defined.

On July 16, 1997, the State Registration Chamber of the Republic of Mari El registered the charter of the municipality of the city of Yoshkar-Ola, which defines the legal, territorial, economic and financial foundations of city self-government, the role of city residents and self-government bodies in the exercise of democracy, consolidates the powers, system and structure of self-government bodies cities.

On July 10, 2003, the State Assembly of the Republic of Mari El approved the republican target program for the socio-economic development of the city of Yoshkar-Ola for 2003-2008 under the name "Capital". Its goal was to "create a high-quality urban environment, understood as a set of favorable conditions for the life of the population and the activities of economic entities", which gave a new impetus to the development of the city. Now in the city, work is being actively carried out to restore and reconstruct the few surviving buildings and churches, new houses are being built, and favorable conditions are being created for the life of Yoshkar-Aro residents.

In 2006, the Assembly of Deputies of the city district "City of Yoshkar-Ola" adopted the "Strategy for the socio-economic development of the municipality "City of Yoshkar-Ola until 2015"", which outlined the main directions for the further development of the city, including the qualitative improvement of the urban environment and life support of the population of the city.

In 2009, a new master plan for the development of the city until 2025 was adopted.

On July 29, 2010, Yoshkar-Ola was excluded from the list of historical cities.


Physical and geographical characteristics

Geographical position

The city of Yoshkar-Ola is located on a flat area in the center of the Mari lowland, 50 km north of the Volga, on the southern border of the taiga zone in the area of mixed forests, on the banks of the Malaya Kokshaga River, which divides the city into two parts. The area of the city is 101.8 km².

The city is located in the center of the Republic of Mari El and 645 km east of Moscow (in a straight line). The city is surrounded on all sides by the lands of the Medvedevsky district of the Republic of Mari El. From the north, water meadows in the floodplain of the Bolshaya Oshla River and partly farmland and forests approach the city, farmland from the west and northwest, and large forests are located in the southeast, south, southwest of the city.



Yoshkar-Ola 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 Yoshkar-Ola occurs at 11:48.



Moderate continental with long cold winters and warm summers. Average summer temperature: +17.7 °C. The hottest weather is in mid-July. The air can warm up to +39 °C. In autumn, the weather is cold and wet, with strong winds and rains predominating, early frosts and snow are possible. November is the windiest month. Winter usually starts in November. Average winter temperature: -9.7 °C. The coldest month is January. Spring is generally cool and dry. On average, 574 mm of precipitation falls per year.



The height of the city above sea level is about 100 meters, the relief is characterized as flat, with a general slope towards the floodplain of the Malaya Kokshaga River, within the city the elevation differences are small (about 5 meters).



The river Malaya Kokshaga flows through the city, within the city the river is dammed up with the formation of a reservoir. The city is divided by the river into two approximately equal parts, while Kokshaga, due to its small width, as well as the presence of four road bridges, does not pose a serious obstacle to the movement of intracity transport.

The floodplain of the Malaya Kokshaga River is flooded. Its channel within the urban area is regulated by two water-lifting dams - in the area of ​​the river water intake and on the southern outskirts of the urban district southeast of the central bridge. The water system has a surface area of about 125 ha. The width of the floodplain within the city varies from 1.5 to 2.5 km. At present, almost the entire coastline of the Malaya Kokshaga River has been planned and strengthened with plantings of trees and shrubs. At the moment, work is underway to strengthen the banks and create a stone embankment.



The territory of Yoshkar-Ola, together with the rural settlements assigned to it, is 101.45 km², including land directly under urban buildings - 56 km², the rest is arable land, urban forests, hayfields and pastures, garden and dacha cooperatives.

The city of Yoshkar-Ola is not only surrounded by green forests from almost all sides, but also has quite developed “lungs”. City parks, squares and other green spaces occupy more than 1,414.6 hectares, of which 752.5 hectares are urban forests, for which the status of specially protected natural areas has been introduced. A large complex of urban forests are supplemented by water protection zones of rivers, reservoirs, forest protection belts along roads and railways, etc. The level of provision of the city's population with green spaces is 9.3 m² / person. Yoshkar-Ola is traditionally considered one of the "greenest" cities in Russia.

On the territory of Yoshkar-Ola there are the following specially protected natural areas:

The Botanical Garden-Institute of the Volga State Technological University (functioning since 1939), which is a federal specially protected natural area. The nature protection regime is custom-made with protected areas of local and introduced plants. The area of the garden is 72.77 hectares, the collection is more than 4100 taxa. The nature of the botanical garden is a fragment of a biogeocenosis of a zonal-regional nature, a valuable natural monument within the boundaries of the city.
The pine grove is located in the southeastern part of the city of Yoshkar-Ola in the forest park zone and adjoins directly to the southeastern quarters of the riverside part of the city. Its area is 353.5 hectares. The greatest value is represented by 22 specimens of century-old pines. These large-sized long-lived pines, whose average age is 170 years, adorn the forest-park landscape with their monumentality.
The oak grove is located in the floodplain of the Malaya Kokshaga River and is a site of urban forests with an area of 135.9 hectares, with a forest cover of about 68.6%. The length of the territory from north to south is 2.1 km, from east to west - 1.1 km. In terms of nature, the territory is part of a region of coniferous-deciduous (mixed) forests. A significant part of the territory is occupied by spruce (with an admixture of fir) plantations, as well as pine, linden, birch and aspen plantations. Directly oak plantations, after which the grove is named, belong to the native species of this area, but by now they are not the predominant species, which determines the conservation status of this territory. Also of great value are the plantings of Siberian larch, Manchurian walnut, Berlin poplar.


Ecological state

The ecological situation in different parts of the city is heterogeneous and depends on two main factors: emissions from stationary sources of pollution and vehicles. The main problem associated with atmospheric air pollution by industrial enterprises is the unfavorable location of the residential area in relation to the main industrial area. For example, the southern and central parts of the city, where the main enterprises of the city are located and where there is a high concentration of vehicles, are characterized by an increased level of atmospheric pollution.

Emissions of pollutants into the atmospheric air from stationary sources of 340 enterprises of the city in 2007 amounted to 43.08 thousand tons.

An unsatisfactory situation has developed on the territory of the city in terms of water quality in the Malaya Kokshaga River. The quality of the river waters varies from “moderately polluted” (class 3, in the upper reaches) to “dirty” (class 5, below the discharge of wastewater treatment plants in Yoshkar-Ola), “polluted” (class 4), and “dirty” ( 5 class) in the mouth area. The unsatisfactory quality of water in the rivers of the city is associated with the release of industrial and municipal wastewater, the insufficient efficiency of the existing city treatment facilities, and the failure to comply with restrictions on economic activity within the water protection zones. However, in recent years, the quality of drinking water has been significantly improved: according to the results of monitoring (1997–2007), deviations from the requirements of the SanPiN “Drinking Water” in terms of chemical and microbiological indicators have decreased from 6.6% to 1.5% of the used samples.

The problem of environmental pollution of the city with production and consumption waste is acute.