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Discover Saransk: Sightseeing
February 22, 2018 16:17


Saransk is a very sporty city. It did not stand aside from the high world achievements even earlier: race walking competitions amazed the whole country after the success of the champion walker - Yevgeny Maskinskov, a native of Mordovia. Nowadays, thanks to the construction of the new Ice Stadium, figure skating has become one more sports of Mordovia, in addition to race walking. Running, cycling and roller skating have always been popular in Saransk.

Capitals usually have a negative attitude to modern buildings, but Saransk clearly benefits from the construction boom. Someone may think that the new theatre of opera and ballet is beautiful, some may say it looks absurd, but most importantly, it has been built. One can also find something outstanding among the buildings of the Soviet era.

For example, a monument to the heroes - stratosphere pilots who died during the collapse of the “Osoaviakhim” stratosphere balloon in 1934. It is easy to notice: the sculpture of a young man with a flying jacket on his shoulder stands on the square in front of the new Saransk railway station (the station building is newly constructed, and it is also built in a neo-national style). The monument in the best traditions of the “Soviet style” was created by the sculptor Aleksei Dushkin. He also designed the landmark stations of the Moscow metro, including “Mayakovskaya” and “Revolution Square”.

There are quite few interesting pre-revolutionary buildings that survived in the city centre. There is a stone “Pugachev’s Tent”, where the people’s leader announced his manifestoes; there are several ancient churches lost among the new buildings. All the churches are so well-conditioned that they look like they are newly built. The most ancient and valuable is the five-domed church in the name of St. John the Evangelist built in 1693. The biggest one is the new cathedral of the Holy and Righteous Warrior Fyodor Ushakov on the main square, one can boast of it even before the sophisticated metropolitan residents.

The main square of Saransk is not called “by its name” (Sovetskaya) by the city residents: it is clear which square is being spoken about. The main square is the place of all main and central institutions: the civil registry office, the administration building, the Lenin monument built according to the project of the Moscow classical sculptor Dushkin, etc.

There is also a monument to the Admiral Ushakov. The legendary naval commander has an indirect relationship to Saransk: he spent last years of his life in his “Alekseevka” estate on the territory of the republic. After the recent canonization Ushakov became the patron saint of military seamen and almost the same hero of Saransk as the sculptor Erzya. It is amusing but the name of the Admiral has been given even to the Masonic Lodge of the “Scottish Charter”operating  in Saransk.

However, the most respected person in Saransk has always been and will be the sculptor Stepan Dmitrievich Nefedov-Erzya, an outstanding modernist, a kind of Vrubel of wooden sculpture. The Mordovian Museum of Fine Arts has the largest collection of his works, and the sculptor himself has long been not only a cultural hero, but also a folk hero.

In general, we can say that modern Saransk is a rare type of Russian city: without the best starting conditions, it has become comfortable and charming, thanks to the efforts of its residents. It will take you long to find a shabby façade, and it is not very likely that you find one. Even the Saranka River, as wide as a village channel, is clean and equipped with embankments.

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Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: FIFA Russia 2018 Saransk Must See Places   

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