Saransk is not only one of the oldest cities in Middle Volga Region and the Mordovia’s capital, but also a true university city. Every tenth of its citizens either studies or works at N.P.Ogarev Mordovian State University, the largest university of the Volga Region. Among other academic institutions, apart from University, there are Evsevyev Teachers’ Training Institute, Saransk Institute of Consumers’ Cooperatives and Institutes of Humanities.
Saransk has a typical history of a provincial city. Founded in 1641 as a military fortress on the border of the Russian state it became the capital of Mordovia in 1934. The names of its citizens famous far over the Russian borders are listed in the city’s annals. A democratic poet A.I.Polezhaev, outstanding artists I.K.Makarov and F.V.Sychkov, classics of the Mordovian music L.P.Kiryukov and I.M.Yaushev lived here at different times.
Current population of Saransk counts 300 thousand people. The city has railway and bus stations. An airport of Saransk is able to accept airplanes of any class. The “Mordovian Air-Lines” provide fast delivery from Saransk to Moscow and St Petersburg, Penza and Sochi. The distances from Saransk to main cities: Moscow – 642 km; St Peterburg – 1080 km; Nizhny Novgorod – 330 km; Samara – 460 km; Ulyanovsk – 300 km; Penza – 140 km; Ryazan – 460 km. There are around 300 streets, eight squares, three parks and the Zoo in Saransk. During the recent years many new buildings, parks and monuments have been set up here.
Modern Saransk is an important industrial centre and the city of the talented people – scientists, students and athletes. The capital of the republic is rapidly developing acquiring the unique appearance. A beautiful Cathedral has been erected in the memory of the St Warrior Fedor Ushakov the former being sanctified by the Patriarch Alexei II. Not long ago Saransk was decorated with the new embankment of Saranka-river with its dozen of fountains, new building of the railway station, National and Musical Theatres, new campus buildings of Mordovian State University. Numerous cultural attractions are neighboring modern sportive constructions of the world level – a majestic sport complex “Mordovia”, Ice Palace, S.A.Tarpishchev Tennis School for Juniour Tennis Players, stadium “Start”, biathlon complex and the only Russian indoor velodrome.