Saransk is a town of myths and legends, with a chequered past and big plans for the future. Remembering his trip to Saransk, Leo Tolstoy wrote in 1906: “Old pines with long trunks and short crowns. The soil is black, and a little stony… Backwoods. The Sura River, and the best sturgeon ever.” By 2018, when the FIFA World Cup arrives here, the myths of Saransk will have been transformed into architecture.
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Where to stay
Saransk 2018 | Local History MuseumWhen you leave the Assumption Church and go around the corner, you’ll find yourself in Pushkin ParkWhen you leave the Assumption Church and go around the corner, you’ll find yourself in Pushkin Park
Museums and galleries
Local History Museum
Tue-Sun 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
When you leave the Assumption Church and go around the corner, you’ll find yourself in Pushkin Park. Just a hundred years ago, part of what is now the park was occupied by the market square, this being where the merchants lived. You can walk through the park, past a small town zoo, and end up on Moskovskaya Ulitsa. Turn right and walk a little further until you reach the Mordovia Local History Museum.
The museum’s exhibits are housed in a red Baroque building that was originally built in 1761–1765 as the Church of Three Saints. After the October Revolution of 1917 the building was nationalised, and in 1935 it was given to the Local History Museum. After two years of repairs and additional construction the former church opened its doors as a museum.
The museum’s most ancient exhibits go all the way back to the Mesolithic period. The museum is named in honour of Ivan Voronin, considered the father of the academic study of Mordovia's regional ethnography. It is one of the few places where you can learn about the customs and traditions of the Mokshi and Erzia ethnic groups that constitute the Mordva people, including the history of their gradual conversion to Christianity.