The misunderstanding called “Saransk” can be expressed in one photo. The Ferris wheel stands here at the bottom of the ravine.


Let’s go up the ravine, overcoming asphalt rivers.

At the top, we will discover the church named after St. Fyodor Ushakov. It’s a maximally tasteless building, hastily put together in 2002. The title of saint was bestowed upon Ushakov just a year before the construction of the temple.

Opposite the church stands the only monument to Patriarch Nikon in Russia. They say he played some incredibly significant role in the enslavement christianization of the Mordovian people. The history is senseless to the extent that it is possible at all. Some sources say that the monument was erected in honor of the 401st anniversary of Nikon’s birth, while others say it was in honor of the 325th anniversary of his death.

The rest of Saransk was built from the remnants of materials used in the construction of the church.

They cast a monument to war from the remains of Nikon’s bust.

So here is the capital of Mordovia.

I don’t know how to describe Saransk without swearing. Everything in the city is just a complete fucking mess.

National Museum. It feels like they assembled it from a former fazenda of a Mordovian general.

Inside the museum, it feels like you’ve come to a flea market.

The mannequins depicting ancient Mordovian life were snatched from a GAP store.

In the photographs, grandfathers are exorcising Satan from a child.

The “Modern Saransk” exhibit features a tradigional costume of a homeless.

The exhibit on the peoples of Mordovia proudly tells the story of Jews who lived here. I checked. In 1870, there were only eight Jews living in Saransk, and in the best years of the USSR (1970s), there were only 425 Jews living here. But apparently, that was enough to put up an entire exhibit in the national museum.

Entrance to the city park.

“Welcome to the future.”

Amusement rides.

Small sculptural forms.

Architecture of Saransk.

The authorities of Saransk have completely lost their fucking minds and decided to build the entire city with facade-only buildings in the style of neoclassicism.

Catatonic clusterfuck.

This city just naturally destroyed my butt with all this fuckery around. Who is the idiot who built this and why?

Saransk looks like someone wallpapered the entire apartment, including the floor and ceiling. There are only two colors everywhere: red and yellow.

National Theater of Mordovia.

Building of Moscow State University.

I’m not joking. This building is called Ogarev’s Moscow State University — the main university of Saransk.

So they just took and built a copy of a Stalinist skyscraper out of the same material they use to finish summer cottages!

This beauty stands in the center of the city.

They built a shopping center nearby out of the same material.

And they had enough for a whole stadium too.

And for their version of Ohotny Ryad, too.

And for the residential buildings around as well.

And for the liquor store, yep.

I have only been to one city worse than Saransk — Yoshkar-Ola. Honestly, Saransk is not that far behind. You really have to look for such idiocy!

Of course, all of this was built fuckhazardly. The pavement was destroyed by people’s hoots within a year.

In theory, everyone who built this should have been executed by a court. But the court building is also made of the same material. A vicious circle.

Main Post Office.

It is so big because in Mordovia, you can’t buy anything except for bear paws in sour cream, and Saransk residents order everything from Moscow.

The main street of the city, an analogue of Tverskaya Street.

Innovation center.

The brilliance of Saransk outshone the capabilities of my camera. It was blocked by the divine light emanating from the Ushakov temple and stopped working. I had to continue taking pictures with my phone.

Too bad because the golden Lenin would have looked much better on a Panasonic than an iPhone.

No, just take a look. GOLDEN LENIN.

The emblem and inscription on the House of Soviets are also in gold. Stop. What House of Soviets? This is the building of the State Assembly of the Mordovian Republic. For some unbelievable reason, they left the inscription “House of Soviets” on it. And Russians tell me that nostalgia for Stalin is not real.

Saransk, 380 degrees.

City square. The record is broken again. It seems that the largest empty square I had seen before was in Smolensk.

The central alley in front of the temple.

“Internet house.”

Road safety.

A city-forming enterprise. The main source of income for residents of Saransk. It operates 24 hours a day without lunch breaks.

Stock exchange. Short orders are accepted at window #5.

“House of Finance.”

Hipster cafes.

Streets in the residential neighborhoods of Saransk.

Library on someone’s balcony.

General practitioner doctor in someone’s kitchen.

The quality of housing construction is such that even the windows are at different levels.


This is not a field outside the city. This is the very center. The national museum is visible on the right. There is a walking embankment along the river.

Just a giant empty lot in the city center overgrown with weeds.

Dear Reader, you won’t believe it, but I still found a spoonful of honey in a barrel of shit. There is a wonderful Erzy museum in Saransk.

Stepan Dmitrievich Erzy was a Mordovian sculptor who worked in the Art Nouveau style. His real surname was Nefedov, and Erzya was a pseudonym he took from the name of the Erzya people, a small ethnic group in Mordovia. I bet none of you have ever heard of him. It’s a pity because the sculptor was truly interesting. He participated in many international exhibitions and had global recognition, though modest.

The museum presents his works. The most famous one is “Moses”.

There are also several other sculptures on religious themes.

Is it worth traveling to Saransk for this museum? I don’t think so. A spoonful of honey won’t make a barrel of shit any sweeter. And there is nothing else interesting here.