Chuvashia, also called the Chuvash Republic, is located in the middle of the European part of Russia on the Volga River. Though it is relatively small in territory, it is heavily populated and industrialized. This is the homeland of the Chuvash people, often described as Russia’s “third people”, and over the centuries it was fought over by Mongols, Russians and Bulgarians. Much of the land is still under forest, and there are hundreds of lakes.
The capital of the Chuvash Republic is Cheboksary. This historic city dates back to at least 1469 when it was mentioned in Russian military documents. In 1555 the Russians fortified the site and began a settlement that eventually became a major commercial center of the Volga region. It was noted for its two monasteries and 25 churches. Today visitors enjoy the opera-ballet theater and the philharmonic orchestra. They can see the monument to Vasily Ivanovich Chapayev, a hero of the Russian Civil War; St. Vladimir’s Church, the Monument of Mother, and the Chuvashian-EXPO exhibition center. A new attraction is the zaliv; an artificial bay of the Volga River in the middle of the city, with boardwalks, beaches and cafes. Cheboksary has several museums, including Russia’s only beer museum.
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