Justin Wyllie Photography

Reportage, People and Travel | Репортаж, люди и путешествие

Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El Republic, Russia

Yoshkar-Ola is the capital of the Republic of Mari El in European Russia. The Mari El Republic is an ethnic Republic. According to WikiPedia the main two ethnic groups are Russians and the Mari people. The Mari people are a Finno-Ugric people. Their language is linked to Finnish and Hungarian. I was only in the city for 2 days but certainly it is evident that the people are Finnic. There seem to be two types; a blonde type and a darker, wiry type (in the majority). The people i met (mostly hotel and restaurant staff) were very kind and gentle. I would like to have spent more time here.


Raifa Monastery, Kazan

The Raifa Monastery of the Mother of God (Raifsky Bogoroditsky Monastery) is a monastery for men located in the Russian Diocese of Kazan. The monastery was established in 1613. in what is now the Republic of Tatarstan. Closed during the Soviet years, the property, in 1991, was the first monastery in the Diocese of Kazan and Mari to be returned to the Church of Russia. Restoration work began immediately. The monastery is the largest in the Diocese of Kazan and Tatarstan. [Source: Orthodox Wiki]

Raifa Monastery



Raifa Monastery is situated 27 km to the West of Kazan. The monastry was founded in 1613. The site is adjacent to a lake. The area is now a protected nature reserve. In 1928 the Bolsheviks plundered the monastery. At this time they destroyed the monastery cementery. In 1991 the bones of the deceased were re-buried in a common grave and the area marked with a memorial cross and flower garden. The Bolsheviks also used the site for a prison for juvenile delinquents. Work on restoring the monastery began in the early 1990s. Today the buildings have been fully restored though some internal work remains to be done.

Trinity Cathedral (slide 2) was built in 1904-10.

The monastery now houses an orphanage for boys where they receive a secular education and support once they leave the monastery.

The monastery also hosts an excellant quartet, ‘Pritcha’, (‘parable’), who sing Russian Orthodox hymns and folk songs. They have toured abroad, including to England in 2008, where they performed in Salisbury Cathedral.

Source: http://www.raifa.ru/english/

Kazan Kremlin

The date of construction of Söyembikä Tower is uncertain. Some scholars date it to before the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in 1552. Others put the date later; in the 17th or 18th centuries. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Annunciation Cathedral dates from 1561 to 1562. It has been reconstructed several times.

The Spassky tower was first built in 1556-1562. It has been developed and re-built several times over the years.

Qol Sharif Mosque is a new addition to the Kazan Kremlin. It was opened in 2005. It is the largest mosque in Europe. (Source: Wikipedia)



Kazan Kremlin website (in English)


Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons

Shots taken on walk 13 July 2016.