Yoshkar-Ola is the capital of the Mari El Republic in western Russia. In the city center, the National Art Gallery hosts changing exhibits in a Renaissance-style building. The Museum of the History of Yoshkar-Ola displays military artifacts and folk art in a former merchant’s house. The green-domed Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is nearby. The riverside Republican Puppet Theater resembles a medieval castle.
Russia, the world?s largest nation, borders European and Asian countries as well as the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Its landscape ranges from tundra and forests to subtropical beaches. It?s famous for Moscow's Bolshoi and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky ballet companies. St. Petersburg, founded by Russian leader Peter the Great, has the baroque Winter Palace, now housing part of the State Hermitage Museum?s art collection.