Yoshkar-Ola is the regional capital of the Mari El Republic and one of the oldest cities in the Volga region. Throughout its long history, the city’s name has changed several times. It has been known as Tsaryov: City on the Kokshaga River, Tsaryovokokshaysk, Krasnokokshaysk and finally Yoshkar-Ola, which in the Mari language translates as “the red city,” or “beautiful.” Nowadays the walls of the city’s kremlin, one of the best examples of medieval Russian architecture, can be seen where a fortress once stood. There is nothing nicer than taking a relaxing stroll through Yoshkar-Ola by houses that resemble beautiful palatial wooden homes from ancient times on the picturesque riverbank. The residents’ preferred meeting place is under the city clock, but this clock is not simply a timekeeper; the biblical story of the entrance into Jerusalem is brought to life on the walls of the clock tower. When in Yoshkar-Ola, the city’s art gallery is a must-see, along with the Mari National Theatre. Also find out who the honoured owner of the bronze Yoshkin cat is.