The Komi Republic is an administrative subject of the Russian Federation. It was founded in 1921 and is a part of the Northwestern Federal District. The area is 415 000 sq. km with 958 500 people of population. The Republic is in the Moscow time zone. National languages are Russian and Komi. The capital of the Republic — Syktyvkar — is 1000 km far from Moscow. The Republic is located to the west of the Urals. 70% of the territory are wild forests with 7,7% of marshland. Major rivers are — Izhma, Mezen, Pechora, Vychegda and others. There are 78 000 lakes on the territory of the Republic, including Donty, Kadomskoye, Vad, Sindorskoye, Yam, Bolshoe Kharbeity.
The climate is continental with long winters with January average of —17C and short summers with July average of +13C. The region is known for drastic atmospheric pressure and temperature drops and wind direction changes.
There is the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve with its undisturbed forests unique for the whole Europe. The Reserve was recognized as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, so as the «Yugyd Va» National Park. There are tourist trails going around the Reserve and if you desire you could fly a small plane around the whole Reserve on a 4-hours long tour. Besides natural attractions the Yugyd Va Park has pagan idols and a stone image (Kurgan stele).
Kortkerossky District is famous for its interesting nature phenomenon — a grove of trees with entangled trunks — called «trees of love».
Numerous lakes of the Republic are open for fishing. Here fishermen could count on a good catch of ruff, pike, ide, crucian, umber, cisco and other valuable fish species on the Sindorskoye, Bolshoe Kharbeity, Dlinnoye, Bolshoe Balabanty and other lakes. Mountain lakes are simply beautiful and their nature is very special. Along the banks you would find rare plants (Lapland poppy, roseroot) and if you peer through the water that is clear all the way to the bottom you would notice huge boulders size of a bus called moraines.
Vast swamps of the Republic received acknowledgment as unique ecosystems with a multitude of bird species (ptarmigan, black grouse, goose, as well as the Red Book common crane, erne and whooper swan), major herbs and berries and peat beds. The largest swamps are Usinskoye, Okean, Dzernyur, Martyushebskoye.
The majority of the Republic’s points of interest are of nature origin. Tourists are mostly attracted by the Bogatyr-Shchelye rocks, the specifically protected Shchugor river with its extraordinarily picturesque banks, Lyekiz rocks and the so called «weathering stone columns» (Mansi dummies) on the Manpupunyer plateau. If you would like to see several geological wonders in one place you should visit the town of Inta. There you will see the «Monk» and «Kayuk-Nyrd» rocks and other quaint rocks and other geological sites of interest and artifacts.
If you prefer a more vivid history you should head for Ust-Tsilma settlement on an ethnographic tour. It is the home for a large community of «Old Believers» with their typical rites, celebrations, clothing and household items, songs and legends.
Syktyvkar is an ancient town that evolved in the place of an ancient pagan grave-yard. In Soviet times it was the place of exile. In chronicles of the XVI century the town was known as Ust-Sysolsk. Here tourists could visit the Local History Museum with its interesting collection of the regional history facts, an old fire tower that is over 100 years old and a number of orthodox churches. The town has elements of the XIX century architecture, including a very interesting town district called «Pirizh» where you could see one-storey houses built in the XIX century. If you are interested in the history of the region you are welcome to visit the open-air Museum of Ethnography in Ust-Vym settlement, camp sites of primitive men on the slopes of the Ural Mountains. On the territory of the Republic you will find a number of the old-school church architecture, like the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God Cathedral in Kochpon village or the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Church in Votcha settlement.
Vorkuta is the town with the second largest population in the region. This town could be described as the memorial of Stalin’s repressions and the Stalin regime. The town centre is built in the Stalin Baroque style. The Local History Museum deserves special attention for it owns a unique collection of historical, ethnographic and art materials. If you are looking for an unconventional experience you should visit a former mining town Khalmer-Yu that was closed in 1995 and is now one of few abandoned towns of Russia. Those who have visited the settlement share common impressions of the unforgettable image — dilapidated multistoried house carcasses in the middle of taiga!
For more detailed information on the Republic, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.