The Khanty-Mansisk Autonomous Area– Yugra — was founded in 1930. Its area is 534,800 sq. km; its populations is 1.5 million persons, 91.5% are urban residents. The Time Zone in the Area has 2 hours plus difference with Moscow. The administrative center is the city of Khanty-Mansisk, located 1,922 km from Moscow. Climate is extremely continental with sudden change of seasons. Major rivers are the Ob and the Irtysh.
Before 1940 Khanty-Mansisk was named Ostyako-Vogulsk. Like Moscow, Khanty-Mansisk stands on seven hills. At the present day, it is first of all the»Mecca» for Alpine Skiing. Professional competitions in biathlon are held here; many routes for amateur sport are equipped here. The city has a lot of hotels which are ready to accommodate as many tourists as permanent residents of the city.
The city also offers a great number of opportunities for cultural tourism. One of the most famous museums lately restored is the Museum of Nature and Man, founded in 1930. The museum has rich collections dedicated to the local history, everyday life and trades of native peoples, the nature, and the Soviet times. The collections have unique exhibit items: remains of animals from the Paleozoic era, manuscripts from the oldest in Siberia monastery. The museum also organizes travelling exhibitions, and ethnographic expeditions. Nowadays exhibitions dedicated to local traditions, and environmental impact of oil extraction and environment protection measures are open in the museum. The museum exposition includes the «Archeopark», located at the footing of the Samarovsky Outlier with exposed ancient ground rocks and the possible residence of the Duke Samar on the top. In the «Archeopark» you can see a complex of bronze sculptures of mammoths, a horn-nose, a cave bear and other prehistoric animals.
The history studies always presuppose not only observance but also plunging into the epoch, everyday life. Tourists, visiting the «Museum-Estate of a Rural Merchant» in Selirovo, enjoy this opportunity. The Memorial-Estate represents the art and architectural ensemble from the end XIX — early XX. At present this museum collection consists of many ethnographic exhibit items, installations illustrating traditional everyday life. Master-classes for old-time trades are held in the museum.
The museum-reserve «Torum Maa» also enjoys popularity. It was open in 1987. A cultic site is located in the territory of this museum. Khanty and Mansi, keeping the faith of their foregoers, come here to worship their gods.
In the Khanty-Mansisk Autonomous Area hunting tours are also offered. The visit-card of these tours is the Pheasant Hunt in the hunting ground on the bank of the Gornaya River.
The state natural reserve «Malaya Sosva» was opened in 1976. Nowadays its area makes up 225 thousand ha. Fauna and flora of the reserve is very variegated and includes a great number of rare species. Ecological paths are arranged in the reserve.
In late winter the Festival of Cinematic Debuts «Spirit of Fire» takes place in Khanty-Mansisk. Other events of Khanty-Mansisk are the Contest of Junior Musicians «New Names» (January), the Environmental Festival «Save and Reserve» (June), Festival of Finno-Ugric Peoples «Yugra» (June), Festival for Television Programmes and Films «Golden Tambourine» (September).
For more detailed information on the Khanty-Mansisk Autonomous Area– Yugra, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.