Nizhegorodskaya Oblast is situated in the basin of the river Volga. In the south Nizhegorodskaya Oblast borders upon the Republic of Mordovia, in the southwest - Ryazanskaya Oblast, in the southeast - Vladimirskaya and Ivanovskaya Oblasts, in the northwest and the north - Kostromskaya Oblast, in the north and northeast - Kirovskaya Oblast, to the east lies the Republic of Mari El and Chuvashia.
The main rivers here are Volga (with its tributary Oka), Vetluga, Sura. The climate is moderate continental. The average temperature of January is 12 degrees below zero; the average temperature of July is +19 degrees centigrade. Precipitations are about 500 mm per year.
The oblast was formed on January 14, 1929. Till 1990 it was called Gorkovskaya Oblast.
The regional centre is Nizhny Novgorod (till 1990 - Gorky, 1,4 million inhabitants). It's the third largest city of the Russian Federation. It is situated 400 km to the northeast from Moscow at confluence of the rivers Oka and Volga. The city area is 74,8 thousand sq. km.
Nizhny Novgorod was founded in the year of 1221. The distance to Moscow is 439 km. The city includes 8 districts: Avtozavodsky, Kanavinsky, Leninsky, Moscovsky, Nizhegorodsky, Prioksky, Sovetsky, Sormovsky.
The local natural resources are building and glass sand, titanium and zirconium sand, plaster, salt, coniferous and birch forests, mineral water. Prospecting for oil is being realized now.
Nizhegorodskaya Oblast is the highly industrialized region. The basic industries of Nizhegorodskaya Oblast are the machine-building and metal working, chemical and petrochemical, fuel, electric power industries, wood, woodworking and pulp-and-paper, light, food, pharmaceutical, microbiological, flour-and-cereals, polygraphic industries, the black and nonferrous metallurgy, the industry of building materials.
Nizhny Novgorod is one of the largest cultural and art homecraft centres of Russia. There are a lot of unique monuments of history, architecture and culture. That is why the UNESCO included Nizhny Novgorod in the list of 100 cities of the world's historical and cultural value. For centuries Nizhny Novgorod played an appreciable role in the history of Russia. In the city there are 7 professional theatres, 14 museums with their branches. In 1999 about 450 thousand people visited them.
The stock of 94 libraries (3 regional and 91 city libraries) totals 7 727 000 copies. According to the city program of development and preservation of cinemas 9 of them are under reconstruction now. 8 municipal recreation parks occupy the area of 220 hectares. The park "Switzerland" includes the only zoo in Nizhegorodskaya Oblast. The circus "Chapiteau" and the planetarium present their new programs for children.
In addition to thirty Christian churches (among them 5 cathedrals) there are a mosque and a synagogue in the city. Cultural and educational activity in Nizhny Novgorod is realized by the department of culture of the city administration.