The Republic of Udmurtia is situated in the eastern part of the East European plain in the basin of the rivers Kama and Vyatka. In the north and the west Udmurtia borders upon Kirovskaya Oblast, in the east upon Permskaya Oblast, in the southeast upon Bashkiria and to the south lies Tatarstan.
The area of Udmurtia is 42,06 thousand sq. km. It is bigger than Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and approximates to the size of Denmark.
The climate of Udmurtia is moderately continental with long, cold and snowy winters and warm summers.
The republic is rich in petroleum, coal, peat and building materials. Being close to Ural, Siberia and the Volga region, Udmurtia imports deficient natural resources. The republic is a member of the Western economic zone, the Ural - Volga region and the Ural economic region.
Votskaya Autonomous Oblast was formed on November 4, 1920. Later, on January 1, 1932, it was renamed into the Udmurt Autonomous Oblast. The Udmurt Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic appeared on December 28, 1934. The present republic consists of 25 districts, 6 cities and towns, 4 urban districts, 15 urban settlements, 263 villages.The capital is Izhevsk. The city was founded in 1918. Distance between Moscow and Izhevsk is 1129 km.
The city includes 5 districts: Industrialny, Leninsky, Oktyabrsky, Pervomaysky and Ustinovsky.
Owing to development of hi-tech production, in Izhevsk the powerful intellectual, scientific and technical potential is concentrated. Scientists and employees of 23 scientific and research centres and institutes carry out research work in the field of physics, applied mechanics and economy. They participate in development of the general town planning scheme, in solving problems of ecology, land tenure, in development of the city social sphere.
The high educational level of experts is provided by 160 doctors and 1000 candidates of sciences working in 4 state and 3 private higher educational establishments and 10 specialized secondary institutions.
Today in the republic there are 5 state higher educational institutions. Among them are the Udmurt University and the Izhevsk Technical University, the Izhevsk Medical Academy, the Izhevsk Agricultural Academy and the Glazov Pedagogical Institute. Vocational training is realized by 15 technical schools and 36 colleges.
The poetical pagan religion of Udmurts is based on worshipping of natural elements. The ancient Udmurt pantheon consisted of more than forty gods. First attempts to baptize the indigenous population were made in the 16th century, but the process of mass christening began in the 18th century. In 1989 here appeared the Izhevsk and Udmurt diocese and the Alexandro-Nevsky Cathedral was opened for parish again. Besides there are two more orthodox temples in Izhevsk and Old Belief communities. But one more religion influenced Udmurts. It is Islam. It is not surprising because the southwest part of Udmurtia was a part of the ancient Muslim state "Volga Bulgaria" for a long time.
In Udmurtia hitch-hiking, water and bicycle tourism is very popular. There are all the opportunities for development of tourism in Udmurtia: lakes and rivers, magnificent landscape and monuments of history and architecture, mountains and forests.