A Government Of Central Russia (Called Also Nizhecorod), bordering on Kostroma, Viatka, Ka-an, Simbirsk, Penza, Tambov, and Vladimir; rea, 19,631 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 1,262,913, of whom nearly one third were Tartars, and the remainder chiefly Puissians. It is traversed by the Volga, and by its affluents the Veiluga, Sura, and Oka, and has direct communication by water both with Moscow and St. Petersburg. Steamers proceed by the Volga to Astrakhan, and by the Kama to Perm. The surface is generally level, with a few low hills nowhere more than 500 ft. high, and composed chiefly of limestone. The N. E. portion, enclosed by the Volga and Vetluga, is eovered with forests mostly of fir and birch, and has a sandy and in some places marshy soil. The climate is 10° colder than that of the surrounding country. The habitations are almost wholly confined to a few scattered hamlets. The. rest of the government is extremely fertile, and, having a mild climate, produces abundance of grain, hemp, flax, and fruit. The forests yield excellent timber. The mineral productions are iron and gypsum.
The principal manufactures are coarse cloth, canvas, cordage, leather, and soap.
A City, capital of the government, on the Volga, where it is joined by the Oka, 250 m. E. by N. of Moscow; pop. in 1807, 40,742. The principal part of the town is built on a steep triangular promontory, about 400 ft. high, between the Volga and Oka, and consists mainly of three handsome streets which radiate from an open space in the centre. At the point of the promontory stands the Kremlin or citadel, defended by a wall 30 ft. high flanked with towers. The chief public buildings, including two cathedrals, a Protestant church, and the governor's palace, are situated within the walls. There are about 60 churches, of which the two cathedrals and the church of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin are the most noteworthy. The houses are mostly of wood, but the shops and warehouses are generally of more substantial materials. The trade, which is at all seasons very extensive, reaches an extraordinary height during the three annual fairs. (See Fair, vol. vii., p. 59.) A particular quarter is set apart for these great gatherings, and at all other times remains unoccupied.