The Ryazan Region is located in the centre of European Russia, sharing a border with the Moscow Region. The region's administrative centre is Ryazan. The main river here is not the Volga but one of its tributaries - the Oka. One third of the region is taken up with forest and the nature of the Ryazan Region is especially beautiful with the Merschersky national Park and the Oksky Nature Reserve. The Trans-Siberian railway line runs through Ryazan.
Many people from the Ryazan Region have found fame in Russia and even abroad. For example the great scientist Ivan Pavlov who researched conditioning and instincts using dogs i.e. 'Pavlovian Response'. The poet Sergei Yesenin, who is extremely popular among Russians, was born in Konstantinovo, where his family home is now a museum. In addition the Polish-born Max Factor started his cosmetics empire in Ryazan back when he was still known as Maksymilian Faktorowicz.
From the 12th to the 16th century the territory of the Ryazan Region formed the Ryazan Principality, which has left a large historical legacy. In addition to this, part of the region made up the Kasimov Khanate which existed from the mid-15th century to the late 17th century and had its centre in Kasimov. Today several Islamic monuments, including a 15th century mosque and two mausoleums, can still be found in the city. Also worth visiting in the region is the 19th century estate of the architect Fyodor Shekhtel in the village of Kiritsy.