The Republic of Komi is located to the west of the Ural Mountains between the Kirov Region, Arkhangelsk Region, Nenets Autonomous District, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District and the Perm Territory. It is the traditional homeland of the Komi people - an ethnic group who speak a language belonging to the Permian branch of Uralic languages. However today just under a quarter of the republic’s population is made up of Komi people.
The republic’s capital is the city of Syktyvkar. Another city in the republic is Vorkuta, located in the far north-east, which serves as an important transport hub in the region and which arose primarily in connection with the Gulag. The 16th century settlement of Yb is another place of note in the republic, mainly due to its very usual name!
Forests cover almost two-thirds of the republic and the Virgin Komi Forests, which include the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve and the Yugyd Va National Park, have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located within the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve are the Manpupuner Rock Formations - seven massive pillars formed by millennia of erosion which stand on a plateau.