Irkutsk is a capital of East Siberia, and was created in
1661 year on the bank of Angara. For Russia this city was a gate to East. Many
expeditions for researching were carried out from this place , in oder to
research Japan, China and Mongolia.
Irkutsk is one of few cities of Russia where quantity of sunny hours per a
year exceeds 2000. Vegetable meadows, piny-woody, piny-birch forests, birch
groves stretch spaciously around Irkutsk. The city consists of 5 areas:
Kirovsky area – a historical and modern center of the city. Almost all
administrative offices, theaters, museums, libraries, monuments of architecture
are situated here.
Territory of Kuibishevsky area – is the oldest industrial
part of the city, which acquired name Rabochiy outskirts.
Oktyabrsky area is modern Irkutsk.
Sverdlovsky area is an area of power engineering
specialists, science and education. On its territory there is Irkutsk
hydroelectric power station, Academic town, Student town.
Leninsky area is a large railway junction of the
Irkutsk is not only an administrative and industrial city. Cultural heritage
of the Siberian region is solicitously kept in Irkurtsk museums and libraries.
Unique collections of works of art, monuments of the history and the nature are
collected in the historical museum of the city.
Musical and theatrical life of the city is various. Irkutsk is also a
scientific center of the Eastern Siberia. You may get higher education here in
the pedagogical, economical universities, agricultural academy and other
Irkutsks is a city of the future with the wonderful past. Irkutsk emerged in
the place of a prison, which was built in 1661. Favorable geographic position of
Irkutsk on the crossroad of waterways, land roads, favored to quick development
of agriculture, industry and also establishing of communication with Mongolia,
China, Transbaikalia. Merchants, which didn’t stint profit of the city, emerged
in the city.
An emblem – a tiger (Felis Tigris), carrying a sable in teeth, - was
confirmed in 1690. The tiger embodied the Siberia. It is an ancient sacred
animal and the saber symbolized richness of the krai. By the end of 18 century
Irkutsk became not only a trading and administrative but also a cultural ñenter.
Popular colleges, libraries, museums, theaters were opened.
By the end of
XVI century Irkutsk became not only a trade and administrative, but also a
cultural center. There were opened many schools, libraries, museums and
The first train came in Irkuts on the 16th of August of 1898 and
marked as a new turn in the city life. Irkutsk plaid a big role in studying and
developing of the Eastern Siberia, Far East and Northern America. The city is
included in a list of historical places with preservation of planning and
One of the oldest monuments of Irkutsk is church for the sake of icon of
Christ not made by hand – a show department of Irkutsk museum of regional. The
stone Spasskaya Tower was laid in 1706 and a stone belfry was built in
Frescos on the external walls narrate about baptism of the local
Buryat nation. The cathedral for the sake of Theophany of the Christ – a
monument of architecture of XVIII century, which was built in Siberian baroque
taste, has been a center of social life during many decades. A stone building,
constructing of which had been carried out in several stages till 1746, was laid
in 1718. A belfry was built in 1797.
Irkutsk museum of local lore was opened
in 1762 year.
The main building of it was erected in Moresque style, and is considered
architectural monument. The exposition was devoted to Siberia since
pre-historical times. The funds of the museum consists of 350 thousands
exhibits, 250 thousands of them are rarities. There are unique herbariums and
stuffed animals and birds of Siberia, old manuscripts and accounts of geological
and geographical expeditions, clothes collections from different epochs,
embroideries, and also unique expositions from China, Tibet, Mongolia.
museum works daily at 10.00 till 18.00, besides Monday.
The Art Museum
The Art Museum was created in 1870 year as a private collection. It consists
of more than 16 thousands Russian, European, Siberian, The East works of art.
There are unique works of world art, among them the works of I. Repin, I.
Shishkin, V. Polenov, I. Savrasov.
This museum works daily at 10.00
till 18.00, besides Monday.
The museum of Decembrists
The house museum of Decembrists – Trubezkoy and Volkonsky was opened in the
houses, where lived their famous families (Sergey Trubezkoy and Sergey
Volkonsky). The exposition of the museum tells us about their lives in hard
labour in Siberia.
The memorial complex “Citizens of Irkitsk in the years of the Great Patriotic
The project of the complex was worked out by chief architect of the city V.
N. Fedorin, chief artist V. G. Smagin, engineer R. M. Mavrik. The memorial was
built by method of people’s building. It was erected by the Day of Victory. In
spring the fire was brought from Moscow from the grave of an unknown soldier.
Post ¹ 1 was set at the eternal light. Names of citizens – heroes, who were
killed during the war – are carved on the walls and the stele of the building of
the regional administration. Alley of veterans leads from the memorial to the
direction of the Angara river. It was opened by the 50-th anniversary of the end
of the Great Patriotic War (1995).
Behind the Ushakove river in the Znamensk
outskirts of Irkutsk there is a nunnery, which was based in 1693. The first
wooden constructions were decayed soon, therefore a stone church of Boding of
Our Lady was laid on money of merchant Bitchevik. The site development was laid
only in 1818 by an erecting for donation of merchant Tchupalov.
In times of the Soviet regime the monastery was closed, only a temple worked.
At present time the monastery is revived. A Sunday school, a library work
attached to it, Church-Historical readings are carried out here every year. On
the territory of the monastery there are graves of Decembrists – P. Mukhanov,
Panov – a gravestone of Catherine Trubetskaya with three sons.
Drama theater of Okhlopkov. Wooden constructions were erected in the place of
the present ones two times but they were burnt out. A competition was announced
at the end of XIX century: among 5 projects, a project of V. A. Shretev, a chief
architect of Petersburg directorate of theaters, took the first place. The
theater was opened on the 30d of August of 1897. There was no own troupe, actors
from the capital used to come. So actress Komissarzhevskaya performed on the
stage of the theater in 1903. Talented actor and producer Okhlopkov, name of
which the theater acquired, worked in 1920-s in Irkutsk.
To meet with wooden architecture one can begin with the central streets of
the city. Examples of wooden architecture can be seen near the central streets
of the city. Shasties’ house, which is known more often by name “lacy house”,
was built in Engels street, 21. Rich decorative ornaments of the facades,
intricate outline of the roof with small towers and small figured wooden
A custom to decorate a house with fretwork originates from pagan times.
Patterns and ornaments were considered to be magical signs, averters, protected
a house from evil forces’ intrusion into it, favored to prosperity and provided
an owner with rich harvest.
Tourists may buy articles of Siberian gems,
pictures of local artists, cedar cones. Quite many modern establishments of
leisure and entertainments have been opened for the last years in Irkutsk.