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Irkutsk

Tourism in Russia > Irkutsk

Irkutsk

Irkutsk is an administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast'. It is situated on the Angara River, 68 km from Baikal. The name of the city originates from its location near the Irkut River. Irkutsk ap-peared on the map of Siberia in the middle of the 17th century. They consider the day of its foundation to be July, 6th, 1661 - this is when a report of Jacob Ivanovich Pokhabov about the town's foundation was made. In 1682 Irkutsk became the center of independent vo-evodstvo, and 4 years later it got the status of a city. This is when Irkutsk got its seal and its emblem. The image of the seal coincided with the emblem image, authorized in 1690. It depicted a babr (kind of Siberian extinct tiger) with a sable in its mouth on a silver field.

The population of Irkutsk is 600 000 people (data of 2002); it occupies the area of 30 637 hectares; 90% of population are Russians, minor nationalities are presented by the Buryats, Ukranians, Tartars, Jews, Poles, Latvians, Germans and others - totally 100 nations.

The city is divided administratively into 4 districts: Sverdlovskii, Oktyabrskii, Kuybyshevskii and Pravoberezhnyi.

Climate in Irkutsk is extreme continental, changeable and dry. Sharp night and day temperature fluctuations are a usual phenomenon. Average winter temperature is 22C below zero. In February there is a period of lower winds-hiusov, but on the whole winters are windless. The autumn is long and warm. The spring comes at the end of March. The summer is hot, as a rule the precipitation is at the latter half, average temperature in July is +25C, but in hot days it reaches +32- +35C.

In the city there are 4 state theatres, Philharmony, an organ hall, 5 museums, musical, art and theatrical schools, libraries and humanitarian center, named after the Polevye.

Irkutsk department of Russian Academy of Sciences is 60 years old. It includes Baikal museum and 9 Scientific Research Institutes: Institutes of Geography, Geochemistry, of System Dynamics and Management Theory, of Earth Crust, Chemistry, Solar-Terrestrial Physics, of Physiology and Biochemistry of Plants and of Laser Physics. Nowadays Irkutsk is one of the biggest medicine centers of Siberia: the city boasts a modern diagnostic center, "Eye microsurgery", convalescent center of Dr. Dikul', cancer detection center, perinatal center and other therapeutic institutions.

It is not by chance that Irkutsk is considered to be a student city - there are 80 thousand students, studying in 9 higher educational establishments.

In Irkutsk there are 7 creative unions: the unions of architects, artists, designers, writers, journalists, composers and cinematographers.

Irkutsk is a multiconfessional city. Alongside with the Orthodox churches there is a Muslim mosque, a catholic cathedral, Jewish Synagogue and a Buddhist temple (datsan). "The House of Europe" in F. Engels Street, 21. It is called "wooden lace" house, which is a part of historic-architectural complex of the Shastin estate (18th century). It was recreated in 1998 with the aim of development and support of relations between Irkutsk and European countries. It was declared the historical monument, and now the "House of Europe" is the symbol of Irkutsk.

In Irkutsk Regional Art Museum named after Sukachov (Lenin St., 5), there are vast collections of ancient Russian and Siberian icons and cult wooden sculpture of the XVIII century. It boasts a portrait gallery of Russian painters, the masterpieces of the artists from Holland, Flanders, France, Italy, Germany and England of the XVII-XIX centuries. The collection of works from Japan and China includes all kinds of art: painting, china, wooden, metal and stone articles of the 3rd-20th centuries. The exhibition sprang from the art works collection owned by Vladimir Sukachyov (1849-1920), who was a merchant and the governor of Irkutsk. Till 1917 this building used to house a men high school (Naval School), established in 1805.

 
The History Department Irkutsk Museum of Regional Studies
Art museum of V.P.Sukachyov
The Epiphany Cathedral
Art Decadence cinema
I.Guillers Commercial Appartment Building
Joshua Finebergs Mansion
Polish Roman Catholic Church
Russian-Asian Bank
Makushin and Posokhins Trading House
Irkutsk academic drama theatre
Moscow Triumphal Arch
1st Arsenalskaya street
Church of Our Savior
Municipal duma building
Alexander and Mary College
Bazanovs educational house
Monument to Emperor Alexander III
The city exhibition center of V.S.Rogal
Monument to Vladimir Lenin
The profitable house of I.I. Nikitin, hotel "Grand Hotel"
Alexander Vtorovs Mansion (Palace of Childrens Creative Work)
Kirov square
Merchant Trapeznikovs Mansion (Irkutsk Regional Court of Law)
1st Public Hall
Merchant Sibiryakovs Mansion
House of Soviets (Government of the Irkutsk region)
Irkutsk Residents in the Patriotic War of 1941-1945
Church for the sake of Mikhail Arkhangel
Krestovozdvizhenskaya church
A Monument to Friendship between Russia and Japan

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