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Irkutsk
Express to Russia » Russian Tourist information

Irkutsk

Irkutsk is one of the largest cities in Siberia and is located on the Angara River. It is the starting point for many who adventure to the Lake Baikal area because it is a main transit point on the Trans-Siberian/Trans-Mongolian train route. Lake Baikal is situated just an hour away from Irkutsk by train. Founded by Russians in 1652 as a major fort beyond the Ural Mountains, it was populated by exiled political prisoners sent by the tsars and communists. Due to the number of exiled intellectuals the city’s culture developed richly. Irkutsk is definitely a place where the old meets the new as 19th century wooden houses are next to multi-storey buildings. Today, the city is a university students’ town due to the large number of universities there.

There are direct flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg but most people arrive in Irkutsk by the Trans-Siberian railway, before they visit Lake Baikal – a definite must if you have travelled all this distance.

There are several beautiful churches and museums on the history of the area, but the more notable destinations are described below.

Places of Interest
Map
Tours & Excursions
Hotels & Apartments
Transportation
Cathedral of the Holy Sign
Apart from ornate and rich iconostasis, the cathedral is famous for its graveyard containing the graves of the Decembrists Mukhanov, Beschasnov, Trubetskaya and the Russian Columbus Shelekhov.
Museum of the Decembrists
The museum is housed in a mansion belonging to one of the leaders of Decembrist revolutionaries - these were Russian aristocracy who were banished to Siberia after their ill-fated attempt in December 1825 to overthrow the Russian Tsar in favor of a Constitutional regime. The museum is truly evocative of 19th century Russia.
Taltsy Ethnographic Museum
This architectural and ethnographic museum opened its doors to the public in 1980. On the territory of 67 hectares there are over 40 architectural monuments (fortress wall, churches, barns, water mills, parish school, peasant houses) and over 8,000 exhibits that tell about life in the Siberian villages XVII-XIX centuries. The museum often hosts folk festivals, and is also often used by filmmakers because of its authentic look.

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