|Winter in Irkutsk.
For many travelers Irkutsk is a staring point for explorations of Lake Baikal. The easiest way to reach Baikal is to go to Listvyanka settlement located 65 km south-east from Irkutsk. It takes about 1 hour to get there by car. In Summer time foot-walks along the shore of Baikal and a path through the hills are very nice. Alternatively, renting horses for the whole day or rafting trips are popular among tourists. In winter snowmobiles are available for rent, as well as ski or dog sledging. On the road to Listvyanka there's Shaman-rock, sneaking out of Angara river, it is considered to be a sacred stone.
Between Listvyanka and Irkutsk there's an interesting Taltsy open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture with samples of old houses brought here from all over Siberia. In the Museum of Baikal one can learn about flora and fauna of the lake and see some unique species in aquarium. The Irkutsk Art Museum houses a number of various paintings, art and crafts, and one of the most significant collections of icons and wooden sculptures of the 15–18th centuries in Siberia. The city Art Gallery exhibits a rich collection of Chinese porcelain and paintings by famous Russian artists.
Irkutsk impresses travelers with different sights illustrating the history of the Russian state like the Church of Our Savior, oldest brick building of the city constructed in 17th century. Along the embankment of Angara river there's calm and green Gagarinsky Boulevard with various open-air cafés which is a favorite promenade place as well as a square in front of Drama Theater.
|Wooden Architecture of Irkutsk.
Finally, Irkutsk is not just about Baikal. The great Sayan mountains are very close and worth visiting for few days with staying in the most popular among tourists Arshan settlement.
The Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture is located on the side Angara river 47 km south of Irkutsk. It is an open-air museum of Siberian traditional architecture. Numerous old wooden buildings from villages in the Angara valley which have been flooded after the construction of the Bratsk Dam and Ust-Ylimsk dam have been transported to the museum and reassembled there. Museum represents over 40 monuments of architecture and 8000 artifacts of everyday life of the 17–19th centuries. One of the centerpieces of the collection is a partial recreation of the 17th-century fortress of Ylimsk, which consists of the original Spasskaya Tower and the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. In early 2000s, exact modern copies of the southern wall and tower of the fortress were added.
Exposition: Irkutsk, Baikal tract (road), 47th km from Irkutsk
Administration: Irkutsk, Gryaznov street, 22
|The Spassky Church.
Tel.: + 7 (395) 269–56–58, 269–56–59
Children’s East-Siberian railway was opened in 1939 in uptown of Irkutsk. Originaly it was 1 km long, nowadays its length grew up to 3.25 km with 3 stations on the way. In 2002 it was relocated to the center of the city and enlarged with complex of study-classess, library and Russian railway history museum.
Address: Irkutsk, Goncharnaya street, 10A
Tel.: +7 (395) 264–43–34
The Botanic Garden of the Irkutsk State University is the only botanic garden in Baikalian Siberia. Its mission is “to protect and enrich the flora of the Lake Baikal area and the world for people through public education, collection, propagation, research, and conservation of plants”. The garden occupies 27 hectares within Irkutsk city. It is strictly protected natural territory, included in International Directory of Botanical Gardens. It maintains largest plant collection of living plants in the region (more than 3000), a herbarium, a seed bank and serves as an educational tool for students and general public.
Address: Irkutsk, 93 Koltsov Street
Tel.: +7 (395) 241–34–76
Irkutsk regional art museum named after V.P.Sukachov — is the richest treasury of fine art in Siberia. The museum was founded on the basis of the art gallery of the major of Irkutsk V.P.Sukachev assembled by him in the end of the 19-th century. At present the funds of the museum exceeding 16 thousand paintings, graphics, sculptures and samples of decorative art. The collection contains extremely rare assembly of monuments of paleolitical art in the Region of the Baikal. Also museum is famous for one of the most significant collections of icons and wooden sculpture of the 15–18th centuries in Siberia. Museum represents the collection of the Russian artists of the 18–20th centuries and Western-European art of 17–19th centuries. The assembly of the Far East countries — mainly China and Japan — is one of the best among the Russian museums.
Address: Irkutsk, Lenin street, 5
|Catedral of Theophany.
The Mineralogical museum boasts the largest and impressive collection (over 35 thousand exhibits) of minerals, rocks and semi-precious stones of Eastern Siberia. There’s a museum shop with souvenirs made of minerals and ornamental stones by Irkutsk craftsmen..
Closed on Sunday
Address: Irkutsk, Studgorodok, Lermontova street 83, Irkutsk State Technical University korp.E
Tel.: +7 (395) 340–51–00
Museum of Decembrists is devoted to a group of democratically-minded Russian aristocrats that organized an armed revolt in Saint-Petersburg in December 1825. Five of them here executed by death, other were exiled to Siberia, Irkutsk in particular. Among them were prince Trubetskoy and prince Volkonsky. Museum is located in the original houses, where Sergey Trubetskoy and Sergey Volkonsky lived. Exposition describes the Decembrists movement in general and focuses on their life in exile.
Closed on Tuesday
Address: Irkutsk, Volkonskogo pereulok, 10
Tel.: +7 (395) 220–88–18