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IRKUTSK CITY TOUR ALONG THE TOURIST “GREEN LINE” 1. The monument to the Tsar Alexander III 2. White House 3. Ethnographical museum 4. Drama theatre named after N.P. Okhlopkov 5. Lenin street 6. Russian-Asian bank 7. Main building of Baikal university of Economics and Law 8. The Church of Archangel Michael, saint Haralampus (1738) 9. Art museum 10. Clinic of Eye Disorders 11. Monument in honor of the long Russian-Japanese relations 12. The building of the City Administration 13. Kirov Square (formerly known as Tikhvin Square) 14. At the place of the Irkutsk Region Government building there used to be the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (1875–1894) 15. 16. 18. The square of three churches: Epiphany Cathedral, the Church of the Saviour, Polish Cathedral 15. Polish Cathedral 16. The Church of the Vernicle 17. Eternal Flame 18. Epiphany Cathedral 19. The monument to the Explorers and Moscow Gate Памятник 20. Exhibition hall named after V.S. Rogal’ 21. Feinberg’s House 22. The house of the merchant-millionaire Vtorov, nowadays the Palace of Children Creative Art 23. Proletarskaya street (Ivanovskaya) Trud Square (“Labour Square”) in front of the Circus 24. Uritsky street (Pesterevskaya) 25. Former hotel “Grand Hotel” 26. Museum of Nature 27. “Khudozhestvenny” Cinema 28. “Central” Hotel 29. Concert hall of Irkutsk regional Philharmonia 30. Holy Cross Church 31. Irkutsk settlement – 130-th Quarter


The guide-book “Rainbow of Baikal Travel” contains texts, pictures, tourist destinations and schematic guides for the visitors of Baikal region (‘Pribaikalye’). The guide-book starts with the short sketches about history and culture of the region. The guide-book also provides the description of the Baikal region tourist routes with the starting point in Irkutsk. The notes in the margins provide the interesting details about the history, culture and modern life. “Handy tips” contain important information, hints for planning your travels, information, which will help you to get oriented in the Baikal region and organize your holidays; there are also the lists of tourist companies, hotels, recreation centers, restaurants and security services. “Travelling, as the greatest and the most serious science, helps us to find ourselves again”, believed Albert Camus. So, let’s travel to find the new discoveries of ourselves and the surrounding world. May the good weather be with you during your trips!

The edition is financed by Agency for tourism of the government Irkutsk region. Press run 2000 pieces

Макет, дизайн: ООО Издательство «Время странствий», г. Иркутск


Dear residents and guests of Irkutsk region! I am glad to greet You from the pages of the catalogue ÂŤRainbow of Baikal TravelÂť!

We are lucky to live on the shore of the unique beautiful Lake Baikal - the deepest freshwater lake in the world, one of UNESCO world heritage highlights. There is no peer to Baikal in terms of the age, depth, water reserves and water qualities, diversity and unique features of organic life. It is the dream of many people to see Baikal seals and try the famous Baikal omul, to enjoy the crystal clear water and fresh air. Irkutsk region is attractive for the tourists and is extremely rich in the diversity of possible trips to offer. It has all the resources for perfect recreation: rich taiga forest, mineral water springs and curative muds, hunting and fishing, skiing slopes and river rafting routes. Irkutsk region is a dynamically developing region. Unique geographic position of Irkutsk region at the crossroads of the important transportation routes has become a significant feature of its attraction and business activity. The modern infrastructure is presented by superb hotels and exhibition halls, SPA centers and resorts, having more than a century long experience in using the local natural resources for healthcare activities; numerous restaurants, which suit any taste; entertainment centers and cultural establishments will provide an interesting and useful staying with us at any season. Those, who visit our region, will definitely fall in love with one of the most beautiful cities of Russia, the capital of Eastern Siberia - Irkutsk. The city has almost 2/3 of all the architectural, historical and cultural monuments of the region. I invite You to enjoy the trip around Irkutsk region and I hope that it will be filled with bright impressions and interesting acquaintances, and Baikal will charge you with its unique energy, will provide you with the unforgettable holidays and will capture your hearts forever! Sincerely yours, the Head of Agency for tourism of the overnment Irkutsk region Marina Vladimirovna Rozhkova


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“SHIPS OF ALL FLAGS WILL people (2010), in Irkutsk – about 600 thousand; density of populaCOME TO US…” Irkutsk region – subject of Russian Federation, a part of Siberian Federal district. The governor of the region – Sergey Vladimirovich Eroshchenko. Irkutsk city is the administrative and cultural capital of the region. Region’s area is 767.900 (4.6 % of Russian total area); population – about 2505.6 thousand


tion in the region – 3.13 persons/, the proportion of the urban population – 78.9%. The indigenous population is presented by the Buryats, Evenks and Tofalars. The external borders of Irkutsk region, defined in 1937 when it was established, coincide almost 100% with the boundaries of the former Irkutsk governorate (as the part of the territory was added

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to Buryat Republic) and with the slight changes in the North-East they were preserved till nowadays. Ust’-Ordynsky Buryat district is an administrative division of Irkutsk region with a special status. Irkutsk region is one of the most significant and interesting parts of Russia. Its vast expanses feature a lot of virgin, pristine places. In the south there are the Sayan Mountains, which resemble the Alps (up to 3000 meters high), but with absolutely different climate, flora and fauna, the ranges of the picturesque Khamar-Daban range; in the north – boundless taiga forests and wide rivers headed by the Lena River. The center of the region has vast green steppes, where the ancient nomads cattle-farmers left behind their monuments, burial mounds and petroglyphs. The river system is made up by the basins of the Lena, Angara, Nizhnyaya (‘Lower’) Tunguska and partially Podkamennaya Tunguska. Baikal, the deepest and purest lake of the planet, has the significant part of its water area located in Irkutsk region. The Baikal region («Pribaikalye») combines in a magic way the old and the new, the historic and the modern. Nowadays Irkutsk region is the region of huge perspectives with the amazing past - the history, which ensures and gives the right to state that Pribaikalye is a special, symbolic and significant place on the map of Russia, which attracts the guests from all over the world. The main reason why people are visiting Baikal is its nature, its obvious and at the same time


intangible power, its energy which helps a man to revive, to strengthen his health and to get the spiritual balance. The nature of Baikal is presented by open lake expanses, fancy rocky shores, taiga, transparent alpine lakes, picturesque waterfalls, fascinating steppes, unique Baikal landscapes and natural monuments, amazing in their beauty, well-heated bays and mineral springs, mountains, rivers and steppe lakes. In the area of Irkutsk region there are two reserves - BaikaloLensky and Vitimsky; besides there is Pribaikalsky national park and 12 wildlife sanctuaries. This amazing nature advances the development of «natural» types of tourism: all-year-round active tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tours, water tourism in the open spaces of Baikal, safari, natural-informative, health-oriented, resort, fishing and hunting tourism, passive relaxation with staying at one place and special types (scientific, ornithological). And every place has its story, legend or patron spirit, as it is an ancient land with the ruins of the hillforts, burial grounds and mounds. These are the original documents of the long and complicated history of the Earth, presenting interest both for the scientists and the tourists.

Watchtower, Belsk (1647)

In Irkutsk region there are 560 immovable historic and cultural monuments under the state protection. Nine residential areas of the region are referred to the category of historical cities and locations of Russian Federation – Irkutsk, Nizhneudinsk, Kirensk, Usolye-Sibirskoye; settlements Aleksandrovskoye (Bokhan region), Belsk (Cheremkhovo region), Verkholensk (Kachug region), Urik and Ust-Kuda (Irkutsk region). The wooden constructions of the 19th- 20th centuries present a big value in the capital of the region. There are special protected reserved areas: Decembrists in Irkutsk, Zhelyabov complex, Gryaznov street constructions, B. Khmel’nitsky street constructions. The buildings in K.Marx, the 3rd of July and Uritsky streets are also protected. The first architectural monuments refer to the period when the russians were discovering the siberian lands in the 17th century – fortification towers of Belsk (1647) and Bratsk (1654).


THE CRADLE OF CULTURE TITULAR NATION In the 6th – 10th centuries the Kurykans were a numerous and strong people, leaving a rich “Kurumchi culture” behind. A part of the Kurykans got mixed with the southern peoples – Mongolian tribes and begot the future Buryat nationality. The main subethnic groups are the Ekhirits and the Bulagats. Buryat family settlements (‘ulus’) were located along the river valleys. The Buryat people were not only the cattlefarmers (big and small cattle, horses, camels), hunters and fishermen, but also they were doing the primitive farming – they were growing millet, buckwheat and barley. From the childhood the local people were taught to respect the earth. Adults told a child not to scratch the earth with sharp-pointed items, not to pluck the grass and not to hurt Mather-Earth. Even Buryat boots (gutuls) have the upturned toes, so that their owner would not stumble and would not offend the earth. When a man completed all his earthly deeds in this world, a ritual of «asking for earth» was conducted before his burial. In such a way a man was born from the Earth and returned back to it after his death. It is clear, why a potter, before getting some clay, had first to apologize before the Earth that he is intruding. For the Buryats the Earth was first of all associated with steppe. A nomad knew that the life in steppe was not so monotonous as it seemed to be. People, animals and birds can find here food and shelter.


The pioneers of Siberia, the Russian Cossacks discovered the huge, beautiful land and founded the cities and settlements. They have preserved the main thing - the sources of culture, incorporated in the religion, language, holidays, music and songs. The region is famous for its cultural and historic traditions. The calendar Orthodox holidays are celebrated with the real performances of the folk rituals. Siberian people like it very much to celebrate Christmas, Epiphany, Maslenitsa (Pancake week), Easter and Troitsa (Whitsunday). The streets are festively decorated; smartly dressed townspeople and guests participate in traditional folk games and go horseback riding. For Epiphany holidays in the ice of the Angara River and Baikal Lake they make ice-holes, where the most courageous plunge into the icy water. Irkutsk land is the place where the Orthodox, Catholic religion, Shamanism and Buddhism are coexisting peacefully. There are national centers functioning, cultural

evening parties devoted to the rituals and traditions are arranged, the native language is being studied and exhibitions of everyday life items and applied art are carried out. The ancient traditions are not forgotten, the old historic-cultural monuments of Pribaikalye indigenous peoples are preserved. Ust’-Ordynsky Buryat district is also called «the land of Geser», as here was the place where the legends were born about the heavenly hero, who came down to Earth and whose valiant deeds are praised by the uligershins, the folk narrators. Irkutsk region has a rich history, highlighted by the archeological sites (the most famous one is Malta), by the period of the Russian colonization of the Eastern Siberia, by the epoch of the Decembrists, by the Soviet period of crash constructions; that is why in every settlement there are the architecturalhistoric monuments. Irkutsk region boasts over 60 museums, attracting the historians and tourists from Europe and Asia. At the distance of 47 km from Irkutsk there is an architectural-ethnographical museum «Taltsy»; the Circum-Baikal

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railway is popular among the local people and the visitors of the region. In the region there are whole national settlements, for instance the Polish village Vershina. It appeared thanks to the land reform of Stolypin in 1906–1914 when settlers were coming over from the former Polish tsardom, which at that time used to be a part of the Russian Empire. Another village Turgenevka was founded by the Belorussian migrants in 1909 when the Tsar government of Russia set the task to settle by farmers the vast Siberian land. Turgenevka inhabitants originated from the Western Polesye bringing with them not only the life belongings, but also the unique farming culture and old Slavic rites and traditions. The hundredth anniversary of resettling was celebrated by the Golendrys who voluntarily moved to Siberia in a small group. They managed to preserve their house-building traditions, the peculiarities of everyday life and working instruments. Irkutsk region is multinational and multireligious. Compact living of the peoples throughout the history gave the possibility to keep the core traditions and culture.


Иркутский регион многонациональный и многоконфессиональный. Компактное проживание народов на всем протяжении истории дало возможность сберечь коренные традиции, культуру.

Forests and groves were considered to be sacred, and, supposedly, were inhabited with ezhins – the spirits of the mountains, fire, forests and separate locations. The shamanistic rituals were conducted there. It was prohibited to cut trees and mow grass in these groves and to visit them in improper time. They were protected against destruction, pollution and defiling. The shamans should be mentioned separately. Shaman clothing and decorations are symbolic. Shaman battle cloak (called “orgoy”) differed from the usual gown, because it had different decorations hanging on it – the tassels from animal fur, metal pendants in the shapes of humans, horses and birds, the bells and circles. The head was crowned with the sacred headwear – the crown with its top resembling the beamy antlers. A shaman had to have a special stick, a whip, a drum and a beetle, the mirror-toli from bronze or jade and a knife. The stick helped the shaman to move to the other world and speak with the spirits. Shaman was an oracle, a doctor and a fortuneteller. Shaman was the central figure during tailagans (prayers), asking the spiritsezhins for good harvest, more cattle, luck in hunting and family happiness.


Irkutsk is the administrative, scientific, cultural, and transportation center of the Irkutsk region and is located on the Angara and Irkut Rivers, about 70 km from Lake Baikal. Due to its location in a continental region, the weather is typically dry and changes rapidly. Winters are cold and long with an average temperature of -22 °C. Autumn is long and warm. Spring begins in late March. The summer is hot with an average temperature of 25 °C in July, and sometimes reaches 30 °C. Irkutsk is a transportation hub that links Eastern and Western Russia, as well as Russia, China, and Mongolia. The time difference with Moscow is 5 hours ahead. One can reach Irkutsk by train, plane, or automobile. By railway. The Irkutsk railway


station serves up to 70 trains per day, including trains to UlanBator and Beijing. The express train “Baikal” (Irkutsk-Moscow, No. 9) leaves Irkutsk at 11:20 local time (6:20 Moscow time) and arrives in Moscow at the Yaroslavl Station at 16:58. Travel time: 75 hours. The train leaves Moscow at 23:25 and arrives in Irkutsk at 09:34 local time (04:34). Moscow time – 77 hours travel time. “Baikal” is considered to be one of the most comfortable and modern trains in Russia. By airplane. Irkutsk International Airport has flights to Munich, Guangzhou, Bishkek, Osh, Tokyo, Istanbul, Seoul, Manchuria, Beijing, Ulan-Bator, Bangkok, and Phuket. There are also domestic flights to nearly 30 cities within Russia, such as Sochi, Krasnodar, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk,

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Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Saint Petersburg, and Yakutsk. Up to ten flights leave for Moscow every day on various airlines. By car. The M-55 federal highway runs through Irkutsk. Irkutsk is located 5042 km from Moscow, 4022 km from Vladivostok, and 450 km from Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia. By boat. River transportation links settlements along the Lena, Angara, and Vitim Rivers. One can travel by boat or steamship on Lake Baikal from Port “Raketa” in Irkutsk to the MRS (Maloe More (Small Sea)), Khuzhir (on Olkhon Island), Severobaikalsk, and Ust-Barguzin (in Buryatia). Travel through the region. Irkutsk is connected with remote settlements by air (Bratsk, Ust-Ilimsk, Kirensk, Ust-Kut, Bodaybo), automobile, and train. Some of the larger settlements in the region are Angarsk (40 km), Bratsk (600 km), Ust-Ilimsk (800 km), Ust-Kut (846 km), Bodaybo (1350 km), and Kirensk (1107 km). Getting around irkutsk. The airport is located 6.5 km from the center of the city and the railway station is 2.5 km from the center. You can walk from a bus stop to any part of the historical downtown in less than 10 minutes. Public transport (buses, trams, and trolleybuses) and private vans run from 6 AM to 11 PM. The fare on all modes of transportation, regardless of distance traveled, is 12 rubles. At night, taxis are available by telephone. Taxis start at 150 rubles and increase, based on distance.


СЛУЖБА ТАКСИ РАБОТАЕТ КРУГЛОСУТОЧНО «Ангара»........................ т. 60-60-60 «Байкал–экспресс»..... т. 222-777 «Вояж» ............................ т. 70-00-00 «Все тройки» ............... т. 33-33-33 «Евротакси» ................. т. 77-77-77 «Престиж»...................... т. 590-500 «Русская тройка» .........т. 333-555 «Сибирь» ....................... т. 30-00-00 «Шесть двоек» ............ т. 22-22-22


the middle of the earth Irkutsk is 350 years old. The date of its construction is considered to be the 6th of July, 1661. The city in Priangarje turned out to be in the crossroads of the most important trading routes. Irkutsk Province took in all the endless area from the Yenisei River to the Pacific. It was an «empire», almost equal in size with Europe and with the borders constantly expanding. In 1686 Irkutsk was declared a city, and at the same time it was honored with a stamp and coatof-arms. The symbolism of Irkutsk coat-of-arms reflects the strength and wealth of the land.


In the 18th century the city gains big significance the transportation and trading center of the Eastern Siberia with growing administrative influence. In the 18th century Irkutsk was called the «capital of Siberia». This is when education and science were flourishing. The first book was published in 1807, and this is when the first public establishments were opened: theatre (1849), school (1781), printing house (1805), hospital (1807), library (1839) and an institute for girls (1845). In 1864 the telephone connection was established, in 1898 Transsiberian

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train came to the city, in 1901 Irkutsk was provided with electricity, water-piping and telegraph. Shopping arcades were the centers for the trading life of the city. No other Siberian city could boast such a high level of commercial service. In November 1917 Soviet regime was established in Irkutsk. In the 1930-s industrial development started, in 1928–1929 regular flights from Irkutsk to the other Russian cities were launched. Hundred years ago Irkutsk was called «Siberian Paris». And till today the city keeps its special charm. Its location near ever-cool Angara River, good old wooden houses and, of course, stone architectural masterpieces impart to Irkutsk both a unique Siberian and at the same very European look. In 1970 Irkutsk was declared one of the reserved Russian cities with the special attention to the old buildings and city planning. In 1997 the World Fund for Monuments Preservation included Irkutsk into the list of the first hundred cities, which historical center has to be restored.



guided tour of the Green Line Thirty-historical and architectural sites - most attractions in the center of Irkutsk - are associated green line length of 5 km. Next to each item along with a display about the history of this place in Russian and English languages. 1. The starting point for our walk around the city will be the monument to Alexander III (1908), standing at the beginning of Karl Marx street (former Bolshaya street). The name of the monument’s author is Bakh. The statue was established in honor of accomplishing the Transsiberian railways. The square is the place for leisure, holidays; on summer Sundays the citizens are dancing to the brass band music. 2. White house – 3-floors Russian classical style mansion in Gagarin boulevard was built in 1804 after the design of St. Petersburg architects from G.Quarenghi studio. Later the house was acquired by the government to become the residence of Eastern Siberian Governor-Generals. Since 1939 it has been housing the scientific University library (Gagarin St, 24). 3. Ethnographical museum, former EasternSiberian department of the imperial Russian society (1851). The architect Rosen projected this moorish (oriental) style building with fortress-like towers, narrow windows, stone decorations and fancy bars.


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Under the roof one can see the names of scientiststravellers, explorers of Asia and eastern parts of Siberia. The museum features unique ethnographical collection with the Siberian people’s clothes, items of Shaman cult, Orthodox and Buddhist religions, collections of weapons and rare documents of the 17th century – the time of Siberian exploration. The entrance to the museum is guarded by the so called “deer stone” (7th-5th centuries B.C.) (K.Marks St., 2). 4. Further along Karl Marx street you can see Drama Theatre named after Okhlopkov (1895– 1897). The construction of this classic style building, projected by architect Shreter was done thanks to the donations of wealthy citizens. It houses not only theatrical performances, but also festivals, creative parties and forums. There is the museum of the theatre’s history. The museum of history is opened, featuring the most remarkable pages of the city theatrical history: old playbills, the portraits of actors, who used to work in the theatre, sketches of performances settings and original project drafts of V.A. Shreter of the façade decoration (K.Marks St., 14). The square next to the Drama Theatre is the favorite place for the citizens to come. Here (which is quite natural) was established the monument to Irkutsk drama playwright Alexander Vampilov. 5. Lenin street (former Amurskaya) is one of the main city streets. It has preserved numerous signs of the past. Let’s have a look at the crossroads of Lenin and Karl Marx street. In 1952 here was established the monument to Lenin, the leader of the world proletariat. Bronze sculpture was cast at the factory of Leningrad (St.Petersburg) mint. 6. In 1912 regional polyclinics building was constructed in modern style. Till 1917 here was located Russian-Asian bank, one of the biggest jointstock banks of the pre-revolutionary Russia. The bank was financing gold- and coal-mining, milling, saw-milling, tanning, bread trading and exploration of the North Sea Route (Lenin St., 38). The main facade is presented by a tower crowned with a dome, decorated by two sculptures and an attic with a round window. Well preserved is the interior with marble stairs and guarding lions.



7. The main building of Baikal University of Economics and Law was in the past 5-class city school, built in 1895 (Lenin St., 11). 8. The Kharlampiyevskaya Church (1738), also known as the “Sea Cathedral.” The priest would bless sailors before their voyage in this church. Admiral Alexander Kolchak was married in this church. This building housed a student dormitory and library in Soviet times. 9. We shall continue our walk along Lenin street and turn to the left. Art museum (Lenin St. 5) is the most famous one in Siberia. The museum features the collections of ancient icons, religious wooden sculptures of the 18th century, portrait gallery of the Russian collection, west-European paintings of the 17th-19th centuries. Japanese and Chinese collections include paintings, porcelain, wooden and metal items. (K.Marks St., 25). 10. In front of the Art museum there is a red-white building in Roman style, which was constructed in 1883. Now it houses the clinic for eye diseases (Lenin St., 20). 11. On small Kanadzawa Street, you can find a monument to Russian-Japanese relations. It reads, “This memorial on the majestic and beautiful Russian land signifies the friendship between the cities of Irkutsk and Suzuki as well as the wish for peace between the peoples of both countries.” 12. The city hall building (1787) was originally the residence of the governor-general. In 1874, the City Duma and City Administration moved here. The building was significantly remodeled; two floors were added and the façade was expanded. The construction was altered significantly: 2 levels were added and the facade was expanded (Lenin St., 14). 13. Kirov Square (former Tikhv inskaya square) is the central square of the city. It is framed by the Central Bank of Russia in Irkutsk region, Irkutsk city hall, Linguistic university, Administration of Irkutsk region and Angara Hotel. In 1935 the square was renamed after revolutionary Kirov, who had been living in Irkutsk illegally in 1908–1909. 14. At the place were now you can see the «Grey House» – the Administration of Irkutsk region – there used to be the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan


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(1875-1894). It was one of the biggest and the most beautiful churches in Russia. In 1932 it was blown up. In 2000 in front of the Irkutsk regional Administration there was a chapel established, an exact replica of one of the cathedral’s cupolas (Lenin St., 1a). 15.16.18. The square of three churches: Epiphany cathedral, the Church of the Savior and Polish cathedral. 18. Epiphany cathedral was founded in 1718, it was the main city church where people gathered on days of celebrations and calamities. This building bears the signs of such a phenomenon which later was defined by the scientists as «Siberian baroque» (Sukhe-Bator St.,1a). 15. Polish cathedral – Roman-catholic church which was built in 1881 for the donations of the Roman-catholic congregations of the Russian empire. This is an example of neo-gothic style. Irkutsk catholics were mostly exiled Polish people. An organ music hall was opened in the cathedral in 1978 (Sukhe-Bator St., 1). 16. The Church of the Savior (1706) is the oldest intact building not only in the city, but in the whole Eastern Siberia. It is the rarest monument of the religious architecture. Exactly here more than 300 years ago the Cossacks founded ostrog (wooden fortification). In the early 19th century the facades of the Church of the Savior were decorated with frescos, the main one being «Icon-Made-WithoutHands» (Sukhe-Bator St., 2). By the 350th anniversary of Irkutsk, near the temple is a monument to Peter and Fevronia. The couple ruled Murom at the end of XII – early XIII century., Lived happily and died in one day. Since ancient times, they are considered patrons of family happiness, conjugal love and fidelity, the guardians of family and marriage. Peter and Fevronia canonized.



At Cathedral Square near the Church of the Savior – and the 350th anniversary of Irkutsk – set of cast iron garden furniture, in fact, a memorial monument to the mass grave of the remains of the first 360 residents of Irkutsk, found during archaeological excavations near the church. The inscription on the stone, «Founders of the City of Irkutsk from grateful descendants.» 17. Next to the Church of the Savior there is an Eternal flame, the memorial commemorating the soldiers fallen in the battlefields of the Great Patriotic war. There are always fresh flowers on the granite slabs. The Lower Bank of the Angara from the Eternal Flame Memorial to December Street. Reconstructed in memory of the city’s 350th Birthday. 19. The embankment is decorated by the Memorial to the Explorers and the Moscow Gate, an exact copy of the triumphal arch that was built in 1811 in honour of Emperor Alexander I’s first 10 years as tsar. It is called the Moscow Gate because it stood on the road leaving Irkutsk to Moscow. It was destroyed in the 1920s. The monument to the Cossack explorers is enshrined in bronze and is associated with Yakov Pokhabov, who built the fortress on the right bank of the Angara, across from the mouth of the Irkut, in 1661.


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20. The V. S. Rogal Exhibition Center. The works of modern Irkutsk artists are displayed here (Khalturin St., 3). 21. Feinberg’s House – a historic building with turrets and stars of David on the front of a unique architectural monument of the early twentieth century (Khalturin St.,1). Today in the house are divisions of local lore, literature, art and historical and cultural heritage of the Regional Library name I.I.Molchanova-Siberian. 22. The Irkutsk merchants left the people of the city a great heritage. The local library in the house of Fainberg and Vtorov’s shopping arcade is now a Center of Children and Youth Activities (Pionerskiy lane, 4). 23. Proletarskaya (Ivanovskaya) Street is behind the Polish Cathedral. Labour Square is next to the circus. The square houses a severe building, both in terms of architecture and content: since 1926, it has accommodated the Irkutsk region Court. The hotel “Moscovskoye Podvorye” stood here in the early 19th Century. 24. Uritskogo (Pesterevskaya) Street is one of the oldest central streets. Trade is as popular here as it was 100 years ago. 25. Proletarskaya Street leads to Karl Marx Street. The opulent facades of merchant houses speak volumes about the past wealth of this city. Expensive shops, hotels, and banks stood here long ago. The Grand Hotel is one of the most remarkable buildings on the street; it was built in New Renaissance Style in 1902 (Litvinova St., 1).



26. The Siberian educator Makushin built House #13 in 1903. The building bears the signs of Moorish, Old Russian, and Gothic Styles. Now, it houses the Nature Museum, which contains unique archeological collections: bones of hairy rhinoceroses, mammoths, ancient bison, and sea cows (K. Marks St., 11). 27. There is a beautiful building, much like a palace, in front of the Nature Museum: the Khudozhestvennyi Cinema. A cinematograph “Decadence” operated here in 1914.(K. Marks st. 24) 28. The hotel industry was rapidly developing in the second half of the 19th Century. It was then that the Modern Style Central Hotel, with a restaurant, billiard hall, and reading rooms, was constructed at the intersection of the two main city streets. In 1926, the hotel was converted into the Palace of Labour. The Theater of the Young Spectator, considered to be one of the best in Russia, was also located in the former hotel building (Lenin St., 13). 29. The Concert Hall of the Irkutsk region Philharmonic (1891, architect Rassushin), formerly housed the Societal Assembly (Lenin St., 23). 30. No other church evokes attention like the Crucifixion Church. The church was built on Krestovskii hill. (Sedova St.,1) An old wooden cross stood at the foot of this hill for a long time. In the overall composition of the church, one can discern the step-wise «suburgan» of Buddhist architecture. What makes the Crucifixion Church really famous is the unique decorative optical softness of the facades. Opulent and rich ornaments cover the facade walls with complex patterns made up by geometrical figures, which is very characteristic of the decorativeapplied art of the Buryat people.


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Holy Trinity Church (1750-1778 str. 5 Army, 8). Making casings made ​​in the tradition of ancient architecture, and clearly traced cornices, dented panels a striking example of Siberian baroque. Until 1990, the church hosted a planetarium. After the reconstruction of the church returned to Irkutsk diocese. Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (1811 str. Timirjazeva, 58). One of the oldest Orthodox churches in Irkutsk, is a complex of Decembrist, parishioners were family and S.G.Volkonskogo S.P.Trubetskogo. The temple was married daughter and daughter Volkonskiis Decembrist M.Kyuhelbekera. Here ‘s funeral Decembrists Mukhanova Peter and Nikolai Panov buried in the churchyard Monastery of the Sign. Near the temple is a parochial school opened by means of N.L. Rodionova. Temple of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, 1892, ( Barricades, 34 ) embodied high semantic content of the Orthodox Faith: Our Lady of Kazan patroness of the Russian land. The temple was built in the Russian -Byzantine style. Copyright G.V. Rosen project. Temple built by the Irkutsk merchants. Skilled carvers, gilders, silversmiths, painters drew up the interior of the temple. The iconostasis carved silvered stored image of St. Luke. Synagogue (street Karl Liebknecht, 23) built in1879 Architect V.A. Kudelsky for repairs after a fire in 2004, were discovered vintage octagonal cast-iron columns, cast in the XIX century, and Corinthian capital in an eclectic style. Before entering the prayer hall placed a mezuzah (“doorpost “) - the sacred parchment, where the two main prayers written in the Torah. Neither Jewish home, government, and especially the synagogue, are not without a mezuzah. Anyone entering the building must touch the mezuzah. It is believed that it protects from bad thoughts and events. Cathedral Mosque (street Karl Liebknecht, 86). In Irkutsk mosque from 1898 go worship. It is based on the architectural design of the samples formed stone mosques Volga with the influence of European and Orthodox architecture. Inside the mosque is decorated with texts from the Koran, Arabic ornaments.



Irkutsk settlement 130 quarter In 1970, Irkutsk was named a Russian historical landmark due to its old buildings and city plan. In 1997, the World Fund for Monuments Preservation included Irkutsk in its list of 100 cities in need of historical restoration. As a result, the Irkutsk Government has recreated the 130th District, “Irkutsk Sloboda (Settlement),” as a zone of historical buildings to create new urban space based on existing architectural and his-


torical heritage. This is located between three old streets: Upper Amur (now Sedov Street), Lower Amur (now July 3rd Street), and Masterskaya (now Kozhov Street). The settlement is taking on the function of a cultural and tourist mecca in the capital and is becoming a popular recreation site for both residents and guests. Historic wooden houses and lost buildings are being restored.

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Blacksmiths, pottery shops, souvenir stores, cafes, and restaurants are opening. The Denis Matsuyev (who was born in Irkutsk) House of Music was built. New buildings have appeared alongside the historic buildings: hotels, art galleries, and cultural centers. An elevated walkway has connected the 130th District with the N. M. Zagursky Musical Theater. Pedestrian streets and bike paths have been organized. A plan to restore the lost victory arch “The Amur Gates” is underway. Strolls through the settlement can be called “Promenade through the old town.” The most important element of the 130th District is the spirit of antiquity, which cannot be invented. Indeed, this spirit covers the entirety of Irkutsk. Sloboda (settlement) has become a unique place, not just in Siberia, but in the whole world.



Irkutsk in laces A person who happens to come to Irkutsk for the first time involuntarily gets under the influence of its historical past, embodied in the city’s architecture. House of Europe. The house of the merchant Shastin (1907) is the example of unique wooden architecture. Irkutsk people call it in a loving way «lace house». After the initiative of the French association for the world monuments preservation, the house of Shastin was included in the list of the world heritage to be preserved and thanks to the support of Irkutsk mayor it was not pulled down. Now it is called the House of Europe. There are also small cafes and a hotel in the area of the House. Official meetings, conferences and exhibitions take place


here. Open touristic reference service of Irkutsk It really lives up to the saying: Live in the house, and the house will live! It took 350 years for Irkutsk to get transformed from a modest wooden fortification into a big modern city. During this period the look of it was also changing with altering architecture, decoration of the houses. Irkutsk people always cared about the outlook of their houses and the decoration of the main facade. The ever-changing image of beauty influenced the changes in decorations: classical baroque elements of the old wooden houses gave way in the 19th century to the opulent carvings, as well as the reserved charm of classicism in the decorations of the stone buildings was substituted by the stucco

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mouldings at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Tracing the changes of Irkutsk architectural look one can see the stages of Siberian exploration, because every time period creates its style. Taking into consideration the fact that the carpenters and joiners of Irkutsk were so skillful and Irkutsk for centuries was a wooden city, sponging so much of architectural diversity, one cannot but tell about it all. The most favorite carved decoration for Irkutsk houses were head decorations in the upper part of the windows. This baroque decoration presents two volutes, bent to each other and looking rather impressive backgrounded by the log construction. They were made with the help of gouge and a Such a big variety of shapes was created by Irkutsk carvers! Every house had a new version, a new masterpiece. No other Russian city can boast such a big variety and such sophistication in volutes creation, although this decoration was to be found both in the European part of Russia and in the Russian North. In 1879 a big fire happened in Irkutsk, destroying almost all the city. Irkutsk was quickly rebuilt, but the look was different. The central street Bolshaya (Karl Marx) was completely altered. Instead of former wooden houses there appeared stone buildings – it was allowed to use only stone for construction in the central streets. In the other streets appeared wooden double-storeyed houses with little towers, spires and parapets. Many of the carving motifs reflect the traditions of the Russian folk art. Moreover it is proved that it is related to the through carving of the ancient Russia. The patterns, which in the pagan time used to decorate the houses, were not just decorations. They were the magic symbols and tokens, protecting the house from the evil spirits. One and the same element of decoration has numerous reflections, which makes the carving especially expressive in the light-and-shade play. The carvings of the houses in Dzerzhinskii and Gryaznov streets is are so light and ethereal that they look like laces, cast over the facade. Some of the houses have the total length of the carved decorations more than 100 m. Some of such richly decorated houses were preserved till our times. The estate of Sukachev is a bright example of perfection of the architectural and constructing methods, which were used in Irkutsk at the end of the 19th century. There are no matches to them not only in Irkutsk region, but in whole Siberia.





Irkutsk people like the word “the first”. A lot of things, connected with Irkutsk, can be defined as “the first, the only, unique”. To find the evidence of it you have to visit the Museum of Irkutsk history. Here we see the history in its broad sense as the development of architecture, as the historical and cultural monuments. The museum keeps more than 72 thousand exhibits. The most valuable items of the collection are the ancient finds of Glazkovskii nekropolis, a unique archeological monument. One of a kind in the world! In the ancient burials the scientists found stone and metal instruments for work, hunting and fishing; decorations made of boar’s fangs, Siberian stag antlers, green and white jade. Museum keeps remarkable examples of the charity activity of Irkutsk merchants’ dynasty – the Sibiryakovs. The building of the museum itself is connected with this name. The life of an Irkutsk resident is shown on different historical levels – as if looked upon from inside, through the everyday life, traditions and family way of living. “We are with you and for you” is the motto of the museum. The branches of the museum are open: “the House of the city everyday life”, exhibition hall named after Rogal, “the Soldiers of the Motherland”. There is also “a House of the Crafts” functioning as a part of the museum (F.Kamenetskogo St., 16 a).

The 30-year long exile of the Decembrists takes a special place among the many glorious pages of Irkutsk history. In Siberia the destiny of the “state criminals” was connected with the governorate city of Irkutsk. The Volkonskys’ mansion house. Prince Sergey Grigorievich Volkonsky (1788–1865) – majorgeneral, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812. He was convicted for 20 years of penal servitude with the consequent forced settlement in Eastern Siberia, where he spent 30 years of his life, with 18 years of those spent in this mansion (1838–1856). The house was built in accordance with the traditions of the classical nobility mansions. The mansion was the place where the literature, musical and theatrical parties were conducted, visited by almost all the exiled to Siberia Decembrists. The original look of the house was restored. The mansion of Prince S.G. Volkonsky now houses the historic-memorial museum of the Decembrists, featuring their original belongings. The museum is the place to conduct the traditional “Decembrists’ evening parties”, “Night in the Museum”, “Pushkin’s Days”, celebration of Shrovetide, just as it used to be celebrated by the owners of the house; celebrations of other dates, remarkable for the Decembrists (Volkonsky lane, 10). In the nearby square there is the monument to the wives of the Decembrists. The Trubetskoys’ mansion house (Dzerzhinsky st., 64). Decembrist Sergey Petrovich Trubetskoy (1790– 1860) – prince, colonel of Preobrazhensky regiment, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, the participant of the overseas military campaigns, one of the initiators of the secret societies. He was convicted to be decapitated. The capital punishment was later changed for the penal servitude, which lasted for 13 years. In Siberia the Prince was studying the state of the peasantry and volost (a type of regional subdivision in tsarist Russia) government of Eastern Siberia; agriculture, gardening, medicine, ornithological and meteorological observations, pedagogics (education science); he was also participating in the development of the golden mines. The exposition tells about the 30-year period of the Decembrists’ exile in our region.

MUSEUM-ESTATE OF SUKACHEV V.P. Russian gentry estate is a special world, a phenomenon of the national culture. Sukachev museum-estate keeps the memory about its remarkable owners and lives a bright and vivid life. It reanimates the feel of the gentry estate of the 19th century, organizing music-literature parties, concerts, theatrical performances and balls. Workshops for painting, modelling and making puppets take place here. The famous winter garden was also restored to look like it used to look in the past (Dekabrskikh Sobytii St., 77).


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IRKUTSK ON THE GREAT TEA ROUTE It is a very significant and the longest from all the known world routes, named after the main type of the product. The Tea Route contributed to the development of the expeditions, diplomatic and religious missions. It was one of the greatest trading routes, connecting the lands and civilizations. The destiny itself turned Irkutsk and the whole region into the center of the huge province, making it into the “focal point of all the manifold Siberian trade”. The tea was delivered to Irkutsk from Kyakhta. Tea boxes were examined and weighed by the customs. Then the tea packs were sent to the European part of Russia, covering almost 1/3 of the globe within many toilsome days. The Tea Route from Irkutsk went not only to the central Russia, but also along Yakutsky (Kachugsky) road to Yakutsk, from there to the East – to Kamchatka, the islands of the Pacific Ocean and Alaska (Russian America). The museums of Irkutsk and Irkutsk region keep the materials of Irkutsk merchant dynasties history; the exhibits feature the most famous tea partnerships of Russia, the outstanding tea-traders and the teaware items: Tea Museum, Ethnographic and Art museum of Irkutsk, “Taltsy” museum and History Museum of Shelekhov city. The history of tea trade is also connected with the shopping street of Irkutsk – Uritsky (former Pesterevskaya) street; with Irkutsk-Yakutsk postroad (portage) and Moscow postroad, with the settlements located along the roads and settlements of Listvyanka and Bolshoye (‘Big’) Goloustnoye.


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The Tea Museum The Tea Museum represents exhibits reflecting the history of tea trade in Irkutsk. Among museum exhibits there are photographs of Irkutsk merchants, shops, patterns of tea packing of XIX – early XX century. Such exhibitions as «The Tea Road», «Irkutsk on the Tea Road», «Russian Tea-Traders of the XIX – Early XX Century», «The Irkutsk Tea-Packing Factory», «Russian Tea-Drinking Traditions», «Tourist Route of the Great Tea Road», «Modern Tea-Traders of Irkutsk» are displayed. Irkutsk is the city on the Great Tea Road. In the XVIII-XIX centuries tea caravans (processions) passed through the territory of Mongolia from China to the frontier town of Kyakhta, further following to Irkutsk, and then to the west, to the famous fairs of Russia. One of the most considerable derivations of the Great Tea Road to Yakutia and Alaska began from Irkutsk. Tea was available for sale in the city in fifteen specialized shops. Old residents still remember the Irkutsk tea-packing factory working for a long time, and those who passed down Surikov Street certainly would stop and stare at the huge teapot with cups in the factory’s grounds. The factory opened up in 1933, and was one of the largest in the country. Already in the first year of its work over 120 tons of baikhovy (loose leaf) tea were produced at the factory. In the mid XX century the volume of production of the Irkutsk factory equaled to half of all tea made in the USSR. The most common tea was «Gruzinsky» (Georgian), «Indiisky» (Indian) was of quite greater value though, at this, tea in the box with the depicted elephant actually was worth its weight in gold. The Tea Museum is located in an early XIX -century mansion of the merchant Bayborodin. In the late 20s of the XX century the merchant’s descendants donated the house to the city. It became known as» the house with communal resettlement». The mansion has been restored and signed away to the museum and tourist service of the city.



ETHNOGRAPHICAL MUSEUM OF SHELEKHOV CITY The Ethnographical museum of Shelekhov city keeps the documents, private belongings, connected with the life of a person, after whom the city was named. Grigory Ivanovich Shelikhov, the founder of the permanent Russian settlements in the Northern America, added the better part of these lands to Russia; he was the one who initiated the foundation of the Russian-American company. Shelikhov’s “child” – Russian-American company, is connected with the huge part of history and geographical discoveries, organization of the round-theworld expeditions, ethnographical and other scientific researches. The museum also presents the exposition of history, culture and traditions of the Japanese sister-city Neagari. The museum features the exhibition devoted to Shigeki Mori, the “bridgebuilder”, who had devoted a lot of his efforts to the establishment of friendship between Irkutsk region and Ishikava Prefecture, between Irkutsk and Kanadzawa cities, between Neagari and Shelekhov cities. Shigeki Mori is the honorary citizen of Shelekhov and Irkutsk cities. Part of his ashes is buried in the cemetery of Shelekhov city.


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MUSEUM TALTSY In the architectural-ethnographic open-air museum taltsy more than 3 hundred centuries of Siberian life and history are condensed. From the vast areas of the Angara region, which turned out to be under water after the construction of the hydro-electric power stations in Bratsk and Ust-Ilimsk the people managed to save and bring together in the museum Taltsy the houses of the first Russian settlers, wooden fortifications (1667), a church (1679), old mill-houses, Evenk settlement and Buryat yourts. Everything is alive with the real items of everyday life dating back to the 17th-18th centuries. The highlights of the museum are the Spasskaya tower of Ilimsk fortification (1667) and the Church of Our Lady of Kazan (1679). Museum has become the cultural center of the area. Traditionally Taltsy is the site for such celebrations like Easter, Mardi gras and Apple Spas; this is where you see living crafts and arts. The celebration of Whitsunday gives you amazingly lyrical and beautiful feel with girls dancing in a round dance and singing ritual songs, wearing beautiful sarafans and camomile diadems on their heads. The better part of the films, which scenes take place in a Siberian village, Buryat yourt or an Evenk settlement, were shot here. A great amount of Baikal souvenirs is being sold and right here work the birch-bark masters, potters, embroiders and carvers (47th km of Baikal highway).



FOUR ROADS TO BAIKAL There are four roads going from Irkutsk to Baikal: the shortest one (75 km) along Baikal motorway in the direction of Listvyanka settlement to the outflow of the Angara River; the longest road runs for 250 km along Kachug motorway towards Olkhon Island to the ferry-line of MRS (Malomorskaya Rybolovnaya Stantsiya, “Small-Sea Fishing Station”); the third way goes for 120 km in the direction of the Goloustnaya River mouth and Goloustnoye settlement; the fourth road runs for 100 km southwards to Kultuk settlement. All the destinations can be easily accessed by the motor transport, and Kultuk can be additionally reached by train.

LISTVYANKA Listvyanka is a settlement on the bank of the Angara River. The first Russians appeared here in 1645. This is when the boats of the Cossack Ivan Galkin moored on the Angara bank 4 km away from Baikal. Whatever aspect of the Glorious Sea would be regarded, be it the deed of the pioneers-explorers, the history of the scientific researches or development of the great trading routes in Siberia – everywhere Listvyanka is mentioned. Without any doubt the history of Listvyanka is the history of navigation and shipbuilding at Baikal. In the narrowest place, where the mountains approach the shore very closely, the customs point was arranged, since then the location here is called «customs Rogatka». The old St. Nikolas Church used to stand on the very shore of the lake, at the headstream of the Angara River in Nikola settlement. It was a wooden chapel devoted to the patron of the sailors St. Nikolas. Nikol’skaya chapel was marked on the famous «Map of Siberian land» by Semen Remezov. In 1953 as the Irkutsk dam was being constructed thus


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causing the water level to get higher, the church was removed to its present place. The highlight of Listvyanka is its Baikal museum with its living exhibits - Baikal seals and other famous Baikal endemics. Just above the Angara outlet there is the rock, named after the famous Baikal explorer, geologist J. Chersky. From here the whole south part of Baikal is spread out before you: snowy-white mountain ranges of Khamar-Daban on the horizon; at your feet is the widest in the world headstream of the Angara River with Shaman stone; a bit further - Port Baikal; to the right - the Angara River up to Irkutsk dam; to the left you will discern the harbour of Listvyanka with the white telescope of Baikal Observatory crowning the scene.



CIRCUM-BAIKAL RAILWAY Circum-Baikal railway is the architectural-historic monument of the early 20th century. The railway was constructed on the rocky shore of Baikal between the settlement of Kultuk and port-station Baikal at the outflow of the Angara River. It is one of the sections of the great Trans-Siberian railway. It is not by chance that the road is called “the golden buckle of the steel belt of Russia”, as its construction required much more efforts and faced much more challenges, than any other railway in the world. The railway is the example of the harmonious unity of the natural and cultural-historic worlds. It is a part of the Pribaikalsky national park. Nowadays the notion of “Circum-Baikal railway” comprises the 84-km long part of the road from Slyudyanka-2 station to Port Baikal station. This piece of road has 39 tunnels and 440 bridges. The longest tunnel is 778 m long, the biggest bridge is 123 m. Preserving the historic-architectural value, the road fulfills its primary functional role, supporting the life of the track facilities with five main historical stations – Baikal, Khvoinaya, Marituy, Sharyzhalgay and Kultuk. It provides transportation for the local residents and numerous tourists. Curious and investigative minds should start their Circum-Baikal trip with the visit to the museum of Port Baikal – many things will become more clear and attractive. Tourist local train is running along the Circum-Baikal railways from Irkutsk to Slyudyanka and then to Port Baikal or vice versa. Between Slyudyanka and Port Baikal there is also the connection via the old locomotive called “Matanya”. You can visit the Circum-Baikal railways by a tourist boat from Listvyanka. Port Baikal and Listvyanka are connected via the all-year-round ferry “Babushkin”, transporting the passengers, cargo and vehicles across the never-freezing outflow of the Angara River.


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Long time ago mighty Baikal was a happy and kind man, loving his only daughter Angara so much. She was the most beautiful river in the world. Everyone passing by Angara was admiring her and praised her. Old Baikal guarded his daughter with his life, but one night when Baikal fell asleep, Angara escaped to the young handsome Yenissei. The father opened his eyes and, enraged, threw up his waves. Ferocious storm broke out. Mighty Baikal hit a grey mountain, broke off a rock from it and threw it after the fleeing daughter Angara. The rock fell on the beauty’s throat. The blue-eyed Angara, choking and crying, started to plead: “Father, I am dying from thirst, do forgive me and give just a little drop of water!” Enraged Baikal shouted “I can give you nothing but my tear-drops!” For thousands of years the Angara River has been bringing her waters-tears to the Yenissei, and greyhaired lonely Baikal became gloomy and scary. The rock, which was thrown by Baikal after his daughter, is called Shamansky (Shaman) rock. The people would say: “Baikal might get angry, might push the rock away and the water flow will flood the whole Earth.”


A lot is known about Baikal: the lake is over 20 million years old, it contains 1/5 of the world sweet water storages. The lake is fed by more than 330 big and small precious veins (is not it the magic secret of alive and eternal Baikal water!), and Baikal is drained through only one river - the Angara. In the old legends and songs the Angara is called «the beauty, the daughter of the old Baikal». The lake is tremendous - its length is over 600 km, it is located at the altitude of 456 m and contains 33 islands with Olkhon being the biggest one. Baikal is rich and manifold. Every minute Baikal water changes its colour – from pale-blue to the amazing navy-blue, and then it can turn silver merging into the gray and black color. Sometimes it gets emerald green as the mysterious jade in great amount scattered around the lake shores. Baikal water is in the constant turn-over, as the gigantic «heat-

er» in the depths of the Earth under the lake warms up the bottom waters sending them upwards. In this way the currents appear, which aerate the tremendous water layer. That is why Baikal water is called «living water». From the surface to the very bottom it is saturated with the oxygen, imparting to it the amazing colour and energy. And the transparency to the very bottom. The air of Baikal area is also exceptionally transparent, that is why the sunshine can get deeper into the water. Sunshine and warmth are also the sources of life. Baikal water is inhabited with over 3.5 thousand species of plants and animals, most of

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those being unique: over 1200 fauna and 600 plant species can be found only in Baikal. One of the most amazing creatures unique fresh-water seal, a cute «nerpa» with whiskers, whom you can see in different parts of Baikal both in winter and in summer. Deep-water translucent fish golomyanka is called the enigma of Baikal, as its body supposedly melts in the sunshine, being pure fat. Another Baikal mystery is a copepod crustacean epishura, the main food for the famous omul fish, which is also unique. The writer Valentine Rasputin gave a beautiful description for Baikal: «The Nature has its fa-


vourites, whom, when they are born, she chisels with a special care and endows with a special power. Such is Baikal with its wonderful life-giving energy, with the spirit not of the past, but that of the present, and the time and transformations have no hold on the spirit of the long-standing grandeur and reserved power. And Baikal spirit is something special, making you believe in the old legends and think with apprehension about the fact how a man can do whatever he wants in some places. When you visit Baikal you have a rare feel of elevation and spirituality». Pristine Baikal shores, its enigmatic character and beauty,

As early as in the 12th century in the Arabic chronicles «The Wonders of Creation» it was written about Baikal: «This is the sea with amazingly transparent delicious water. It is located over the Diamond sea. The Almighty created it in the shape of two horns, connected together. It appeared from the underground crevice. And this sea is in constant commotion and roar...» The peoples of Baikal region called the lake each in their own way: the Evenks named it Lamu, the Buryats - BaigalNuur. The first naturalists, trying to decipher the word «Baikal» came to the conclusion that it means «rich waters» (Turkic language) - Bai-Kul’. The first schematic depiction of Baikal appeared in the «Siberian Draft book» (1699), the first Russian geographic atlas made by the Russian geographer and historian Semen Remezov. When crossing Baikal Nikolai Spathari, the ambassador of the tsar Alexei, was one of the first to inform the world about the Siberian wonder. He wrote in the 17th century: «Baikal can be defined as the sea because both its length and width, as well as depth are great. It can also be called the lake because its water is sweet and not salty».


Priolkhonye (Olkhon region) is an amazingly beautiful narrow part of the shore in the central section of the western Pribaikalye. It stretches from Buguldeika to Ongureny settlement in the north-east and includes not only the arabesque meandering shoreline, but also Olkhon Island and the Small Sea, separating the island from the big land and having numerous picturesque islands. The terrain of the big land and island is made up by relatively low, wide and flat elevations. On the geographic maps Priolkhonye is marked as Tazheranskie steppes. The steppes are covered with soft brown-green carpet of unique relic plants with edelweiss and thyme. Maloye More (‘Small Sea’) is the name of the water area between the western shore of the lake and Olkhon Island. The meandering shoreline keeps a lot of cozy bays and gulfs. Maloye More is the fifth essence of the whole Baikal. It scarcely rains here and the sky is rarely overcast. It is one of the few places of the world with practically all the days being sunny. Maloye More is rather shallow. There is a great amount of fishes living in the Small Sea, and in summer months the waters of the «sea» are well warmedup (up to 22 °C). Although the area of Small Sea is not big, it has 14 islands. It is a part of Pribaikalsky national park.


And still - however long the people would be studying Baikal, the lake-sea will long remain one of the most beautiful, amazing and mystical phenomena of the world. If you want to see Baikal better start your trip along the western shore, Big and Small seas with a visit of Olkhon. This is all the area of Pribaikalsky national park.

curative water springs and outstanding climate attract the visitors from all over the world. The scientists have been racking their brains trying to decipher the mystery of Baikal origin for 300 years. In 2008 - 2010 the expeditions of the «MIR» at Baikal were conducted. The Russian bathyscaphs «MIR-1» and «MIR-2» found the new types of flora and fauna, explored the places where the underwater hydrotherms and mud volcanoes come to the surface. They got the data about the tectonic activities at the lake bottom, they explored the deepest Baikal place in the middle part of the depression not far from Olkhon island. The depth there, checked by the MIRs makes 1637 meters. The studies have shown that Baikal is still located in the area of the active tectonic process - the earth crust goes on moving, which is proven by the earthquakes and numerous hot water springs on Baikal shores.

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Don’t forget, please, to visit Chivyrkui Bay and Ushkan islands, which present the Buryat land: steep shores, glaciers on the sharp-pointed mountain tops, seal rookeries, picturesque bays and thermal water springs all this is just a part of all the wonders of the northern and eastern Baikal shores.

Ushkany islands are made up by the tops of the underwater Akademichesky mountain range, sticking out of the water. There are four islands in Ushkany archipelago: Bolshoy (‘Big’), Tonkiy (‘Thin’), Kruglyi (‘Round’) and Dolgiy (‘Long’). The islands boast original flora and fauna and a special mild climate. The rocky shores of the islands were chosen by the seals as their rookery. In summer several hundreds of animals come to the vicinity of the islands. Well preserved is the original forest on Bolshoy Island with the bushes of Dahurian Rhododendron, larches with the bottle-shaped bottom, «ushkan» birches with black bark and pointed leaves. Chivyrkuy bay is called the «Bay of Venice» and the «pearl in Baikal crown». It is beautiful with the steep shores, glaciers on the pointed mountain tops and long beaches with the purest sand. In Chivyrkuy bay there are seven islands - some are just small rocks sticking out of the water, others are covered with taiga forest, each having its name. Zmeinaya (‘Snake’) bay has thermal water springs (temperature 45°С). In the bay not far from the springs you can come across relic grass snakes this is how the name of the bay originated. The bay is relatively shallow, that is why in summer it warms up to 23-24 degrees.


Verkholensk, Church of the Resurrection

KACHUG ROAD The Yakutsky (Prilensky) road (nowadays called the Kachug road) appeared in the 17th - 18th centuries. The traffic went along the gravel road Irkutsk - Kachug (257 km) to the Lena River. The further transportation was done by boats and in winter – across the ice. In 1862 the steam vessels were launched. By the middle of the 19th century the whole road was divided by coaching inns into the pieces of 20 - 40 verstas («versta» is an obsolete Russian unit


of measure, equal to 1.0668 km or 0.66 miles). The bigger settlements along the Kachug road are Ust’-Ordysnky, Bayandai. From the latter the road makes a sharp turn to the left towards Baikal to Olkhon. The Great Tea Route was going partially along Yakutsky road towards Yakutsk and further to Alaska. UST’-ORDYNSKY Seventy kilometers of a good road, going across the steppe expanses, separate the settlement from Irkutsk. On the way to Ust’Ordynsky (the 65th km of the road) there is a sacred place for the local people – oboo. It is surrounded with a fence, marked by the wooden figures of horses with the special places for donations of coins, cigarettes and matches – the homage to the tradition and worshipping of the local Spirits. It is necessary to stop in such a place, to put a small coin and

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to silently ask for the good journey. The entrance to the settlement of Ust’-Ordynsky is guarded by the big statue of a horseman in the national costume. National museum in Ust’-Ordynsky settlement is over 60 years old. It features the culture, religions and everyday life of the Buryat people from the Paleolithic age up to nowadays. The permanent exposition «Dwelling evolution» is devoted to the life of the Buryat people ancestors, who lived 25 thousand years ago. There are petroglyphs and petrified remnants of mammoths and wooly rhinoceroses, which used to inhabit the area in the past. The exhibits bear an imprint of the Time and have a special energy. They go on living with their own life. The carpet called «Taroo» (almost 200 years old) is made from horse hair and ship wool. The items of shamanistic rituals are the museum rarity. When their owner died, his body was brought to the funeral pyre together with all his instruments. Not everyone will dare to touch those instruments which have survived. It is believed that after the death of Shaman these ritual instruments still retain their power. The museum presents thematic excursions «The crafts and everyday life of the Buryat people», «Traditions and rituals of the Buryat people», «History of the region», «Mount Mankhai - petroglyphs of the middle ages». The museum boasts an openair complex «Buryat farmstead», where the ethnographic performances are conducted. The shows with the Shamanist rituals are popular with the foreign tourists.


The special part of the Buryat culture is the music-dramatic religious art, Shamanist ritual mystery plays. From the time immemorial the Buryat people had one religion called Shamanism. From generation to generation the Buryat shamans were handing down the folk tales and legends, the ancient art of medical treatment with the natural means and herbs. The Buryatsshamanists were not constructing any temples, as the Nature itself was their Temple. They never cut trees at the spring, never intruded into the peaceful life of all the living creatures in the forest. Special sacred places (which are quite numerous in Baikal region) were chosen for the shamanist tailagans (the rituals with offerings). The Shamans were singing, dancing, playing the music instruments, performing the «circus» feats, presenting the real shows. Their rituals were like the real drama performance including music, hypnotism, ventriloquism. The tribal tailagans can be visited by strangers only if they get the permission of the Shamans themselves.


The settlement of Bayandai is located at the distance of 130 km from Irkutsk. The road turns left to Baikal from here. The distance to Kachug is 127 km. The road is of different quality, some parts are gravel, some parts are asphaltcoated. The road from Kachug goes across Verkholensk to Zhigalovo settlement. Kachug was the first port on the Lena River, strategic point of Siberia and Yakutia exploration. The Lena River makes here a turn from the western to the northern direction.


One of Kachug’s sights is the cave Argarakan, one of the biggest in Irkutsk region with its length about 3 km. Whole Baikal region is full with the traces of ancient peoples’ life: a ceramic jug from the excavations, the “Deer Stone” of Kurumkan culture, “Flying horse-riders” of Shishkinsky petroglyphs, discovered in 1837. The unique drawings, dating back to the late Neolithic age up to the 1st millennium AD can be found on the rocks stretching for 2 km.

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Verkholensk is a settlement in Kachug district on the right bank of the Lena River opposite to the Kukenga River mouth. It grew from Verkholensky fortress, founded in 1642. The boat traffic along the Lena started from here, alongside with the exploration of Pribaikalye. In the 17th century Verkholensky fortress became one of the transfer stations for the caravans from Zabaikalye to Ilimsk and Yakutsk. The five-domed Verkholensk church, decorating the high bank of the Lena River, was preserved in the settlement. Verkholensk has preserved the features of the past centuries in its outlook and can be compared to a real museum of wooden architecture. By the middle of the 19th century the whole road was divided by coaching inns into the pieces of 20 - 40 verstas («versta» is an obsolete Russian unit of mea-

sure, equal to 1.0668 km or 0.66 miles). For a long time Verkholensk had been the place of political exile for the Decembrists and later Polish rebels and revolutionaries. Metropolite of Moscow and Kolomna, the founder of Russian America, apostle of Alaska Innocent Veniaminov made his small motherland, the settlement of Anga in Kachug region world famous. The pilgrims (including Americans) are coming here all the year round. The residents of Anga hope very much that the development of the religious tourism will help the settlement to revive. On the 26th of August 1797 in a remote Siberian settlement Anginskoye in Irkutsk governorate the future metropolite of Moscow and Kolomna St. Innocent, apostle of Amur region, Yakutia, Kamchatka and Alaska was born. The native house of Innocent, in a miraculous way preserved from the destruction, is being restored and the museum exposition is being gathered. It was

decided to make the exposition only with the items which used to surround St.Innocent in his childhood. The house used to stand in the valley, among the «utugs» (the meadows which were watered and fertilized), and in 1906 the building was brought up to the hill. When entering the house you have to bow - all the peasants’ houses were constructed with the low doorways to preserve the heat inside. There is a church being built; it was decided to construct it in the same style with the house - from wooden logs.



For many Mongolian and Turkic clans and tribes the Baikal land was their ancestral homeland. The descendants of the legendary «batyrs» (national heroes) were wandering around the whole Asia, but to conduct the ritual around the Mount Yord everybody tried to get together at the Sacred Sea. Every clan or tribe was bringing to this place a stone from their native camping grounds to strengthen the connection of their people with the ancestors, so that the sons and daughters would remember about their roots. The stones were put together, shook, interlocked with the native land. The strongest heroes tried to lift the heavier boulders and put on the top of the hill to make them closer to heaven, to show to the ancestors that the tribe is flourishing and living on throughout the centuries and that the sons deserve their forefathers. It is believed that in such a way the Mound Yord appeared. The ritual around the Mound Yord was connected with the annual sacred tailagan, religious ritual with offerings and prayers. The representatives of the Buryat clans and tribes were coming as pilgrims to the outflow of the Anga River to bow, to pray and make an offering to the spirits, the Masters of the sacred Mount Yord and Aya rock. The ritual was accompanied by the celebration - competition, showing the strength and dexterity, the craft and quickwittedness of the tribe generations.


Turning left on the Kachug road towards Baikal we pass by the settlement of Yelantsy, the center of Olkhon region. At the distance of eight kilometers from Yelatntsy at the outflow of the Anga River there is the sacred for the Buryat people Mount Yord. The traditional holiday for the numerous nomadic peoples of Eurasia, including the Shamanist prayers, competitions in national types of sports (wrestling, stone throwing, arch shooting and others), the performances of singers and story-tellers - all these things were revived in 2002 and are conducted every two years. The focal point of the celebration is the big ritual round dance «yokhor» around the Mount Ekhe Yord. Yordynskiye games are conducted around two hills - Ekhe

Yord and Baga Yord, located in the valley of the Anga River («anga» means «gorge», «mouth»). The bigger hill Ekhe Yord presents an almost ideal a domed-shaped hill with the height 40 - 42 meters above the bottomland of the valley. The hill Baga Yord has a prolonged shape and it is just 12 m high. Both hills are made up by the rocks, characteristic for this part of Priolkhonye region. The hills have no signs proving their artificial origin. The only thing which is unusual about the hills is that they stand out in the absolutely even valley of the Anga River. The hills represented the mythic Tree of the World, which was used to make the connection with the heavenly gods, sending the prayers and offerings to them.

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Ancient petroglyphs and hillforts were preserved on the bald Mount Sakhyurte (Silicon Hill), located at the distance of 5 km from Yelantsy on the left bank of the Anga River. The petroglyphs are made on the smooth surface of the white, gray and pink marbleized limestone brows. The most ancient group of the petroglyphs with the age being over 2000 years is located on the rock 100 m above the Anga level. The central place is occupied by the scene of goat, elk and moose hunting. The images present two unmounted hunters with arches and arrows; one of the hunters is on the skis. The images are very realistic, which means that the ancient residents of Baikal region knew these types of animals, which played an important role in their life. The scene of hunting is perfectly presented and the figures, cut in the rock, are well-discernible. There is at least one more remarkable place with petroglyphs, worth mentioning. The cliff Sagan-Zaba is one of the most beautiful places of Baikal western shore. It is located 5 km north-east from Cape Krestovsky and is considered to be a part of Pribaikalsky national park. The petroglyphs were made in different epochs and refer to the Bronze and late Iron Ages (2000 BC - 1000 AD). The drawings of Sagan-Zaba were discovered by the scientists in 1881. Stating the value of the petroglyphs, academician A.P. Okladnikov was writing: «The petroglyphs in SaganZaba bay with all their grandeur of the past, but even now impressive with the scale of their multi-figured composition of anthropomorphic images present the unique phenomenon among all the other rock carvings of Siberia. The rock art of Sagan-Zaba is the real pearl of the ancient culture and art of Siberian peoples. You won’t find any other such monument of this epoch in the area between the Urals to the Pacific».




м. Уншуй Unshui

The longest trip to Baikal goes along Kachugsky road to Olkhon with the turn to Olkhon after the settlement of Bayandai. The distance from Irkutsk to Bayandai is 123 km, from Bayandai to MRS 130 km, the width of Malomorsky (‘Small Sea’) strait is 8 km, and you have to cover 36 km across the island to get to the capital of Olkhon - Khuzhir settlement. There is a ferry communication between Olkhon and the mainland (two ferries «Dorozhnik» and «Olkhonskiye Vorota» (‘Olkhon Gate’) are shuttling in turn every 30 - 40 minutes. Olkhon is the biggest Baikal island. This 15-km wide island


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stretches for 72 km along the western shore of Baikal. Olkhon is the place where one can find amazing combination of the most beautiful Baikal landscapes: steppe expanses, light pine forests with relic spruces, sandy beaches and mountain tops. The island is included into the Pribaikalsky national park. Olkhon is presented not only by the amazing in their beauty landscapes, but also by the numerous enigmas and mysteries of spirits and shamans living here. Among the most sacred, mythical places is Cape Khoboi, the northernmost point of Olkhon, Deva Rock (‘Virgin’), a petrified wife of a Buryat


shaman; white marble rocks of Sagan-Khushun and Zhima mountain. The sanctum of Olkhon is Cape Burkhan and Shamanka Rock, where shaman rituals were conducted alongside with sacrifice and praying. This island is rich in both natural phenomena and historical attractions. Ancient sites of old towns and cemeteries, declared as the archeological Kurykan era monuments, were found on the island. Nature is generous to Olkhon - it boasts warm water and rare in their picturesque beauty sand drifts. The dunes are covered with rare plant Astragalus Olchonensis and blooming thyme, which is considered to be a panacea against many diseases


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THE ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM NAMED AFTER N.M. REVYAKIN The museum in Khuzhir settlement on Olkhon island can be considered as the museum of Olkhon people everyday life. A historian, archeologist and explorer of Siberia A.P. Okladnikov, who visited Olkhon island and history museum several times, said remarkable words: «The Ethnographic museum in Khuzhir is the genuine pride and embellishment of the region. The amazing collections devoted to the archeology of Olkhon rejoice with rare finds, which could be the pride of any museum not only in Irkutsk, but even in the capital. The local lore collections here are similarly remarkable as the real treasures of Siberian culture».


In the olden times there was the Lord of all the Shamans living on Olkhon. When he heard that far away in the south a preacher of the new religion (Buddhism) appeared, he decided to send his son there. It was a long distance to cover, so he turned his son into an eagle. On his way back the eagle saw a dead mare in the steppe. He was very hungry and tired, that is why he ate some carrion. After he had tried the «foul», the eagle defiled himself and that is why he could not be turned back into a human again. His children were just like himself - «many Olkhon white-headed eagles». The Lord of the Eagles is living constantly on Olkhon. He rules all the eagles and he allots them in couples to live in different places for nesting and bringing out nestlings outside Olkhon Island. If one of the couple dies, the one who survives goes immediately to Olkhon, finds his new spouse and returns back; the following day there will be again two eagles flying. Once upon a time Khoridoi, the forefather of Khorintsy (Khori Buryat people) was wandering around the island and noticed three swans, who came down to the shore of the lake and turned into three girls. Khoridoi took the clothes of one of them. She could not fly away together with her friends, so she stayed on earth, got married with Khoridoi and they had 11 sons, which later were the forefathers of 11 Khori clans. When they both got old, the wife of Khoridoi asked him to give her the clothes he took she wanted to try them on. When she put on the clothes, she turned into the swan again and flew away through the smoke-vent of their yurt (nomad tent).


THE ROAD TO BAIKAL ALONG KULTUK ROAD Kultuk is the settlement in the south of Irkutsk region in Slyudanka region on the shore of Baikal at the distance of 100 km from Irkutsk. It was founded as a fortification in 1647 by the explorer Ivan Pokhabov in the same-name bay of Lake Baikal. For a long time Kultuk was the outpost of the Russian expansion in the south of Baikal. In 1899 a piece of land, belonging to Kultuk, was allotted for the construction of the railway settlement. This is how the settlement of Slyudyanka was founded. Slyudy-


anka has an interesting museum devoted to the history of the railway station Kultuk. The city of Slyudyanka is located at the distance of 110 km from Irkutsk. The Circum-Baikal railway starts here. Marble and cement raw materials are mined not far from the city. In the past Slyudyanka was famous for the mining of mica and lapis-lazuli. The first people in the region of Slyudyanka appeared in the Eneolithic Period. It is proven by the graves, discovered in 1962 on the Cape Shamansky. Archeologists found paintings and petroglyphs

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of the ancient people in the caves of the cape, but after the level of Baikal got higher after the construction of Irkutsk HEPS had started, the rock art was flooded. There is a private mineralogical museum in the city. The famous railway station of Slyudyanka started to function in 1904. It was constructed from the unpolished Baikal marble by the Italian constructors, who were building the tunnels and galleries of the CircumBaikal railways. There are many Baikal routes starting in Slyudyanka, including the route to the top of Mount Chersky Peak, named after I.D. Chersky, the famous Baikal explorer, geologist and geographer, exiled to Siberia for his participation in the Polish revolution of 1863. The mountain is 2090 m high above the sea level. The route to the top of the Peak is one of the most popular ones in South Pribaikalye. The trailway is 25 km long. The route is for physically trained people, it can be covered within one weekend with one overnight. At the height of 1000 m above Baikal there is a weather station. From the weather station you can go to the first bald mountain along a 2.5 km long trailway (former Kyakhta road). In good weather from the Peak one can see Baikal and snowy tops of the Easter Sayan mountains. At the foot of the mountain there is a picturesque alpine lake Serdtse (“Heart�).



Baikalsk is located at the distance of 150 km from Irkutsk. «Sobolinaya Gora» («Sable Mountain») is probably the most favourite and most visited ski resort in Siberia. It is located almost on the shore of Baikal, so the winters here are gentle and snowy. The skiing season lasts from November till early May. There are hotels of different level, health and recreation center, sport and entertainment complex, 11 ski trails of different complexity, several ski-lifts with the maximum height being 1004 m. The elevation difference makes 475 m. For those who like extreme types of sports there is a snow park with a ski-jump and the figures for jibbing. The beginners can try their hand in skiing on the easier slope. «Sobolinaya Gora» can offer you the services of a SPA-center, a visit to the sauna, a swimming pool and numerous gyms. One can get here from Irkutsk by public transport - fixed-route taxis and local trains.


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originates from the name of the THE ROAD TO BAIKAL IRKUTSK - BOLSHOYE GOLOUSTNOYE steppe, unforested, swampy delta of the Goloustnaya River, falling The distance from Irkutsk is 110 into Baikal. The Alpine meadows km. The settlement of Bolshoye are combined here with the flora Goloustnoye was founded in 1673 and fauna of thick taiga forest and at the place of former Cossack rocks. On the slopes of the Pribpicket and winter hut, which was aikalsky mountain range one can the outpost of the only state win- find cedar trees with the age over ter passage across Baikal to the 400 years. The church of St. Nicholas, the lake’s eastern shore to the settlement of Posolskoye. This ice cross- patron of the seafarers and traveling was a part of the Great Tea lers, was restored on the shore. Here starts a part of Great Baikal Route from China to Europe. The name of the settlement Trail to Peschanaya bay.


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PESCHANAYA BAY Peschanaya Bay (‘Sandy’) is one of the unique natural Baikal areas. It is called Siberian Riviera thanks to the dunes, shaping the white sandy beach. The bay is picturesquely framed by the rocks - Big and Small Kolokol’nya (‘Belltower’). What makes the bay especially attractive is the amazing diversity of relief forms, which is explained by the spotted erosion of the lake-side granites. You can go uphill to have a panoramic view upon Peschanaya bay and


Baikal. This place is famous for the «walking» trees - mighty pines and larches with gnarled branches have risen above the ground on their roots-stilts above the human height. It is the warmest place of Baikal with average annual temperature being +0,4 °С. From the bay one can get to the other interesting protected places: Babushka (‘Granny’) bay, Baklany Rock, Cedar «Muzhestvo Zhizni» (‘Courage of Life’) and Gendarme Rock, which divides the sandy beach in two parts.

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During the long period under the influence of climatic, natural and social-economic conditions a special farming culture appeared here, differing from the farming culture of the other regions of Irkutsk governorate. The first Russians appeared in Eastern Siberia as far back as in the 17th century. The Cossack government detachments, promyshlenniks (from Russian ‘promysel’ - ‘a trade of business’, people dealing mostly in fur trading) and free peasants were coming here. The Cossacks moving from Tomsk to the East were establishing the fortifications. The villages were appearing on the river banks of the Yenissei and Lena River basins. Till the middle of the 18th century the rivers were the main communication ways between the settlements. But it was a long and not a very comfortable trip along the rivers that is why there was a strong need in construction of the road across Siberia to provide the successful colonization of the eastern regions of the Russian Empire.


ETHNOGRAPHIC RING OF MOSCOW ROAD (STOLYPIN’S REFORMS PERIOD) – it is the acquaintance with the traditional culture and life of the Moskovsky road population (Russian oldtimers, Golendrs, the Ukrainians, the Belorussians, the Tartars and the Vepsians). Historic and cultural area stretches for 60 km along the road. This land was discovered by the Russians in the middle of the 17th – late 19th centuries. The urgent need for such a road was caused by the Second Kamchatka expedition of Vitus Bering (1733–1743), which had to cross Siberia and then sail from Kamchatka to the shores of Northern America. To ensure the success of big and long expedition it was necessary to provide the delivery of state documents and papers, which gave a significant impetus for the construction of the postroad. Vitus Bering himself mapped the future road. This is how the construction of the road started with the coaching inns dividing it into 30-verstas long sections. From 1743 till 1762 for the servicing of the road under construc-

tion several coaching inns were arranged along the Moskovsky road of Irkutsk guberniya: Kitoy, Taiturka, Cheremkhovo, Kutulik, Zima, Sharagul and Tulun. Many of them are included into the tourist ethnographic ring. Telma (68 km from Irkutsk) is an old Siberian settlement, founded by the monks of the Ascension Monastery (Voznesensky). It was first mentioned in 1701. Those who were going from the capital to Irkutsk made their last stop here at the coaching inn before the arrival to the city. In 1731 the first iron-works of Eastern Siberia appeared in Telma. Telma iron-works had to produce the necessary ship rigging for the expedition of Bering. In such a way Telma has contributed to the great geographical discoveries. After the iron-works construction had been completed another type of industry was introduced - the cloth manufacture. The buildings were constructed, the machines were bought and German specialists were invited together with the Russian spin-

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ners - and the factory started production. It existed for over 2 centuries, till the Great Patriotic War (1941 - 1945). The factory enclosed by the taiga forest was well-provided with the raw-material, the wool was bought from the nomadic Buryat people and it was also delivered from Olkhon Island. Next to the manufacture there was the road, which provided fast and inexpensive delivery of the raw materials and transportation of the finished goods. Alongside with cloth and linen the manufacture produced silk; stationery business appeared, the small factories were working: candle works, soap works, tannery and potash works. Telma was really famous In 1816 in the settlement by the for its glass-foundry. Telma glass was known not only in Russia, but also in Europe and was in big demand. Telma factory the stone Church of Our Lady of Kazan was consecrated. The icons were delivered from Kutulik Kutulik was first mentioned by the Russian histori- Moscow, and the upper part of the an Müller in 1745. Originally it was a roadside inn on bell tower had the musical clock. the Moskovsky road and was registered as a hunter’s Siberian novelist I.T. Kalashnikov lodge. Thirty families were sent here to settle down. was writing the following about the Kutulik became one of the centers for the economic church: “One can’t but be amazed at the simplicity and importance, predevelopment of the free land. In the early 20th century Kutulik became the cen- sented by the interior of the church. ter of a volost (a kind of small administrative divi- It doesn’t have numerous icons, sion in the Tsarist Russia). The building of the trans- which, with all the veneration for fer prison is still there. All the political and ordinary them, if many, destroy the beautiful criminals coming to Irkutsk and further to Zabaikalie unity; everywhere is the dominating were stopping over here. In 1913 a stone Church of white colour. The iconostasis itself John-the-Baptist was built here. In the late 19th cen- is very modest and doesn’t diffuse tury the parish school was arranged, one of the old- your attention”. est in Irkutsk guberniya. As a visitor’s gift, the future Emperor Nicholas II presented the school with his portrait, which he signed himself after he had visited the place. The modern historic-cultural significance of Kutulik is connected first of all with the name of the play-writer Alexander Vampilov. Many people consider Kutulik to be his motherland. Although he was born in Cheremkhovo, he grew up and studied here, that is why Vampilov’s museum was opened in Kutulik house of his parents. The dramatist devoted two wonderful feature stories to his native settlement: «Walking in Kutulik» and «How’s life of our acacia trees?» The village Tyret appeared at the place of the Buryat Tyrteevsky clan settlement in 1842. The sig-



Stolypin agrarian reforms were a special milestone in Russian history. First of all it is connected with the migration, which influenced Siberia’s economic condition and the speed of its peopling. The main occupation of the migrants was agriculture, cultivation of rye, wheat, barley, buckwheat and potatoes. Different processing industries were appearing, among them was the distillery of Troitsk settlement. The main raw material for the spirit production was the highquality rye. German specialists were invited to launch the system of «fiery drink» production. Packaging was carried out also here. Big amount of spirit was exported to Mongolia, where it was bartered for furs. The tradesmen were often cheating and making big fortunes in this business. Spirit was in big demand within guberniya as well. The spirit barrels were transported to Balagansk and Zhigalovo, and from there along the Angara and Lena it was sent to the north. After the still changed hands, it started to produce berry liquors, which were sold in all the Siberian towns. There was another innovation introduced - the production of spirit from potatoes. It is clear that this produce was in big demand.


At the distance of 350 km from Irkutsk in Siberian taiga forest there is a small piece of old Europe, presented by three small villages: Pikhtinsk, Sredny (Middle) Pikhtinsk and Dagnik. The settlements appeared in 1908 when in the result of Stolypin reforms the first deputies came here. These people are the descendants of a very specific group of German migrants, which used to live for centuries near the Western Bug River and in Volyn. They call themselves the Golendrs. The Golendrs, who

moved to Siberia in a small group, managed to preserve their housebuilding traditions, the peculiarities of everyday life, working instruments and family traditions. Being in Siberia, the Golendrs kept faith to their original religion - they have been Lutherans for 400 years now. In Pikhtinsk there are no usual signs of the old Siberian villages. All the constructions have equally prolonged proportions. There is the common roof for the living area, porch, storage areas, sheds for cows, poultry and other domestic animals; a thrashing floor and a hayloft. There are almost no decorations. All the fastenings and links are made of wood, the roofing is made after the nailless technology. Even the latches, hinges, buttons and locks are made of wood. There is a well and a vinzarnya (smokehouse for meat) in the grounds of the estate. The ethnographic scientists say that nowadays these villages are unique for the whole world. Being far away from their native land and the influence of the other peoples, the Golendrs have preserved their way of living, the traditions of their forefathers.

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nificance of Tyret was originally connected with the trading route going from here to the Lena River. It was a favorable climate for business development that is why there were several merchants unions, which were doing mostly purchasing of grain from the peasants. Tyret is famous for its salt production. This salt has an excellent quality; it doesn’t contain any traces of any heavy metals. This is why the salt from Tyret is especially good for health. It is amazingly easy to breathe in the mine - it is not by chance that even the most severe lung illnesses are cured in the salt caves, even artificial ones.


The mined salt is mixed with different phyto-additives, packed into cute jars with the label «Sea salt from Tyret» and sold in the pharmacies. The other types of salt are iodized, packed in plastic with the label «Food salt from Tyret» and we use it for cooking.

In the late 19th century a salt mine appeared in Tyret. Now it is about 600 m deep with the overall length of the mine openings being about 20 km. Tyret deposit appeared about 550 million years ago. During that period the sea was going away from here, leaving behind the saltbearing sedimentation in the area stretching from modern Kansk city in the west to Baikal in the east and the Eastern Sayan mountain range in the south to the Angara River in the north.


Irkutsk region has significant tourist resources ice-boat riding and ski tours across (natural, cultural, historical and recreational). These the lake, including the overnight resources provide the development of different crossings. Water tours (cruises) are made types of tourism and excursion servicing. on the motorships along the navigable rivers Angara, Lena and Lake BAIKAL AQUA Baikal. The best way to spend your holidays at Baikal is to enjoy a water Irkutsk region has a lot of rivers tour. The season starts in early June and big water bodies. It provides and lasts till the end of September. the possibilities for doing sailing You can go for amazing voyages, and motor-boat sport, rowing, wa- be it a one-day trip or the whole ter skiing, sailing regattas (which week cruise. There are all types of require large water expanses) and comfortable cruise ships, boats kayaking. There are huge possibili- and yachts at your disposal. The ties for extreme types of sport de- tours start from Raketa quay in Irvelopment, including diving (with kutsk, from Listvyanka village pier the visit of the underwater caves on the western shore of the lake or along the western shore of Baikal) from MRS (Sakhyurta) settlement in and rafting along the numerous Maloye More (‘Small Sea’). mountain rivers. The most popular Sacred places, creeky shores, rafting rivers are Utulik, Snezhnaya cozy bays of the Small Sea and (in Khamar-Daban), Irkut, Kitoy, Chivyrkuy bay – this is the great Belaya, Oka (in the Eastern Sayan possibility to see the real Baikal in mountains) and the upper stream all its beauty. of the Lena River and its tributarThe sandy beaches of Nukutsky ies. In winter frozen Baikal and and Osinsky regions have become water reservoirs are the places for the real tourist attraction: they are

charming with the warm clean water of Bratsk water reservoir and beautiful nature. The benefits of holidays on the beaches of the Reservoir are obvious: warm water, longer swimming season and there is forest nearby. Those, who ever visited Azov Sea, say that it is very similar. It is not by chance that the amount of the holiday-makers coming to the Reservoir is comparable with the amount of the Small Sea visitors. And if one takes into consideration that the nature attractions are complemented with the technical tourist facilities (water scooters for rent, boat trips, water skiing, inflated boats and rafts riding, etc.) it becomes clear why so many visitors are coming here to enjoy both extreme types of activities and just to admire the nature. Winter is not an obstacle for spending your holidays at Bratsk reservoir. As soon as the ice is thick enough, the ice fishing contests start here with up to 300 participants. The biggest water body of Ust’-Odrynsky Buryat district is Lake Alyata in Alarsky region. The lake is fed by the under-water springs, that is why its water is pure and has the constant level. In the past there used to be a lot of minnows, gudgeons, Siberian roaches, perches and gars; there were a lot of muskrats. Nowadays the fishermen are mostly catching crucian carps. The Buryat patriarchs consider the lake to be a living sacred creature. In the past its water helped to cure numerous diseases: the water of the natural springs was used to cure eyes, the mud was good in baths and applications and to treat skin diseases people used the skin of a crucian carp. Not far from the lake there is a healing water spring which helped many generations of the local residents to cure their ailments without going to the doctors.



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And now let’s count how many types of tourism are presented at Alyata: nature tourism, fishing, recreation, exotic, ethnographic… If you have the possibility – take the chance and visit the place, you will most probably be interested in some of these things.


20th km of Baikal motorway) on the shore of Irkutsk bay in the pine forest). Children holidays are filled with cultural and sport events (horse-riding school, cycling, hobby centers, sport contests, hikings, excursions and many other things). In winter children health-recreational camps “So-

BAIKAL KIDS Children tourism fulfills not only the recreational function, but also it shapes positive, socially active attitude. Alongside with the places at Baikal where one can spend his holidays with his family and children, there are many children’s camps, health resorts and camping sites.


bolyok” (‘Small Sable’) and “Baikal” are functioning. They are located close to the ski resort at the foothill of Khamar-Daban in the south of Baikal. During the holidays the children become healthier and at the same time gain the useful skills (inland (taiga) navigation, the basics of climbing, etc.).

There are winter and summer language camps (for the children to study foreign languages), located in beautiful picturesque places (BLC camp on Olkhon island), children recreation camp “Zvyozndy” (‘Starry’) and “Lukomorye” at the foothill of the wonderful Sayan mountains; summer camp “Golubye Yeli” (‘Blue Spruces’) in Shelikhov region; “Primorsky” (the

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Severe and beautiful taiga forest, limitless steppes, hills, valleys, meadows and groves, big rivers and small creeks meandering between the willows, forest-clad hills and bald mountains… This is manifold and amazing Buryat land. Wherever you go you will see in special places (on a hill, in the forest thicket, along the road or somewhere next to the big stone) with a small tree, decorated with colorful ribbons. Not only the Buryat people, but all the other visitors tie the ribbons to the branches as the sign of homage to traditions, the sign of appreciation and respect of the people, who had established their traditions from the time immemorial. Ust’-Ordynsky Buryat district has an enormous tourist potential, one of the highlights is the exotic character, connected with the historic and cultural heritage of the Buryat people, old national traditions, local crafts and peculiarities of the ethnography. It all contributes to the development of such tourism types as cultural-informative, religious, ecological, horse-riding and extreme tourism. The destinies of the nomadic tribes are different, but there is common historic memory, language, songs and legends.


BAIKAL ETHNO Ethno-tourism is based on the interest of tourists in the real life of the peoples, their wish to get to know the local traditions, rituals, art and culture. Nowadays in Irkutsk region you can find the indigenous peoples and the settlements of the national cultures, the functioning centers of folklore and crafts. Ethno-tourism is interesting not only for the scientists, but for all those who care about the past of the peoples inhabiting the Earth. Taking part in ethnographic tours the travelers can find out more about their descendants and make family tree. From this point of view Ust’-Ordynsky Buryat district, which preserved its ethnical culture, is the most interesting place to visit. It has a very convenient geographic position: Ekhirit-Bulagatsky and Bayandaevsky regions are crossed with Kachug road, which is used by numerous tourists to get to Baikal and it also helps to

integrate the tourist product into the existing tours and routes from Irkutsk to Baikal; the south-western part has the Trans-Siberian railway going across it; in the north-east Bratsk “Sea” is bordering with the district; the western part has the Angara River with its numerous tributaries. Rivers and lakes are rich in fish – grayling, lenok fish, crucian carp and pike. There are many fur-bearing animals: squirrel, sable, fox; the hoofed animals are presented by moose and roe-deer; wolves and bears present the carnivorous animals. The region has unique natural monuments, reserved areas, rich vegetation and rare birds. The area has steppe, continental climate with cold dry winter and hot summer. In some places bathing season starts in May. It is difficult to find another such place in the huge Siberia where the relatively small piece of land keeps so many historical monuments, relating to all the epochs: camping sites, burial grounds, hillforts, petroglyphs,

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religious places and irrigation systems. It is obvious why tourists love to have excursions to these archeological monuments. The artists of the district skillfully use the natural materials to represent the stories and images, inspired by the ancient legends and myths of the steppe people: the patrons of crafts, old warriors and celestial creatures, shown on the panel pictures, in ongons, charms, which turn the everyday things into something magic and fantastic. In the Center of the local crafts of Ust’-Ordynsky settlement the tourists have the possibility not only to see and buy some souvenirs, but also they can visit a workshop session on making special local items, just as they are made here: horse-hair tapestry and national puppets. The works of the artists, made after the traditional methods of the ancient masters are in big demand, they are popular as the decoration in ethnic style interior projects.


Singing and music-making is the most important part of the Buryats’ spiritual life. The talent of the singer-storyteller was considered to be a gift from heaven. The religious singing is the example of Buryat folklore. Ust’-Ordynsky band “Stepnye Napevy” (‘Steppe Songs’) became one of the highlights, and, at a bigger scale – ethnic part of the tourist-recreational resources. The performances of the singers are associated with the culture of the Buryat people. The national music instruments limba, iochin, chanza, marin-khur have been existing for thousands of years. Where does the music come from? It originates from nature: the songs of the skylark high in the sky, the whistling of the wind and the rustle of the grass. And the musicians manage to represent these sounds. We’ve told you already about the unique collections of the museum.

The ancient applied and fine art was the basis for the modern art of the local peoples, reflected in the sculptural and embossment images of religious stories and shaman images (ongons). Traditionally every ulus had a craftsman, famous for his art – be it a chiseler or a woodcarver. In the folk crafts of the Buryat people the metal, wood, stone and ivory art take a special place. Buryat women are very good at embroidery, knitting, work with leather, felt and horse hair. The nomadic life of the Buryats and the cosmic beauty of Baikal became the real source of creative art for the craftsmen, getting their inspiration from the legends, myths, tales, religious places of Predbaikalye, rituals and rites of the local peoples. The artists use the heritage of the ancestors in their art, being moved by the shaman mystery plays, encircled with the enigma and magic, which have made a long trip from the ancient time into the present. The unique art overwhelms you and charges with the magic gift and with the wish to do good.


BAIKAL event This type of tourism is connected with the visit of a certain place at a certain period, connected with some kind of event, filled with the atmosphere of a holiday. Apart from holidays Irkutsk region also hosts cinema and theatre festivals, business forums, exhibitions, fairs, sport contests and festivals of national cultures. The international Baikal festival of winter games “Zimniada”


(‘Winteriada’) is the traditional festival of touristic events: mini-football, hockey, crossing Baikal, skating, skiing and dogsled marathons, ice fishing in Maloye More. “Zimniada” is conducted from February till March and is included into the national event calendar. Irkutsk has its traditional festivals: “Decembrists’ evening parties”, “Night in the museum” and the international festival of the ice sculpture “Chrystal Seal”. The Day of Baikal and the festi-

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val “Shine of Russia” take place in September and are visited both by the residents of the city and by the tourists. Irkutsk carnival conducted during the Day of the City has become the real attraction for the visitors in June. Event tourism is made up from the regular events which are conducted every year and have their history and reputation. The real pride of Irkutsk people – music festival “Stars at Baikal” and the Christmas concerts of Denis Matsuev. The tickets are sold out long before the concert, which is visited also by the people from Moscow and foreigners. There is also the ethno-cultural festival “Yordynskiye Games” and the festival of national costumes “Ethnopodium” (‘Ethno-Catwalk’) and a lot of other important and nice events.



Ecological tourism is presented practically in all the natural areas of Irkutsk region: around Lake Baikal, in Slyudyanka region, in the KhamarDaban Mountains and in the shore area of Olkhon island. Special protected areas and biosphere proving grounds are suitable for the tourism. As for the wildlife sanctuaries, the touristic activity is not restricted in them at all. Pribaikalsky national park, stretching for 500 km along Baikal shore, is especially popular among the eco-tourists. There are about 20 routes in the park, the recreation camps are being built, eco-trails are being developed alongside with tent camps. The favorite place for the eco-tourists to visit in Pribaikalsky Park is Maloye More. It boasts clean, transparent water and a lot of fish. There are other unique places to visit – the region of the upper Lena River and the Eastern Sayan Mountains.


BAIKAL ECO This type of tourism includes the travels, focused on the usage of the wild nature as the habitat. The rich recreational potential and the unique character of the majority of the natural Irkutsk region highlights open the possibilities for ecological tourism development. There are all the necessary ingredients: – beautiful places, not polluted by the toxic production; the pristine nature is preserved here; – state nature reserves – Baikalo-Lensky and Vitimsky, Pribaikalsky national park; – hydromineralogical resources, unique for Russia. Equestrian tourism is considered to be an exotic type of tourism – it is the choice of romantic people, preferring the active holidays. Vast steppes of Ust’-Orda (the place of traditional horsebreeding) with their picturesque

hills present the best suitable place for organization of horseriding trips. The weekend tours and the trips for several days can become the leading types of tourism in this region. Short horse-riding trips are considered to be the best way of getting and perfecting the skills of the outdoor horse riding. It is also a possibility to become familiar with the traditional nomadic culture, as a horse used to be a family member, a comradein-arms; and the mare’s milk (kumys) was the primary food. In steppe kumys gave energy and health to a nomad, and during the celebrations it was one of the most important drinks. Hippotherapy (therapeutic horse riding) is becoming more and more popular. Birdwatching is the second most popular type of tourism in the world after the trekking. Many birds are extremely beauti

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ful, without mentioning the diversity of their species. The best time for the “photo-hunting” is autumn. Ornithologists call the local ponds the “steppe oases”. There are over 270 known bird species, including those which have become rare in the other places. For example, in the vicinity of Pervomaisky settlement the colony of grey herons was preserved and in the ponds of Nukutsky region roody shelducks (the most beautiful ducks) are living. The Buryat people consider them to be sacred birds, it is a big sin to hunt them. Probably, that is why there are so many shelducks here. They live in couples, take care of the ducklings together, which is very unusual for ducks. The pond in Zabituy settlement is one of the richest from the species point of view. There are about 30 species of birds: seagulls, ducks, geese, swans, grebes (Big grebe, Black-necked grebe)… The latter is a very interesting bird: in July you can observe the bird taking its younglings for a ride. Eastern Imperial eagles and the Saker falcons are preserved in the region. They used to live also on Olkhon Island, but now you can see these rare birds only in Zabituy. Birdwatching and “photo-hunting” presuppose some kind of “intimacy” and tranquility, and, of course, romantic feel and discoveries. The discoveries and the photos sometimes can become a real treasure. As for the “photo-hunt” for the mammals – in Danilovka settlement of Bayandaevsky region a unique deer park was created, where all 5 deer species are presented. It is probably the only park of such a kind in Russia.


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Over the last years Listvyanka is gaining the distinct features of a resort area with the big amount of modern tourist services. Hotels and restaurants suit any taste, banyas and saunas with Baikal water; an observatory, a seal zoo, a cable way and ski center – all these facilities make the settlement into one of the best developed touristic attractions at Baikal. Visit to Listvyanka can be combined with the active sports and creative activities in the Center of Eco-Tourism, which provides the horse-riding and dog-driving school, dog-sleds riding, blacksmith’s workshop, the ceramic and pottery workshop; one-day and several-days hiking along the Great Baikal Trail with certified instructors and renting of the hiking gear. It is all popular and attractive, especially for our foreign guests.



BAIKAL ACTIVE There can be different types of active tourism. It is stipulated by the little-developed regions and different exotic natural attractions. Baikal is neighboring with Khamar-Daban mountains and Primorsky mountain range. It is the place for the development of skiing, mountain skiing, sailing, ice-boating, kayaking, mountain climbing, diving, rafting, hiking and potholing (visiting the caves). Slyudyanka region is perfect for these types of sports, as it has more necessary facilities and is easily accessible by transport. The facilities, wonderful skiing center in Baikalsk, the sled trail in Bratsk, hiking and horse-riding tours to the mountains – these are just a few of the possibilities for the real active tourism. The Eastern Sayan Mountains stretch for many hundreds of kilometers along the south-west-


ern border of Irkutsk region. It is the place where many rafting rivers are born, including the left tributaries of the Angara River. These are the unique places, steeped in legends. In the northern regions of Irkutsk region there are many wild areas. Such places can be found on Stanovoye and Patomskoye highland, along the Lena, Tunguska and Vitim rivers; in the goldmines of Bodaibo region, close to the Mama River. Irkutsk region has significant hunting and fishing resources. One can arrange a “Tsar’s hunting” for the moose, bear and other wild animals, as well as fishing. The fans of mountain climbing can find really unlimited possibilities here. They can go for oneday or several-days tours in the Eastern Sayan Mountains. Many caves were discovered along the shores of Baikal and the banks of the Lena and Angara Rivers. Archeological finds prove that

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some of the caves were inhabited by the ancient people. The most famous caves are located at the distance of 60 km from Nizhneudinsk along the Uda River. A unique cave was found not far from Bolshiye Koty settlement. There are many lakes and rivers in the foothill region of Pribaikalye. It gives the possibilities for doing water sports, water skiing, to conduct long sailing regattas and kayaking along the mountain rivers. The most popular rafting rivers are Utulik, Snezhnaya, Irkut, Kitoy, Belaya, and the upper tributaries of the Lena River. In winter frozen Baikal and water reservoirs are the places for ice-boat riding and skiing, trekking and skating tours across the lake.



gara”. But one can get the mud-treatment much cheaper on the spot – in “Nagalyk” spa resort. The curative effect and natural food compensate for the lack of comfortable conditions. During the summer time beach holidays are popular, as the water warms up till 18 – 22 °С. This type of holiday-making is perfect in the bays of southern shore of Maloye More, sandy shores of Olkhon Island, Peschanaya bay (“Baikal Riviera”), Aya bay till Sarma bay on the western shore of Baikal. Sandy beaches of Irkutsk water reservoir are popular, alongside with the valleys of Irkut, Belaya, Lena, Kitoy rivers, Bratsk water reservoir and other rivers and lakes of Irkutsk region.

BAIKAL SPA Recreational tourism is the unique possibility to combine leisure and recreation. Recreation and health-care centers will help to get better and to become more active. This type of tourism is possible both in Irkutsk itself and in the region, where six lakes contain the big deposits of curative muds, mineral medicinal drinking water and eight mineral water springs have thermal and radon waters. As the region is rich in big salt deposits, the resort services got the impetus for development. Next to the biggest mineral water springs the healthcare centers were arranged. The most famous resorts are “Angara”, “Tayozhny”, “Usolye-Sibirskoye”, “Ust’-Kut”, “Maltinsky”, “Rus”, “Metallurg”, “Rodnik”, “Bratskoye Vzmorye”, “Elektra” and “Talaya” (in Kazachinsko-Lensky region). The resort, using the hydro-


gen sulfide-saturated water is called “Nukutskaya Matsesta” in Unginskaya valley of Bayandai region. Since the time immemorial the sulphated water springs are known here, and their quality is similar to that of the water in Sochi Matsesta. They have an amazing curative effect. The water from the 400 m deep wellholes is used externally, helps to cure the locomotor system illnesses, skin ailments, the diseases of the nervous system and heart; male and female problems. As soon as you get to Nagalyk, the local people will tell you that the hydrogen sulfide mud of the mysterious Buryat lake NukhuNur is miracle-working and its qualities can compete with those of the mud of Crimean resorts – this is what the residents of this small village are proud of. The unique hydrogen sulfide muds of Lake Nukhu-Nur are purchased by Irkutsk resort “An-

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REFERENCE PHONES Hotline for tourists (3952) 20-50-18 Bus station Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya 11 (3952) 20-94-11, 20-91-15 Airport Irkutsk Shiryamov str.,13 (3952) 26-62-22, 26-62-77, 26-62-16 Railway-station Irkutsk Chelnokov str., 1 (3952) 63-22-87, 39-47-47 Irkutsk car inquiries service (3952) 62-15-15 TAXI «Avtopilot» 24-22-42 «Angara» 60-60-60 «Baikal–express» 222-777 «Voyazh» 70-00-00 «Vse Troiki» 33-33-33 «Evrotaxi» 77-77-77 «Lux» т. 63-63-63 «Prestizh» 59-05-00 «Russkaya troika» 33-35-55 «Siberia» 30-00-00 «Shest Dvoek» 22-22-22 «Yaguar» 22-99-99 «Baikal cruiz» 39-39-39, 23-23-23 CAR RENT «Rentour» 77-77-14 «Ne Peshkom» 62-07-70 «Evroprokat» 20-80-80 «Raketa» Quay Prospect Marshala Zhukova,98 b (3952) 35-88-60 First Inquiries Service (395) 223-223


Inquiries Desk of Department of Internal Affairs, Irkutsk region Litvinov str., 15 (3952) 21-67-12 Inquiries service for international and long-distance phone codes Tereshkova str., 37 (3952)81-40 «Medliner» medical inquiries service Shiryamov str.,10б (3952) 70-23-03 Inquiries desk for ambulance. Information about hospitalized patients and injured persons who received ambulance aid Omulevskaya str., 44 (3952) 29-12-49

EMERGENCY PHONE Emergency Rescue Service of Irkutsk region Baikalskaya str.,295 (3952) 35-15-84, 35-32-73 Emergency Rescue Service of Irkutsk city Ostrov Yunost (3952) 56-02-46 Prospekt Marshala Zhukova 72/1 (3952) 35-85-10 Rescue service of Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia in Irkutsk region Krasnoarmeyskaya str.,15 (3952) 25-79-00, 25-79-01 Emergency service- fire-fighting service 01, mobile 112 Policia 02

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Ambulance 03, (3952) 29-24-36 City telephone referral service 09, 009 24-HOUR CHEMIST SHOP Lenin str.,22 (3952) 20-04-60 Litvinov str.,16 (3952) 20-88-14 Stepan Razin str.,5 (3952) 56-06-6 Medicine delivery service (3952) 30-23-02 24-hour dentist Lenin str.,21 (3952) 20-03-14

INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS agency for tourism of the government Irkutsk Karl Marks str., 26 a, (3952) 21-72-83, 21-71-39, 24-17-59 Irkutsk Region Association of Translators Lenin str.,8-126 (3952)242-304, 602-442, Tourism Information Center of Irkutsk City Dec.Sobytij str.,77 b, (3952) 20-50-18, Siberian Baikal Association of Tourism Suhe – Bator str.,7 Visit and Information Center Olkhon,Huzhir, Baikalskaya str. ( only in summer)

Visit and Information Center «Altan Mundarga », Arshan (30147) 9-75-02

NATIONAL TERRITORIES OF SPECIAL PROTECTION Pribaikalskij National Park Yubileynij region., 83а (3952) 46-53-00 e-mail: Baikal- Lenskij State Natural Reserve Baikalskaya str.,291б (3952) 35-06-15 e-mail: Vitim Reserve Irkursk region,Bodaibo, Irkutskaya, 4а

MOBILE SERVICE Baikalwestcom Sverdlov str.,36 (3952) 613-613 МТS Karl Marks str.,31 (3952) 990-990 Мegafon Karl Marks str, 21 (3952) 700-500 BeeLine Uritskaya str., 2 (3952) 570-000 «Evroset» Offices service all the mobile nets of Irkutsk Karl Marks str., 41 (3952) 20-30-83 Uritskaya str., 14 (3952) 20-38-29 Suhe-Bator str., 7 (3952) 20-06-87

Visit and Information Center Baikalsk, region Uzhnij.,16-3 (39542) 3-25-81



I-NET CAFES “Chaplin” Shiryamova str.,13, (3952) 99-62-65 “Next” Volzhskaya.,33, (3952) 233-544 «Interline » Lapin str.,6, (3952) 333-058 Suhe-Bator str.,7, (3952) 20-15-14

“ALFA” Gagarin blvd.,38 (3952) 24-05-14

CONCULARES AND REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES Consulate general of Mongolia Lapin str.,11, (3952) 34-21-45 Consulate general of Poland Suhe-Bator str., 18, (3952) 288-010

Internet Center of ISU Gagarin blvd.,20-102 (3952) 33-21-78, 24-22-05

Consulate general of China Karl Marks str.,40, (3952) 781-433

«Epicenter» Karl Marks.,26, (3952) 72-07-08

Consulate general of Korea Gagarin blvd., 44, (3952) 250-301

«WEB-Ugol» Lenin str., 8, (3952) 56-49-50

Honored consul of Lithuania Baikalskaya str., 259в, (3952) 359-359

CURRENCY EXANGE Baikalskij branch of Sberbank of Russia 8-800-555-55-50, 8-800-555-55-30 Lenin str.,30 Furie str.,2 Rabochaya str., 22 Baikalskaya str.,105 a Dec.Sobitij., 23а Deputatskaya str.,32 Dzerzhinskaya str.,27 Karl Marks str.,29 Lenin str.,30 Rabochaya str.,22 Sovetskaya str.,73 Stepan Razin str., 27 Suhe-Bator str., 6 Uritskaya str., 19 Listvyanka, Gorkogo str., 49 “VTB 24” (3952) 31-24-24 8-800-100-20-24 hot line Rossijskaya str., 10 Dzerzhinskaya str.,1 Baikalskaya str.,241


HOTELS “ANGARA” Suhe-Bator str.,7 (3952) 25-51-06, 25-51-07 “VOZDUSHNAYA GAVAN” Shiryamov str.,11 (3952) 26-61-04, 26-61-06 “VICTORIYA” Bogdan Hmelnitskiy str.,1 (3952)79-28-79, “BAIKAL BUISNESS CENTER” Baikalskaya str.,279 (3952) 25-93-33, 25-91-20, “DELTA” Karl Libknekht str., 58 (3952) 79-40-90, “IMPERIYA”, Polskih Povstantsev.,1 (3952) 21-02-10

G u i d e to t h e B a i k a l a r e a

“IRKUTSK” Gagarin blvd.,44 (3952) 25-01-62, 25-01-60


“SAYEN” Karl Marks str.,13b (3952) 50-00-00

“ORION” Irkutsk, Sverdlov., 28 average bill 1000 rub

“RUSS” Sverdlov str.,19 (3952) 20-26-08,24-38-18

“FLAMINGO” Irkutsk, Suhe- Bator str., 7 (3952) 25-53-08 average bill 850 rub

“COURTYARD MARRIOT” Ckhalov str.,15 (3952) 48-10-00


(3952) 20-25-15

“PEKINSKAYA UTKA” Irkutsk, Lyitkin str., 61 (3952) 68-49-49 average bill 1000 rub MONGOLIAN CUISINE

“ZVEZDA” Yadrintsev str.,1 (3952) 54-00-00

“KOCHEVNIK” Irkutsk, Gorky str., 19 average bill 1350 rub

“LEGEND OF BAIKAL” Listvyanka, Istok Angara str.,11 (3952) 79-28-28,96-01-50

“ZVEZDA KOCHEVNIKA” Irkutsk, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya str., 1 (3952) 74-54-43 average bill 350 rub

(3952) 20-13-49


“BURDUGUZ”Park-hotel Burduguz, Lesnaya str.,1 (3952) 51-21-22, 51-21-24

“SUSHI-ED” Irkutsk, Litvinov str., 2 (3952) 24-12-25 average bill 650 rub

“BAIKAL” Listvyanka, Akademicheskaya, (3952)25-03-91, 25-03-93

“KABUKI” Irkutsk, Karl Marks., 15a (3952) 78-04-08 average bill 950 rub

“KRESTOVAYA PAD” Listvyanka, Gornaya str.,14 a (3952) 49-68-63, 25-04-65

“KIOTO” Irkutsk, Karl Marks str., 13 a (3952) 55-05-05 average bill 1750 rub

“ANASTASIYA” Nikola, Angarskaya str., 8 (3952) 49-01-91


MEXICAN CUISINE “RIO-GRANDE” Irkutsk, Rossiyskaya str., 17 (3952) 24-29-71 average bill 1000 rub


UZBEK CUISINE “UZBEKISTON” Irkutsk, Lenin str., 46 (3952) 20-35-76 average bill 1200 rub SIBERIAN CUISINE

“ETERNO” Irkutsk, Lenin str., 15 average bill 1500 rub

(3952) 33-62-82

“LONDON PAB” Irkutsk, Suhe-Bator str., 7 (3952) 33-62-82 average bill 1100 rub

“ EGOROV ESTATE” Irkutsk, Gryaznov str., 2 (3952) 20-09-80 average bill 800 rub

“SATORI” Irkutsk, Karl Marks str., 53 (3952) 48-11-48 average bill 500 rub

“IRKUTSK” Irkutsk, Gagarin blvd., 44 (3952) 29-02-73 average bill 1000 rub

“ARBATSKIJ DVORIK” “VERNISAZH” Irkutsk, Uritskaya str.,16 (3952) 20-06-33 average bill 1500 rub

“RUSS” Irkutsk, Sverdlov str., 19 (3952) 24-08-86 average bill 1000 rub

“KLERMONT” Irkutsk, Polskih Povstantsev str.,1 (3952) 28-32-80, average bill 900 rub

“OHOTNIK” Irkutsk, Yadrintsev str., 1 (3952) 54-19-89 average bill 2000 rub

“RAZGULOFF” Irkutsk, Karl Marks str., 28 Irkutsk, Dec.Sobyitij str., 119 a (3952) 99-55-95 average bill 690 rub

“DELTA” Irkutsk, Karl Libknecht str., 58 (3952) 79-40-02 average bill 1000 rub “HUTOROK” Irkutsk, Starokuzmichinskaya str., 39 (3952) 52-91-00 average bill 1350 rub “BIER HOUS” Irkutsk, Gryaznov str., 1 (3952) 55-05-55 average bill


“RAUSH” Irkutsk, Lenin str.,36 (3952) 21-71-23 average bill 500 rub “STRIZHI” Irkutsk, Karl Marks str., 13 b (3952) 50-05-00 average bill 2500 rub “BROADWAY” Irkutsk, Sedov str., 29 (3952) 77-78-00 average bill 1000 rub

G u i d e to t h e B a i k a l a r e a

“GARTSUYUSHIJ PONY” “IRKUTSKAYA ISTORIYA” Irkutsk , Karl Marks str., 12 (3952) 68-89-48 average bill 1000 rub “URGA” Irkutsk, Roza Ljuksemburg str.,243 (3952) 72-76-49, average bill 1500 rub BAR “LIVERPULL” Irkutsk, Sverdlov str., 28 (3952) 20-30-21 average bill 1000 rub “ESTRADA” Irkutsk, Lenin str., 46 (3952) 20-35-75 average bill 1800 rub CAFES “DOUBLE COFFEE” Irkutsk, Sverdlov str.,19 (3952) 24-16-17 average bill 500 rub “SNEZHINKA” Irkutsk, Litvinov str.,2 (3952) 24-32-05 average bill 1000 rub “STUDIO COFFEE” Irkutsk, Zhelyabov str.,1 (3952) 33-26-83 average bill 630 rub Irkutsk, Sverdlov str.,23 a (3952) 76-87-64 average bill 1000 rub “BARBOSSA” Irkutsk, Karl Marks str., 40 (3952) 72-76-49 average bill 1500 rub


“TRAVELLER’S COFFEE” Irkutsk, Gorky str., 42 (3952) 62-29-10 average bill 330 rub

THEATERS IRKUTSK ACADEMIC DRAMA THEATER named after N.P. OKHLOPKOV Irkutsk, Karl Marks str.,14 (3952) 20-04-80 MUSICAL THEATER named after N.M.ZAGURSKIY Irkutsk, Sedov str.,29 (3952) 20-32-90 YOUNG SPECTATOR’S THEATRE named after A.VAMPILOV Irkutsk, Lenin str., 13 (3952) 24-12-08 THEATRE OF PILIGRIMS Irkutsk, Volkonskiy str.,8 (3952) 20-44-30 REGIONAL PUPPET THEATRE “AISTYONOK” Irkutsk, Baikalskaya str., 32 (3952) 20-58-25 IRKUTSK REGIONAL PHILARMONIC SOCIETY Irkutsk, Dzerzhinskaya str., 2 (3952) 33-60-00 ORGAN HALL Irkutsk, Suhe-Bator str., 1 (3952) 33-63-65 IRKUTSK CIRCUS Irkutsk, Proletarskaya str.,13 (3952) 24-05-35


SHOW of BAIKAL SEALS Irkutsk, 2 Zheleznodorozhnaya str., 66 (3952) 55-44-32

MUSEUMS Botanical garden Koltsov str.,93 (3952) 41-34-76 Exhibition center Halturin str.,3 (3952) 20-03-65

Department for Siberian Art Karl Marks str,23 (3952) 33-41-12 Museum of Irkutsk City History Fr.Kamenetskij str.,16 a (3952) 71-10-61 Siberian Museum of Communication Sverdlov str., 35 b (3952) 24-23-01

«Taltsy» architecturalethnographical museum Irkutsk Regional Historic and 47 km of Baikal trakt Memorial Museum of the Decem- (3952) 69-56-58 brists per.Volkonskogo, 10 Mineralogical museum named (3952) 20-75-32 after A.V.Sidorov Lermontov str., 83 Local lore museum (3952) 40-50-62 Karl Marks str.,2 Science museum of entertaining (3952) 33-34-49 Lermontov str., 277a (3952) 67-84-32 e-mail: Baikal museum Museum of nature Listvyanka, Akademicheskaya str.,1 Karl Marks str.,11 (3952) 25-05-51, 51-20-82 (3952) 34-28--32 Art museum Lenin str., 5 (3952) 34-01-46


«Barguzin» Irkutsk Region Museum of Fine Baikalskaya str., 42 Arts named after V.P.Sukachev Dec.Sobytij str., 112 «Vtoroi etazh» Karl Marks str., 15 (3952) 29-10-88 House of Europe Fr.Engels str., 21 (3952) 20-56-60 e-mail:


(3952) 24-05-78


(3952) 55-04-54 (3952) 77-07-10

BAIKAL SOUVENIRS «Baikal Story» Petrov str., 62

(3952) 779-255

«Akula» Gagarin bul, 9

(3952) 33-63-36

«Nikonel» Karl Marks str.,30

(8914) 9107673

«Vozduh» Fr. Engels str.,8 b

(3952) 20-94-86

«Hudozhnik» Karl Marks str., 20

(3952) 23-42-33

«Indokitaij» Karl Marks str.,11

(3952) 50-05-15

«Art na Troitskoij» 5 Armiya str., 48

(3952) 33-42-33

«Panorama» Dec. Sobytij str., 102

(3952) 53-36-28

«Stratospfera» Karl Marks str., 15

«Terrakotoviy Slon» Snezhnaya str., 1/79 (8914) 9022524

(3952) 24-30-33

«Estrada» Hasanovskij per., 1

(3952) 20-35-75

«DiaS» Partizanskaya str., 56

(8902) 5161068

House of national creativity Sverdlov str., 18 a (3952) 24-26-92

«Bar Acabama» Chekhov str.,2

(3952) 92-67-77

«Beerloga» Partizanskaya str., 36

(3952) 78-25-55

«Karaoke ModaClub» Gagarin bul.,13 a (3952) 61-61-11


«Khudozhestvennij» Karl Marks str., 24 (3952) 34-43-82 «Zvezdnij» Dec. Sobitij str,. 102

«Don Otello» Irkutsk, Gryaznov str., 1

«Champion» 5 Armiya str,. 29

(3952) 33-33-37

«Vesna» Kozhov str,. 10

(3952) 25-85-00

«Gold s Gym» Marshal Zhukov pr., 13/1 (3952) 53-46-53

«Oniks» Kievskaya str., 1,14 «Belaya vorona» Karl Marks str.,37 (8950) 088-5000 «Baikal Produkt» Polyarnya str.,104 e-mail:

(3952) 38-66-22

Center of traditional and crafts set.Ust-Ordinskij, Kalinin str., 14 (39541) 30313 e-mail:


(39520 20-94-80

G u i d e to t h e B a i k a l a r e a




The dwelling site of the ancient people was found here.

BOLSHIYE KOTY There are several explanations why the settlement got this name. First, the old-Russian word “kot” means a kind of warm shoes, worn during the rainy weather in the swamps by gold-miners (gold mines existed here since the time immemorial). There is another explanation of the settlement name, which links it with the fact that the runaway prisoners were coming here from Barguzin and before going further across Siberia they hammered away the “koty” – the fetters. In Koty there is a limnological laboratory and a small unique museum of Baikal endemic species.


BOLSHAYA KADILNAYA It is the name of a cape and a wide picturesque valley with unique alpine vegetation. The name originates from the limestone outcrops on the shore. In the past limestone was burnt here (from Russian «kadit» - «to smoke») to get lime. The neighboring valley Malaya Kadilnaya is surrounded with the ranges of crystallized limestone. It is famous for the sinkhole phenomena (niches, apertures and small caves). The most famous cave is called “Chasovnya” (‘Chapel’).


CAPE KRESTOVSKY Its Buryat name is translated as «the Cape of War». The forest-covered mountains of Primorsky mountain range give way to the steep rocky capes – it is Tazheransky Mountains. It still keeps the traces of the old Kurykan fortification (6th - 11th centuries). The sentry outpost used to be here, and with the help of smoke signals the guards were informing about the approaching enemies. The stone walls with the height 3.5 m were surrounding the mountain. The total length of the wall is 150 m. The traces of ancient dwellings were found inside the hillfort. At the distance of 5 km away from the cape one can see the white marble cliff Sagan-Zaba. It is famous for its petroglyphs. At the top of Sagan-Zaba there is a cave with the narrow entrance. The archeological finds from this cave date back to the Iron Age.

taiga forests, hot mineral water springs and spa centers. Dzelinda is the thermal radon water spring at the distance of 92 km from Severobaikalsk. The water has the temperature of 44.5 °С. The water contains fluorine and silicic acids. Goudzhekit is a hydrothermal water spring at the distance of 25 km from Severobaikalsk. The water is used both as curative drinking water and externally to treat the gynecological disorders, diseases of musculo-sceletal system and skin. The water’s temperature is 50 °С. CAPE KOTELNIKOVSKY It is located in the Northern Baikal. The cape has the hottest mineral water spring of Baikal. There is an indoor and outdoor swimming pools with the water temperature reaching +81°С. The water is for external use only. It is not potable because of high content of fluorine.

THE UPPER ANGARA RIVER It is the second biggest tributary of Baikal. The grassy forested banks of the river are low, they often get flooded, have many lakes and are rather swampy in the mouth of the river. One can enjoy great fishing here all the year round (pike, perch, burbot, taimen). OLKHON ISLAND The place has a lot of See p. 46 picturesque shores, sandy beaches and possibilities for SEVEROBAIKALSK CITY It is located in Buryat Re- twin-hull crafts and boats public. It is the place of virgin running.

G u i d e to t h e B a i k a l a r e a

KHAKUSY MINERAL WATER SPRING It is located in Khakusy gulf. The spring is a rather powerful hot stream with the temperature up to 45 degrees. The water composition is similar to that of the mineral water springs in Pyatigorsk, it contains potassic acid and nitrogen. The water in Khakusy is good to cure problems with skin, gynecology and joints. The place is surrounded with pines, cedars and silver fir trees. There is a sandy beach nearby, fringed by the granite pillars of Cape Khamankit (Evenk word for «Shaman place»). Mythical Cape Khamankit represents the Baikal god Dianda. The place has strong and clear echo, which is unique for Baikal. GULF FROLIKHA The gulf is 3 km long with the width at the entrance being 4 km. The mountainous Frolikha River, draining the same-name lake, brings its waters to the bay. There are many stones on the shores which make swimming unsafe. They represent the traces of the glacier, which came down from Barguzin mountain range 10 - 12 thousand years ago. At the distance of 2 km from Baikal on the bank of the river there is the thermal water spring with the water temperature 35 °С.

from Baikal shore. One can get to Frolikha from Ayaya bay, where the trail to the lake starts. The place has unique bald-mountains landscapes. The permafrost is so close to the surface here that it is enough just to lift moss to see the ice. Gigantic double reindeer moss is growing among the dwarf pine trees. Lake Frolikha is 80 m deep. It is rich in fish - there are a lot of taimens, lenoks, pikes, graylings, perches and unique for Siberia fishes called davatchan (a kind of char), relic species of Arctic trout. Besides, two species of aquatic plants were discovered here, which refer to the pre-glacial relic plants - spring quillwort (Isoetes setacea) and water awlwort (Subularia aquatica L.).

CHIVYRKUY BAY It is one of the most beautiful places of Baikal. Shores of the bay are very creeky. There are many small bays, pompous capes, islands, wonderful beaches and thermal springs. There are several mineral water springs on the shore of Zmeinaya bay - sulphuric and radon ones with the water temperature up to 45 °С. The bay is the home for many animal species: in autumn the seals are coming here seeking for shelter during the period of ice formation and winds; to see here FROLIKHA LAKE the traces of bears, roedeer The alpine glacier lake is lo- and deer is a common thing. cated at the distance of 8 km If you go fishing you can


catch a 6-7 kg pike or a 2 kg perch or white fish. A lot of caves-grottoes were discovered in the steep rocks of the shoreline. The pieces of crockery were found inside, as the caves used to be the haven for the ancient seal hunters. USHKANY ISLANDS It is the most remarkable place of Baikal. The archipelago consists of Bolshoy (‘Big’), Tonkiy (‘Thin’), Krugly (‘Round’) and Dolgiy (‘Long’) islands. Dolgiy Island and its vicinity present the biggest rookery of the nerpas (Baikal seal), the most interesting representatives of the unique lake fauna. Bolshoy Ushkany Island is remarkable for its ant-hills. Some of them can be 2 m high and up to 3 m in diameter. There are about 6000 such huge «cities». There is the amazing rock, resembling an elephant - the name of the rock is Khobot (‘Trunk’). The island has a weather station, one of the earliest at Baikal. There is a lighthouse as a part of the weather station. UST’-BARGUZIN The settlement is located in the mouth of the Barguzin River at the place where it flows into Barguzin bay of Lake Baikal. The pier is located on the left river bank. It is possible to buy tickets on the spot of via the Internet.



Ki re ng a




Typta Kuytun

Le n







Bol. Belay a


Peschanaya Bay

to y

Angarsk Ki

Irkutsk t


Port Baikal Kultuk Slyudyanka


ore M loe a M Huzhir




Krestovskiy cape



Gremyachinsk Mal. Kurba


Bolshoe Goloustnoe


Kadilny Cape Bolshie Koty






Babushkin Tarbagatay




Listvyanka Vidrino














Ushkani Islands


Zalari Troitsk






Chivyrku isky Bay





To have a boat trip around Baikal is similar to the roundthe-world trip: mountains, taiga, steppes, sunsets and sunrises you will have enough impressions to remember during the whole year, or may be, the whole life. It is the visit of the extreme parts of Baikal: bathing in the hot mineral water springs of Zmeinaya bay, watching Baikal seals, taking part in Shaman ritual, hiking to the volcanic lakes and crystal cascades of the mountain waterfalls, visiting the fabulously beautiful glacier lake Frolikha in the north of Baikal and Sosnovka bay in Barguzin nature reserve. If you have a chance to visit the shore of Baikalo-Lensky nature reserve in early June, you can observe many bears coming to the water. It is not by chance that this part of the nature reserve is called «the shore of brown bears». Travelling around Baikal by boat gives you the possibility to experience the beauty and living breathing of Baikal in comfortable conditions. The stops at Baikal are mapped, and the description is given on the pages 90-91: Listvyanka Bolshaya Kadilnaya Peschanaya (‘Sandy’) Bay Cape Krestovsky Olkhon Island Severobaikalsk city Cape Kotelnikovsky Verkhnyaya Angara River Frolikha gulf Khakusy mineral water spring Chivyrkuy Bay Ushkany Islands Ust’-Barguzin settlement

Len a

Nezneangarsk Severobaikalsk


Irkutsk region is located in Eastern Siberia. The southernmost point of the region is located at 51° of northern latitude, the northern part reaches almost the 65th parallel. Irkutsk region stretches from the north to the south for almost 1450 km, from the west to the east for 1318 km. Irkutsk is the administrative center. Railway road distance from Irkutsk to Moscow is 5192 km, to Vladivostok – 4106 km. Time difference between Irkutsk and Moscow is +5 hours.


Rainbow of Baikal travel eng  

Agency for tourism of the Irkutsk region