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Irkutsk is a capital of East Siberia, and was created in 1661 year on the bank of Angara. For Russia this city was a gate to East. Many expeditions for researching were carried out from this place , in oder to research Japan, China and Mongolia.

Irkutsk is one of few cities of Russia where quantity of sunny hours per a year exceeds 2000. Vegetable meadows, piny-woody, piny-birch forests, birch groves stretch spaciously around Irkutsk. The city consists of 5 areas:
Kirovsky area a historical and modern center of the city. Almost all administrative offices, theaters, museums, libraries, monuments of architecture are situated here.

Territory of Kuibishevsky area is the oldest industrial part of the city, which acquired name Rabochiy outskirts.

Oktyabrsky area is modern Irkutsk.

Sverdlovsky area is an area of power engineering specialists, science and education. On its territory there is Irkutsk hydroelectric power station, Academic town, Student town.

Leninsky area is a large railway junction of the East-Siberian railway.

Irkutsk is not only an administrative and industrial city. Cultural heritage of the Siberian region is solicitously kept in Irkurtsk museums and libraries. Unique collections of works of art, monuments of the history and the nature are collected in the historical museum of the city.

Musical and theatrical life of the city is various. Irkutsk is also a scientific center of the Eastern Siberia. You may get higher education here in the pedagogical, economical universities, agricultural academy and other colleges.

Irkutsks is a city of the future with the wonderful past. Irkutsk emerged in the place of a prison, which was built in 1661. Favorable geographic position of Irkutsk on the crossroad of waterways, land roads, favored to quick development of agriculture, industry and also establishing of communication with Mongolia, China, Transbaikalia. Merchants, which didnt stint profit of the city, emerged in the city.

An emblem a tiger (Felis Tigris), carrying a sable in teeth, - was confirmed in 1690. The tiger embodied the Siberia. It is an ancient sacred animal and the saber symbolized richness of the krai. By the end of 18 century Irkutsk became not only a trading and administrative but also a cultural enter. Popular colleges, libraries, museums, theaters were opened.
By the end of XVI century Irkutsk became not only a trade and administrative, but also a cultural center. There were opened many schools, libraries, museums and colleges.
The first train came in Irkuts on the 16th of August of 1898 and marked as a new turn in the city life. Irkutsk plaid a big role in studying and developing of the Eastern Siberia, Far East and Northern America. The city is included in a list of historical places with preservation of planning and constructions.

One of the oldest monuments of Irkutsk is church for the sake of icon of Christ not made by hand a show department of Irkutsk museum of regional. The stone Spasskaya Tower was laid in 1706 and a stone belfry was built in 1710
 Frescos on the external walls narrate about baptism of the local Buryat nation. The cathedral for the sake of Theophany of the Christ a monument of architecture of XVIII century, which was built in Siberian baroque taste, has been a center of social life during many decades. A stone building, constructing of which had been carried out in several stages till 1746, was laid in 1718. A belfry was built in 1797.
Irkutsk museum of local lore was opened in 1762 year.

The main building of it was erected in Moresque style, and is considered architectural monument. The exposition was devoted to Siberia since pre-historical times. The funds of the museum consists of 350 thousands exhibits, 250 thousands of them are rarities. There are unique herbariums and stuffed animals and birds of Siberia, old manuscripts and accounts of geological and geographical expeditions, clothes collections from different epochs, embroideries, and also unique expositions from China, Tibet, Mongolia.
This museum works daily at 10.00 till 18.00, besides Monday.

The Art Museum

The Art Museum was created in 1870 year as a private collection. It consists of more than 16 thousands Russian, European, Siberian, The East works of art. There are unique works of world art, among them the works of I. Repin, I. Shishkin, V. Polenov, I. Savrasov.
This museum works daily at 10.00 till 18.00, besides Monday.

The museum of Decembrists

The house museum of Decembrists Trubezkoy and Volkonsky was opened in the houses, where lived their famous families (Sergey Trubezkoy and Sergey Volkonsky). The exposition of the museum tells us about their lives in hard labour in Siberia.

The memorial complex Citizens of Irkitsk in the years of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945.

The project of the complex was worked out by chief architect of the city V. N. Fedorin, chief artist V. G. Smagin, engineer R. M. Mavrik. The memorial was built by method of peoples building. It was erected by the Day of Victory. In spring the fire was brought from Moscow from the grave of an unknown soldier.

Post 1 was set at the eternal light. Names of citizens heroes, who were killed during the war are carved on the walls and the stele of the building of the regional administration. Alley of veterans leads from the memorial to the direction of the Angara river. It was opened by the 50-th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War (1995).
Behind the Ushakove river in the Znamensk outskirts of Irkutsk there is a nunnery, which was based in 1693. The first wooden constructions were decayed soon, therefore a stone church of Boding of Our Lady was laid on money of merchant Bitchevik. The site development was laid only in 1818 by an erecting for donation of merchant Tchupalov.

In times of the Soviet regime the monastery was closed, only a temple worked. At present time the monastery is revived. A Sunday school, a library work attached to it, Church-Historical readings are carried out here every year. On the territory of the monastery there are graves of Decembrists P. Mukhanov, Panov a gravestone of Catherine Trubetskaya with three sons.

Drama theater

Drama theater of Okhlopkov. Wooden constructions were erected in the place of the present ones two times but they were burnt out. A competition was announced at the end of XIX century: among 5 projects, a project of V. A. Shretev, a chief architect of Petersburg directorate of theaters, took the first place. The theater was opened on the 30d of August of 1897. There was no own troupe, actors from the capital used to come. So actress Komissarzhevskaya performed on the stage of the theater in 1903. Talented actor and producer Okhlopkov, name of which the theater acquired, worked in 1920-s in Irkutsk.

To meet with wooden architecture one can begin with the central streets of the city. Examples of wooden architecture can be seen near the central streets of the city. Shasties house, which is known more often by name lacy house, was built in Engels street, 21. Rich decorative ornaments of the facades, intricate outline of the roof with small towers and small figured wooden columns.

A custom to decorate a house with fretwork originates from pagan times. Patterns and ornaments were considered to be magical signs, averters, protected a house from evil forces intrusion into it, favored to prosperity and provided an owner with rich harvest.
Tourists may buy articles of Siberian gems, pictures of local artists, cedar cones. Quite many modern establishments of leisure and entertainments have been opened for the last years in Irkutsk.

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