Irkutsk is the old Siberian town, established in 1661 as a fort. It is located in the basins of the Angara River, 63 km away from Baikal Lake. The largest closest city, Ulan-Ude, is situated in 439 km. The city sits at the main traffic arteries connecting Europe with the Far-Eastern parts of Russia and The Pacific Rim countries.
The Irkutsk’s historical centre was added to the preliminary World Heritage Site list.
You can find about two thousand historical and cultural landmarks and sights within the area.
Many significant sites are related to the Decembrist’s exile. The city is also famous for the wooden architecture objects, stone buildings of different styles, and Siberian Baroque churches. The oldest extant wooden buildings outnumber all the largest Russian cities. The city comprises over 700 wooden landmarks.
Irkutsk Oblast (also known as Pribaikalie or Priangarie) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation, located in the Southern part of Siberian Federal District.
Irkutsk Oblast was in the thick of many historical events, including the construction of forts (ostrogs), the caravan trade route, the Decembrists exile, and the dramatic moments of the Russian Civil War.
The oblast is also known for its unique natural heritage, Baikal Lake and the Pribailaksy National Park, the Circum-Baikal Railway, and the ski resort Baikalsk. The population of the oblast is roughly estimated to be 2,5 million people and the area – 296487 miles (767900 kilometers). The Russians (90%), Buryats, and Ukrainians constitute the majority of the population.
The region has a severely continental climate. The average temperature during the cold period varies from -12 °C to -20 °C, yet, it does not stay low all the time. During the summer, the temperature starts from + 10°С and can go up to +37°С. The temperature in fall varies from +10° to 0°С. The freezing cold comes gradually, with the first snow at the end of September.
Check out the full list of the most interesting tours in Russian cities.