Irkutsk : Explore the Bright and Vivid Architectural Jewels

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Irkutsk : Explore the Bright and Vivid Architectural Jewels

The city of Irkutsk is located on the banks of Angara River in the Eastern Siberia of Russia. The city is lined with gorgeous and baroque architecture, cathedrals and domes that bring to life the neo-classical architectures. It is one of the major tourist places in Russia with its distinctive domestic and traditional architectures leaving a trail of its historical presence. The city has charmed many tourists and Lake Baikal is one of the major attractions. The traditional Siberian streets and walking tours along with quaint cafes light up the mood. Here are the best places to visit in Irkutsk.

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Irkutsk : Explore the Bright and Vivid Architectural Jewels

1. Savior Church

The church is located in the heart of the city and is the oldest church that is built from stone. It is located in Eastern Siberia and was constructed in the year 1706. The façade of the church still bears the murals from the original construction. The master architecture of the church was Moisei Dolgikh and it is one of the oldest masonry structures of the city. The church has golden colored dome like structure on it along with a bell tower added in the year 1758 – 62. The church has a massive tower overlooking the altars. However, the church was closed in 1931 and after restoration it was converted in 1982 as Irkutsk Regional History Museum. In 2006, it was again converted as worship place.

2. Bogoyavlensky Cathedral

Photo by Ovchinnikova Irina/

The cathedral also known as Epiphany was built in the year 1693 and was initially constructed on Lower Quay on the banks of Angara River. However, the church was burnt in 1716 and was reconstructed in 1729. The Siberian influenced baroque cathedral reflects an impressive design and boasts of a stone façade. The façade is covered in pictures of saints along with red ornamental tiles. The tower bell is designed in Neo-classical style and church in Siberian architectural style. The interior is done with around 300 spectacular mosaic tiles making it gorgeous.

3. Monument of Alexander III

The monument is a tribute to the Russian Emperor Alexander III which is located on the shore of the Angara River. It is surrounded by surreal and mesmerizing view with its center point in the middle of the park. It is in fact one of the most important monument of the Trans-Siberian railways holding as tribute to the amazing work done by the builders. It is to honor the decision of Alexander III for his decision of building the Trans-Siberian railway and was unveiled for first time on 30th August in the year 1908.

4. Lake Baikal

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It is indeed one of the deepest lakes in the world and is the 7th largest lake in terms of surface area. It is extremely clean and is one of the oldest lakes dating back to around 25 to 30 million years. It has a typical crescent shape with huge surface area and was declared as UNESCO heritage site in the year 1996. The world’s deepest lake is also known as Galapagos of Russia and its age makes it one of the richest in terms of flora and fauna.

5. Znamenskiy Zhenskiy Monastry

The 17th century monastery stands on a roundabout and was built in the year 1762. The mellifluous hymn and the ornate interiors with gorgeous murals, towering structures and intricately detailed sarcophagus make the monastery unique. It is an important spiritual center of the city and is surrounded by carvings of many historical figures. The decorations are intricately done with impressive paintings on the wall. It is slightly offbeat and separated due to its location on the stranded roundabouts. It also has a beautiful garden with gorgeous flowers blooming along.

6. Kirov Square

Photo by Maykova Galina/

Kirov Square is located on the right bank district of the city and is considered to be the historic center between Lenin and Sukhe-Bator streets. It is one of the oldest squares with a history of around 300 years. The square was developed after the former shopping complex was burnt down and it was renamed as Kirov Square in the year 1935. It is a popular hangout place for students, tourists and locals with its close vicinity to the Irkutsk State Linguistic University. It is lined with shopping complex, café and great place to chill out.

7. Volkonsky House Museum

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The museum is home to display of many unique artifacts and artwork. It is a white two story wooden building that belonged to Decembrist Count Sergei Volkonsky who was a social worker in Russia. The house was renovated in the year 1980s and converted into a museum which tells the story of the exile of the family in the city. Volkonsky was denied his return to his home in Western Russia as he was a member of Decembrists and participated majorly in political reformations. The visitors can attend to local concerts and musical shows and explore the house.

8. Sukachev Regional Art Museum

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The regional art museum is named after prolific public figure from 19th century V.P Sukachev. He was a patron of arts and the museum started with his collection of display. The museum is a permanent collection of art and memorial that reflects the life and work of Sukachev. There are number of exciting and intriguing collection that includes small monuments of Paleolithic art, religious paintings of Tibetian Buddhist, gorgeous and intricately details sculptures dating from the 15th and 16th century, etc. The museum also has work from eminent Russian artists from 18th to 20th centuries and European artists ranging from 17th to 19th centuries.

9. Kazan Church

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The fairytale and absolutely stunning cathedral is one of the most phenomenal architectures that took nearly 7 years to be completed. The brick red façade and duck egg blue domes makes it aesthetically pleasing. It boasts of the Byzantine style work and interiors and looks no less than a castle. It has the largest church bell of the city and the interiors are decorated with marvelous painting and murals. An iconostasis is brilliantly carved on granite with help of amazing Chinese craftsmanship.

10. 130 Kvartal

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This place is definitely going to take you back in time with a mellow rendezvous with history. As you take a walk along the restoration project which basically consists of traditional Siberian wooden houses built in the 18th and 19th century, it reminds of the bygone centuries. The street is lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, souvenir shops etc. It is along the banks of the Angara River and is a popular site for sightseeing. It is indeed one of the most impressive timber based Siberian architecture and is a pleasant place to hang out.


The city of Irkutsk is ever charming and a gorgeous Siberian getaway with phenomenal architectures and buildings. The architectural bliss and the brightly colored cathedrals, alleys and lanes makes it an amazing modern yet historical essence to embrace.