SIBERIA'S FORGOTTEN CITY

NEWS & VIEWS FROM THE RAILS

TRANS-SIBERIAN DESTINATION KRASNOYARSK

One of the lesser know destinations available for Trans-Siberian Tours is a stopover in the city of Krasnoyarsk. It is however the third largest city in Siberia. Situated on both banks of the Yensei River it differs from most Siberian cities by having mountainous surroundings instead of the usual flatness of most settlements in Siberia.

Krasnoyarsk Stolby Nature Reserve

These natural landscapes are probably one of the main reasons to take in Krasnoyarsk on any trip on the Trans-Siberian with Stolby Nature Reserve being perhaps the main attraction. In fact the famous author Anton Chekhov believed Krasnoyarsk to be the most beautiful city in Siberia and it would be hard to disagree. The towers of Volcanic rock that protrude from the ground give the Stolby Nature Reserve its name. They rise above the trees in the woods found in the 17,000 hectare Reserve. If you are hiking here between May and July then some form of protection or pre trip jabs are required against encephalitis which is carried in ticks in the Reserve.

The city itself was founded in 1628 and continued to grow gaining the name Krasnoyarsk in 1822. It continued to grow, becoming an industrial centre processing aluminum and other metals. Under Stalin it became a place you’d rather avoid as a major centre of the Gulag system.
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Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Dam

Krasnoyarsk also has the world’s 5th largest Hydroelectric Dam which has made it’s way on to the back of the Russian 10-ruble note due to it’s significance to the area. It’s created a 2,00 square kilometre reservoir known as the Krasnoyarsk Sea. Such is the dams effect on the local climate that the river now doesn’t freeze despite the harsh Siberian winter found here in the centre of Siberia.

Architecture of Krasnoyarsk

The architecture of Krasnoyarsk is also worth taking in with several historical buildings of significance that are worth a visit. The oldest of these buildings is the Intercession Cathedral built in 1785 and refurbished in the late 1970’s. There are also several of the Russian Orthodox cathedrals that are of note such as the Annunciation Cathedral, the Holy Trinity Cathedral and the John the Baptist Church.

The bridge that takes the Trans-Siberian across the Yensei river was built at the end of the 19th Century and was one of the longest of its kind on completion.

All in all Krasnoyarsk is well worth a stop off on any Trans-Siberian tour simply to take in the wonderful landscape and especially the Stolby Nature Reserve. It is truly an area of outstanding beauty and with fantastic hiking opportunities as well. This all coupled with its convenient location on the trans-Siberian route make this a must for any traveller who likes to get active and go walking in one the world’s unique hiking environments.

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