Bratsk is located in the southwest of Irkutsk oblast in the central part of Angarsky mountain-ridge, on the bank of Bratsk water reservoir. The city was formed in 1956 due to the construction of Bratsk hydro power station, to the north of an ancient settlement of Bratsk which itself was founded in 1631 as a jail.
Nowadays Bratsk is one of the largest industrial centers in Irkutskaya region and Eastern Siberia.
Bratsk population is about 244,000 (2012), land area - 428 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 3953; postal codes - 665700-665783.
Bratsk was formed from several settlements and at present consists of several districts located at a long distance from each other. According to the general plan of 1958-1961, several zones were formed: industrial one, one for living and the recreation one, the House of Soviets, cinemas and other buildings were built.
The districts where people live are formed around preserved taiga parts and have schools and institutions for children.
In spite the fact that Bratsk is located in severe climatic conditions, outside the zone of intensive assimilation of Eastern Siberia, its economic and geographical location is favorable enough.
It is characterized by developed infrastructure (transit railway (Baikal-Amur railway), highways, lines of electricity transmission, an international airport, high resource potential (the largest industrial city in Irkutsk region, electricity resources of Bratsk power station, unlimited water resources, navigable and timber-rafting ways and so on).
Bratsk is an important base for assimilation of northern parts of Eastern Siberia and the Far East.
The climate of the territory is of continental type. Winters are dry and frosty, summers hot and dry in June, rainy in July and August. Average temperature in January is 24 degrees C below zero and average temperature in July is 18-19 degrees C above zero.
Bratsk hydropower station
In 1631, a group of 40 Cossacks headed by Panteley Demidov Penda founded a small fortress on the river Angara in the mouth of the river Oka and called it Bratsky ostrog. The name is derived by assimilating “Buryaty” (local native people) into “braty”, that is “bratya” (brothers).
When the fortress lost its military importance the settlement received the name Bratsko-Ostrozhnoye, sometimes simply Bratskoye, later Bratsk. The city was formed due to the construction of Bratsk power station to the north of the settlement Bratsk which was flooded by waters of Bratsk reservoir.
On July 15th, 1955, the construction of Bratsk hydro power station and the city of Bratsk was announced as an All-Union construction. On July 26th, 1961, Bratsk reservoir began to be filled with water, September 1st, 1961, is considered the date of the Bratsk Sea coming into being.
Due to forming Bratsk water reservoir, the settlement Bratsk was transferred to a new place. In 1955, it was united with some other settlements and reformed into the city of Bratsk on December 12th, 1955.
Bratsk is one of the main economic centers of Irkutskaya region with such industries as follows: metallurgy; pulp, timber mass and carton producing; timber processing and wood working; chemical and food industries.
An important part in the city economics is played by private gold miners on the Angara tributaries as well as by pearl divers in the river Oka, Dunaisky Bay area. These two trades bring no less than 15% of income into the city treasury. There is no gold-processing industry in the city.
Among the museums of Bratsk are architectural and ethnographical open-air museum “Angarskaya village”; Bratsky united city museum of Angara assimilation history; Bratsk art exhibition hall.