Irkutsk (also spelled Irkuck) is the administrative center and capital of Irkutsk oblast of Russia situated about 5,200 km east of Moscow on the Angara River. Baikal Lake is located near the city (about 70 km).
Irkutsk population is about 600,000 (2012).
The phone code is +7 3952, postal codes are 664000-664xxx.
Irkutsk was founded in 1652. That time it was a small settlement playing the role of gold and fur trade center. The settlement received town status in 1686. Later, in 1760, the Siberian Road connected Irkutsk with the European part of Russia. It was the reason of Irkutsk town further economic growth (Russian trade center with China).
From the beginning of the 19th century, Siberia region in general and Irkutsk town became the place where a lot of Russian officers and nobles were exiled for taking part in Decembrist revolt against the Tsar.
One third of Irkutsk population was from exiled men at the end of the 19th century. That’s why the city became the cultural and educational center of Siberia region.
The electricity came to Irkutsk in 1896, first theater - in 1897, and railway station - in 1898. Irkutsk had the nickname “Siberian Paris” at the beginning of the 20th century. The city was one of the centers of Bolshevik Revolution resistance during the Russian Civil War. The city and surrounding territories were heavily industrialized during the Soviet period.
Irkutsk streets views
There is cascade hydro power station in Irkutsk city area built in 1950-1958. The largest industrial enterprise of the city is Irkut company. The company is known for manufacturing Su-30 jet fighters. Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter of Rusal company is also situated in the city.
Irkutsk coat of arms features Siberian tiger with a sable in his mouth. The origin of this emblem goes from the Siberia Khanate being the main source of sable fur in the Middle Ages. Also it should be mentioned that English word “sable” is derived from Russian word “sobol”.
The city is an important transportation junction of the region. Trans-Siberian Railway and federal highway to Vladivostok are going through the city. There are two airports in the city: Irkutsk International Airport and Irkutsk Northwest Airport.
Irkutsk is home city for Siberian branch of Academy of Sciences of Russia. There are nine research institutes in Academgorodok suburb of the city.