Yakutsk is a city in Russia, the capital of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), a port on the Lena River. It is the largest and the oldest city in Yakutia, one of the oldest cities in Siberia.
Yakutsk is an administrative, cultural, financial, and scientific center of the north-east Russia, the third city of the Far Eastern Federal District in terms of population (after Vladivostok and Khabarovsk).
The population of Yakutsk is about 304,000 (2015), the area - 122 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 4112, the postal codes - 677000-677911.
In September 1632, a small group of Russian military men under the command of the Yenisei Cossack Pyotr Beketov built Lensky ostrog (fort) on the right bank of the Lena River, on the land of Namsky Yakuts, about 70 km down the river from the present location of Yakutsk.
Soon it became clear that the place, where the fort was built, was flooded in spring. After a long search, it was moved to another location upstream - the left bank of the Lena River, in the vicinity of Lake Saysary. In 1643, the fort was renamed in Yakutsk.
More Historical Facts…
Since that time, Yakutsk gradually developed as a typical military-administrative and commercial center of Eastern Siberia. Geographical location of Yakutsk played a crucial role in its development. Located in the central part of the region, the town was at the junction of waterways, land routes and was connected with other regions of the North and Far East Russia.
Yakutsk became a major administrative, economic and later - a cultural center. Since the middle of the 17th century, Yakutia as well as the whole of Siberia was used a place of exile. It was rightly called a “prison without bars”.
In the 18th century, this town was the starting point from which the expeditions of the famous Russian explorers started (Mikhail Stadukhin, Semyon Dezhnev, Vladimir Atlasov, Ivan Moskvitin, Vasily Poyarkov, Yerofey Khabarov).
In 1851, Yakutia received the status of a separate region with Yakutsk as its capital city. The economic development of Yakutsk originates from the industrial development of Yakutia in the late 19th - early 20th centuries, in particular gold mining. At that time the town became an industrial center of the region.
Especially active development of Yakutsk was due to the work of the governor I.I.Kraft (1907-1913) - a power station, telephone station, museum, department of the Imperial Geographical Society were opened. Socio-economic development of the region determined the status of Yakutsk - it became not only an economic, but also an administrative, political, cultural, and scientific center of the entire Russian Far East.
In 1922-1991, Yakutsk was an administrative center of Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Since 1991, it is the capital of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
Everyday life in spite of the frost in Yakutsk
Yakutsk is a city with one of the most contrasting temperature conditions in the world. It is the largest city located in the permafrost zone. The climate is of sharp continental type. Summers are moderately warm, winters are long (from November to March) and very cold. The average temperature in July is plus 19.5 degrees Celsius, in January - minus 38.6 degrees Celsius.
In summer, there is a long period of “white nights”, and in winter (December) - daylight lasts only 3-4 hours. Ethnic composition according to the 2002 census: Russians - 46,1%, Yakuts - 42.4%. Yakutsk celebrates the City Day on the second Sunday in September.
This city, being an administrative and cultural center of the region, doesn’t have developed industry. Yakutsk is located on the left bank of the Lena River. Due to the fact that the city is not connected with the “mainland” by railway, the main cargo turnover passes through the river port. Urban and suburban passenger transport is represented by buses.
It is not an easy task to reach Yakutsk by car: the federal highway A360 M56 “Lena” ends in the settlement of Nizhny Bestyah, located on the right bank of the Lena, opposite Yakutsk. Connection with Yakutsk is as follows: in summer - by ferry, in winter (December-April) - across the ice-covered river, when ice is drifting - only by air.
Yakutsk International Airport is used for domestic and foreign flights. The airport offers regular flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Chita, Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk, Sochi, Seoul (South Korea), Beijing (China) and other cities.
Yakutsk modern architecture
Lenin monument in Yakutsk
Yakutsk places of interest
“The Old Town” - a historical and architectural quarter with houses of the old Yakutsk: “Kruzhalo” marketplace, a building of the Russian-Asian Bank, Gradoyakutskaya Transfiguration Church, a tower of the fort founded by Pyotr Beketov (a masterpiece of Russian wooden architecture, a symbol of Yakutsk depicted on Yakutsk flag) and others. Most of the wooden houses are newly built copies of the half destroyed, burnt or dismantled ones.
The Kingdom of Permafrost - one of the main attractions of the city located in the suburbs of Yakutsk in the former natural refrigerators. Inside you can find a thematic exhibition of ice. It is a great place to get acquainted with the culture, lifestyle and fairytale characters.
Shergin Mine - a research well of the 19th century, which is over 100 meters deep.
Yakutsk museums and galleries
- Yakutsk Museum of History and Culture of Northern Peoples (Lenina Avenue, 5/2),
- Mammoth Museum (Kulakovskogo Street, 48),
- National Art Museum of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) (Kirova Street, 9),
- Museum of Music and Folklore of Peoples of Yakutia (Kirova Street, 10),
- Exhibition “Treasury of The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)” (Kirova Street, 12),
- Museum of History of Studying of Permafrost (Merzlotnaya Street, 36),
- Museum and Center of The Khomus of The People of The World (Kirova Street, 31),
- International Center for Jaw Harp Music (Kirova Street, 33),
- Numismatic Museum in North-Eastern Federal University named after M.K. Ammosov (Belinskogo Street, 58),
- Literary Museum named after P.A. Oiunsky (Oktyabrskaya Street, 10),
- House-Museum “The History of Political Exile in Yakutia” (Yaroslavskogo Street, 5),
- Museum of Archaeology, Ethnography and High School (Kulakovskogo Street, 48),
- Academician Afanasy Osipov’s Art Gallery (Khabarova Street, 27),
- Foreign Art Gallery (Petrovskogo Street, 4).
- Sakha Academic Theater named after P.A. Oiunsky (Ordzhonikidze Street, 1),
- State Academic Russian Drama Theater named after A.S. Pushkin (Lenina Avenue, 21),
- State Opera and Ballet Theater (Lenina Avenue, 46),
- State Variety Theater (Dezhneva Street, 26),
- State Youth Theater (Kirova Street, 25),
- National Dance Theater of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Poyarkova Street, 4),
- State Circus (Poyarkova Street, 22).