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    Irkutsk Region

With the cultural heritage of its aristocratic exiles, the Asian influence of nearby Mongolia and China and the easy accessibility of the Lake Baikal, Irkutsk is one of the most appealing cities in Russia. Certainly, the biggest attraction in Irkutsk is Lake Baikal, which is near enough for a day trip. The lake is world famous for its pure cold waters, unique flora and fauna and unforgettable views of the biggest water body in the continent. There are also nature reserves around the lake, which total more than a million hectares. In 1996, UNESCO declared the lake and its surrounding basin to be a National World Heritage Site.

Moreover, the city of Irkutsk is worth visiting as well. The city has a number of old churches, museums and other historic buildings.

Irkutsk Region has a population of 2,786,200 people. The population density is 3,4 persons per sq km (while average figures for Russia is 8,7 persons per sq km). Among the major nationalities are the Russians - 88,5% , the Ukrainians -3,4%, the Buryats - 2,7%. The smallest ethnic group is the Tofy (630 persons that live in eastern Sayan). Irkutsk Region is divided into 33 regions and has 22 cities. Among the largest cities are the following:

Irkutsk (1661) - 591,100 people, capital of Irkutsk Region;

Bratsk (1955) 281,000 people, Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station;

Angarsk (1951) - 272,400 people, Angarsk Petrochemical Company;

Ust-Ilimsk (1973) - 108,900 people, Ust-Ilimsk Hydroelectric Power Station.

Tags: Russian tourism Russian regions Irkutsk region Russian history  



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