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    Zima

Zima is a Russian town, the administrative center of the Zima District of the Irkutsk Region. It has the population of 31 936 people (as of 2013).

The city is located on the Irkutsko-Cheremkhovskoy Plain, on the Oka River (inflow of Angara), near the confluence of River Zima into it, where the Trans-Siberian Railway crosses the river, 251 km to the northwest of Irkutsk.

Zima takes the area of 53 sq km.

History of Zima

It was founded in 1743 as the village of Staraya (i.e.Old) Zima.

The Zima railway station was opened there in 1899 as part of construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. It was named after River Zima, the gydronym derived from the Buryat clan zeme that inhabited this area.

Timber industry was developed there from 1915, and a working settlement appeared soon, to turn into a town in 1922.

8 industrial enterprises were operating in Zima in the late 1940s.

In 1959 in connection with railroad electrification the station turned into large railway junction with a locomotive and train shed.

In the 1980s the population of Zima started to decrease due to construction of a chemical plant and the new town of Sayansk in the territory of the Zima District.

Architecture and Sights

Whitestone St. Nicholas Church built in 1884 and still working.

The Zima District boasts traditional wooden estates in the Burya Settlement and the 19th century estates in the Kimiltey Settlement.

Zima City is one of the oldest settlements in the Irkutsk region. The first settlement of Zima is mentioned in the documents of the first half of the eighteenth century. The settlement began to grow thanks to the Siberian Chain laid in the Angara region in the second half of the XVIII century.

When laying the Trans-Siberian Railway in the 1890s the village was a stronghold of the builders. Here they created a base for the construction of Railway Bridge across the Oka River, organized the harvesting and production of sleepers.

The first train arrived in Zima on the 6th of October, 1897, and with the start of regular traffic by the Trans-Siberian Railway near the village a station was opened: railway station, railway workshops with lathe shop, locomotive depot and water tower were built. Near the station a settlement of railway workers has grown.

Very soon Zima turned from the transit station into an exporter of the grain, and later of woods. In 1917 Zima became a city. Since 1980-ies the citizens of Zima started to leave to Sayansk. The crisis of the 1990s only accelerated the migration. Industrial enterprises of the city have been privatized and ruined (or rather, were looted by new owners). Now Zima has not any industrial and personnel potential and plays only the formal role of the regional center.



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Zima
  (Irkutsk Region)

Cities of the region

    Irkutsk
    Bratsk
    Angarsk
    Ust-Ilimsk
    Usolye-Sibirskoye
    Cheremkhovo
    Shelekhov
    Ust-Kut
    Tulun
    Sayansk
    Nizhneudinsk
    Tayshet


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