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Shira Lake
October 15, 2015 12:00


Shira is a very picturesque lake of impressive size: the lake stretches to ten kilometers in its length.

Shira (the accent is made on the second syllable, the name goes back to the Turkic root “sara” meaning “yellow”; and its ending is not changed in different cases) lies in the valley between the treeless hills, and even those who pass by will not forget the stunning beauty of the sunsets they saw above the lake. This is poetry, and if we talk about medicine, the healing factors of the Shira Resort are mineral water, brine, curative silt muds and the climate.

The water of the Shira Lake is rich in nutrients - magnesium sulfate, Glauber’s salt, bromine and sodium. Mineralization is stronger in the central part of the lake, and the brine (saturated “salt solution”) is used for bathing. There are springs under the lake, the mineral water “Shirinskaya” is extracted from them. The resort has a well-room. Mineral water improves the functions of the pancreas, seaweed wraps help to cope with the diseases of the skin and joints, and the folliculin hormone dissolved in local silt mud contributes to the fight against infertility.

As it is indicated in the Dictionary by Brockhaus and Efron, “the lake water is used for curing anemia, scrofula, English disease, chronic rheumatism, chronic catarrhs of the stomach and intestines, chronic catarrhs of the female genitalia, menstruation anomalies, general obesity, nerve diseases, male impotence, neuralgia, neurasthenia and chronic skin rashes”.

The Shira Lake is extremely transparent - you can find the evidence in the form of Artemia crustaceans who live only in pure water. The sloping shores with small pebbles are suitable for a beach holiday, and there are specially equipped places for swimming in compliance with all healthcare standards.


The first description of the Shira Lake was made by the famous traveler, Academician Peter Pallas who visited these places in 1770 and 1772. He wrote that “the Tatars called the lake Shira-Kul, it was a little salty” and called it curative.

The organizer of the first resort on the lake was, as we already mentioned, Zakhariy Tsibulskiy, the Tomsk gold industry entrepreneur. After a miraculous rescue of his dog and his own cure he rented the lake for a ridiculous price even for those times - 3 roubles a year, put the tents for living and huts for changing clothes, as well as opened a dancing Kursaal with a wine buffet.

When horse-drawn carriages with vacationers began to come here, the landlord charged a fee - 1 rouble per person for a season, and it was a serious amount. And the things got rolling, the resort began to bring substantial profits. In 1897 the village of Zhemchuzhny was founded. The Shira Lake was transferred to the Office of State Property, and the resort hired doctors. There were a total 71 residential buildings at the lake those days. In 1917 the resort almost did not work due to the lack of funds, and during the Civil War it became really abandoned. Taking into account the urgent need for medical institutions, the healthcare department of Minusinsky Council decided to consider the possibility of opening the resort already at its second meeting in 1920.

In the season of 1920 the resort was visited by 1644 people. The Shira Resort was the largest in Siberia by the beginning of World War II. In August 1941 the year-round rearward hospital No. 2511 started working in Zhemchuzhny. In 1950 the Shira Resort was transferred to the Main Directorate of Resorts, Health Resorts and Vacation Hotels of the Ministry of Health of RSFSR.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

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