Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Russia)

By | June 30, 2022

According to biotionary.com, Yakutsk is the capital of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). This is one of the largest ports on the Lena River and the largest city located in the permafrost zone. The city stands on the left bank of the Lena River in the Tuymaada valley.

Yakutsk is one of the most ancient cities in Siberia. Its history begins in 1632, when on the right bank of the Lena River, a detachment of the centurion Peter Beketov founded the Yakut (Lensky) prison. It was located 70 km from the modern city and became the first fortification in the Lena River basin. In 1643, the prison was moved to the Tuymaada valley, received the status of a city and became known as Yakutsk. Over time, Yakutsk lost its defensive significance and turned into a major trading center. Various fairs were held here every year. In 1822 Yakutsk became a regional city. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Yakutsk was known as a place of residence for political exiles. In addition, Yakutsk was the starting point for Russian explorers to the East. The expeditions of Dezhnev, Khabarov, Polyakov, Bering and Krasheninnikov departed from here. In this regard, in 1913, a department of the Russian Geographical Society was formed in the city. Since 1991, Yakutsk has been the capital of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

The State United Museum of the History and Culture of the Peoples of the North named after E. Yaroslavsky operates in Yakutsk. This is one of the oldest museums in Siberia, founded in 1891. Here are natural-science, archaeological and ethnographic collections, collections of works of fine art, clothing, as well as photo and documentary materials on the history of the region. The museum has several branches located both in Yakutsk and throughout the republic. This is the memorial house-museum of M.K. Ammosov in Yakutsk, dedicated to the famous party leader who was born in Yakutia, the Yakut political exile memorial museum in the village of Cherkekh, Tattinsky district, p. Cherkekh, Verkhoyansk Regional Museum “Pole of Cold”, Local History Museum named after G.V. Ksenofontov in the city of Pokrovsk, Khangalassky Ulus, the Historical and Ethnographic Museum in the village of Namtsy, the Megino-Kangalassky Museum of Labor Glory, the Zyryansky Museum of the History of the Peoples of the North of Yakutia, the Tandinsky Historical and Revolutionary Museum named after I.P. Gotovtsev, the Olenyok Historical and Ethnographic Museum of the Peoples of the North, the Berdigestakh Museum of Military and Labor Glory and the Allaikh Museum of Tundra Nature and Hunting.

The mammoth museum is also interesting in Yakutsk. In ancient times, a large number of mammoths lived on the territory of modern Yakutia, and the permafrost preserved their remains. Today, Yakutia is one of the main regions in the world in terms of mammoth ivory finds. The museum tells about the times when these animals existed, there is a dummy of the remains of the baby mammoth “Dima”, which were discovered in the upper reaches of the Kolyma River in 1977. Now their original is exhibited in the St. Petersburg Zoological Museum. The first time after the discovery of the mammoth, he was kept in the Underground Laboratory of the Institute of Permafrost in Yakutsk. This laboratory is located at a depth of 12 m, where everyone is invited for educational excursions. Here visitors are told about the structure of frozen strata and about ancient vegetation.

Be sure to visit the National Museum of Art. Its collection includes objects of fine and folk arts and crafts of the republic, Russian art of the 18th – early 20th centuries, foreign art of the 16th – 20th centuries and fine art of the 20th century. The most valuable exhibits are bone items, drawings and engravings by V.R. Vasiliev and monographic collections of Yakut artists.

In addition, a museum of music and folklore of the peoples of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) has been opened in Yakutsk, which contains unique musical instruments and tells about the history of the development of folklore in Yakutia, and an international center for khomus and jew’s harp music of the peoples of the world. Khomus (vargan) is one of the most ancient and widespread musical instruments in Siberia. The center presents more than 400 different jew’s harp instruments from different parts of the world. Ritual songs are performed here for tourists.

Of the sights of the city, one can also single out “Shergin’s mine”. It was made in the permafrost in 1827-1837 by the industrialist Shergin as a source of water. Its depth is 116.6 m.

Not far from Yakutsk are Cape Kangalassky and Cape Tabaginsky, from where a beautiful view of the Lena River valley and the immediate surroundings opens. Cape Kangalassky is located below Yakutsk along the river. Opposite it, on the right bank of the Lena, there is a historical place where the Yakut prison was originally founded. Today, the Lensky Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve “Friendship” is located here. A wooden hipped tower of 1685 has been preserved from the prison to the present day, which can now be seen on the territory of the museum. The center of the museum is a copy of the ancient church of the Spassky Monastery, founded in 1663 near the Yakut prison. Around it, in the open air, samples of wooden architecture of the peoples of Yakutia were concentrated. The museum tells about the culture of local peoples, presents collections of Yakut wooden koumiss dishes, national clothes of the 19th and 20th centuries, women’s jewelry, Yakut saddles and ancient burial structures. The funds of the museum also contain paintings. Yakutsk is located ethnographic complex “Ytyk Khaya”, where all aspects of the life of the Yakuts are represented. It was opened by the local Atlasov family, which itself receives visitors and arranges performances for them. The main national holidays are celebrated here, and every winter there is an ice sculpture festival. Not far from Yakutsk, in the Bakaldyn ethnographic complex, the Evenk culture is represented, where the main entertainment is reindeer sledding. A great place to relax in the vicinity of Yakutsk is the Orto-Doidu tourist complex. There is a small wooden copy of the Yakut prison here and a lot of entertainment is offered.

Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Russia)