Reliving the past   Leave a comment

We spent a couple of days in Irkutsk before travelling to Lake Baikal.  We found a great sushi bar at prices significantly cheaper than Moscow and booked our train from Vladivostok into China.  It’s a busy open city with a huge market.  Its main feature is its wooden houses.  According to Wikipedia

“The cities main claim to fame dates back to the early 19th century when many Russian artists, officers, and nobles were sent into exile to Siberia for their part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I. Irkutsk became the major centre of intellectual and social life for these exiles, and much of the city’s cultural heritage comes from them; many of their wooden houses, adorned with ornate, hand-carved decorations, survive today in stark contrast with the standard Soviet apartment blocks that surround them.

By the end of the 19th century there was one exiled man per two locals. Different people from the members of the Decemberists’ uprising to Bolsheviks have been staying in Irkutsk for a long time. These people have greatly influenced the culture and the development of the city and it has finally became a prosperous cultural and educational centre for Eastern Siberia.”

It was quite nice reliving my old day job and photographing the wooden  houses. Pretty as the houses were in Matlock….they never looked like this!

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at

Stefan Palmer


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