Escorted Rail Tours to Irkutsk
Home to the exiled Decembrists
Irkutsk is one of largest and best-known cities in Siberia. It takes its name from the nearby Irkut River, which meets the mighty, 1,640-feet-wide (580 metres) Angara River close to the city. Surrounded by dense forest lands, Irkutsk was founded in 1661 as a fort to colonise lands stretching right through Siberia to Alaska. Though little is known about the place from that time, it gained notoriety in the early 19th century, when many Russian nobles, artists and officers were sent into exile in the city for taking part in the Decembrist revolt against Tsar Nicholas I.