Filming in Russia: Irkutsk Region

Irkutsk Region is one of the most important areas of Eastern Siberia Political, famous all over the world for its Lake Baikal.

Filming in Irkutsk Region: Geography and Climate

Irkutsk region has a total area of 768,000 km² (477,000 mi²), which makes it the size of Turkey.

The climate is extremely continental. This means quite short summers and the famous never-ending, cold and snowy winters. The average temperature is about -25˚C (-13˚F) in the winter and 17˚C (62.6˚F) in the summer. In the areas adjacent to Lake Baikal, the climate is softer.

Baikal is the world's deepest fresh water lake and the biggest fresh water reservoir in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage site can be as deep as one mile and stretches for over 600 km (400 miles) from north to south.

Filming in Irkutsk Region: Nature

Lake Baikal has shaped a unique ecosystem with great biodiversity. The region has three times more mammal species than the whole Ireland.

Baikal is home to one of three freswater seal species in the world -- the Baikal seal.

Over 70% of the region is covered in coniferous forests.

Filming in Irkutsk Region: History and Culture

Before Russia started to colonize the area, it was populated by the Buryats and other various Mongolic tribes.

In 1818, Irkutsk became the official capital of Eastern Siberia. The region was an important Russian industrial and trade powerhouse. It's still a key point of the Transsiberian railroad.

Although the Soviet government destroyed most pre-existing capitalist economic activity in the area, it established important industrial infrastructure. During the WWII, Irkutsk region contributed huge amounts of goods to the front, becoming one of the pillars of the war economy. The area is particularly famous for its gigantic hydroelectric power plants.

Filming in Irkutsk Region: Population

The total population of the region is 2.4 million people. The indigenous population is mostly presented by the Buryats, who have lived there for over 2500 years. Russians are the majority with 90% of the population.

Filming in Irkutsk Region: Cities

The biggest city and the capital is Irkutsk, founded in 1661. It's one of the largest cities of Eastern Siberia and the Far East with the population of 600,000 people.

The second biggest city is Angarsk with 226,000 residents. Angarsk is also known for one of the longest industrial lines in Asia that stretches for over 30 km.

Filming in Irkutsk Region: How to Get

Irkutsk airport operates flights from China, South Korea, Thailand and main Russian cities.

The distance from Irkutsk to Moscow is over 5,000 km. The flight takes five and a half hours.  

Filming in Irkutsk Region: Interesting facts

  • Irkutsk is the largest region in Russia that with no connection to the ocean;
  • The largest reservoir of deep-well water in the world with the total area of over 3,000 km² is located in Irkutsk region;
  • The biggest artificial water reservoir in the world was formed during the construction of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station;
  • Former Russian Empire admiral and anti-Bolshevik leader Alexander Kolchak relocated to Irkutsk during the Russian Civil War. He was shot dead by a firing squad and then drowned in 1920;
  • Olkhon is the biggest and the most renowned for its beauty island in Lake Baikal. It's the only populated island in the giant lake.
  • Irkutsk has a lot of 18th- and 19th-century buildings reminding of its past as an important trade center;
  • In 1960, a fountain was installed on Kirov Square in order to prepare for a visit of President Dwight Eisenhower. He never came because of a Soviet spy plane scandal;
  • If you divide all the water in Lake Baikal to the number of Russian population (over 143 million), every Russian will get 2,773 railroad tanker cars with 60 tons of water each.
  • According to a report by The Guardian, China plans to pump water out of Baikal to help its drought-stricken regions;
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Tunnel at Circum-Baikal Railway

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Morning on Northern Baikal

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Cyclists on the Circum-Baikal Railway

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Tunnels of Circum-Baikal Railway

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Tourists at Circum-Baikal Railway

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Old railway bridge on Circum-Baikal Railway

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Hiking on the frozen Baikal

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Road to Olkhon Island, Baikal

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Olkhon Island in the winter

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Old frozen boats on the bank of Olkhon island, Baikal

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Shaman on Olkhon Island, Baikal

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Old barracks on Circum-Baikal Railway

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Winter fishing on the frozen Lake Baikal

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Sunset on Baikal in the winter

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Butte (hill) in Irkutsk Region

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Bank of Lena river

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Sunset over blocks of ice on Baikal

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Irkutsk Railway Terminal panorama

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Irkutsk

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Center of Irkutsk

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Historic building in Irkutsk

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Irkutsk Regional Library building

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Cathedral of the Epiphany in Irkutsk

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Facade of an old house in Central Irkutsk

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Historical wooden house in Irkutsk

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Irkutsk city administration building

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Irkutsk in the winter

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Old wooden house in Irkutsk

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Old wooden house with a mezzanine in central Irkutsk

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Old Irkutsk wooden house in the winter

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Wooden house in Irkutsk

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Two-storey wooden house with carved ornaments in Irkutsk

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Old wooden fortification and church

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Church in Bolshoye Goloustnoye village

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Museum of Decembrists
Decembrists are participants of an armed uprising against the Russian Emperor, suppressed in 1825. Hundreds of Decabrists were sent to Siberia

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Summer landscape in Irkutsk Region

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Railroad station on Circum-Baikal Railway

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Traditional Russian village house in Irkutsk region

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Yakut men on an ethnic festival on Baikal

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Tunnel at Circum-Baikal Railway

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Morning on Northern Baikal

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Cyclists on the Circum-Baikal Railway

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Tunnels of Circum-Baikal Railway

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Tourists at Circum-Baikal Railway

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Old railway bridge on Circum-Baikal Railway

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Hiking on the frozen Baikal

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Road to Olkhon Island, Baikal

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Olkhon Island in the winter

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Old frozen boats on the bank of Olkhon island, Baikal

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Shaman on Olkhon Island, Baikal

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Old barracks on Circum-Baikal Railway

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Winter fishing on the frozen Lake Baikal

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Sunset on Baikal in the winter

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Butte (hill) in Irkutsk Region

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Bank of Lena river

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Sunset over blocks of ice on Baikal

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Irkutsk Railway Terminal panorama

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Irkutsk

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Center of Irkutsk

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Historic building in Irkutsk

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Irkutsk Regional Library building

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Cathedral of the Epiphany in Irkutsk

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Facade of an old house in Central Irkutsk

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Historical wooden house in Irkutsk

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Irkutsk city administration building

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Irkutsk in the winter

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Old wooden house in Irkutsk

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Old wooden house with a mezzanine in central Irkutsk

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Old Irkutsk wooden house in the winter

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Wooden house in Irkutsk

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Two-storey wooden house with carved ornaments in Irkutsk

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Old wooden fortification and church

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Church in Bolshoye Goloustnoye village

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Museum of Decembrists
Decembrists are participants of an armed uprising against the Russian Emperor, suppressed in 1825. Hundreds of Decabrists were sent to Siberia

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Summer landscape in Irkutsk Region

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Railroad station on Circum-Baikal Railway

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Traditional Russian village house in Irkutsk region

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Yakut men on an ethnic festival on Baikal