Listvyanka

Irkutskiy rayon, Siberian Federal District, Russia; Slyudyanskiy rayon, Siberian Federal District, Russia
Est. 50.6km / 1 hr 43 mins / Map

Listvyanka - Cya On The Road

Anton Chekhov made the best advertisement of Lake Baikal as early as the end of the 19th century. The writer was on a very challenging journey to Sakhalin and Listvyanichnaya station (the former name of Listvyanka) was a point on its trip. He was amazed at the beauty of Baikal, he even compared it with Switzerland and his favorite Yalta. Listvyanka reminds some southern cities during summer. Seagulls fly over the waves of the lake, boats, speedboats, and yachts are roaming the port, and tourists wander lazily along the shore. In winter people come here to skate on the lake ice and to marvel at its beauty and transparency. There are ice sculpture festivals and sports contests in Listvyanka. Tourists come here all year round because Listvyanka is accessible from Irkutsk. It is situated at just 66 km and the road is very good. Just drive this 66 km on asphalt road and you are on the shores of the purest and deepest lake in the world. Remarkably, the first asphalt appeared on this road because people expected Dwight Eisenhower visit to Listvyanka in 1960. The American president, however, did not come. But the road appeared. This led to the development of tourism in Listvyanka. Fidel Castro was in Listvyanka, he went fishing, visited the museum, and was presented with a bear cub that was named Baikal. Castro took the cub to Cuba. Vladimir Vysotsky visited Listvyanka as well. He came to Irkutsk in the middle of the 1970s. It is unwise to come to Irkutsk and not visit Baikal.Listvyanka has a long and colorful history. Russian pioneers came to the beginning of the Angara River in the middle of the 17th century. Later a path to Zabaikal’e and China went through those places. The famous “tea way” that was used to get various wonders from China to Europe came through that place too. Thanks to the merchants, coaching inns appeared here, a post office station was founded. In the middle of the 19th century, the Customs appeared at the station. An unusual turn happened during the Circum Baikal railroad construction. Listvyanka had a shipyard that was used for collecting the ferries that transported railroad carriages on Baikal. However, in the 1950s Listvyanka had just one road with traditional Siberian houses. In the middle of the 20s century, the houses appeared chaotically and they were all different in style, which led to today’s colorful and eclectic appearance of Listvyanka.  Listvyanka was, for most of its history, a very important port on Baikal. To witness this role of the village now, you have to take a hovercraft that goes along the Angara to Baikal. You will see the beauty of the Pribaikalye mountains along the way.

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