I took a trip to the Taltsy museum which has buildings dating back to early settlements in the 17th century. It has an extensive collection of buildings including a Kremlin (Fortress), Church, various farm houses, school, prison, government buildings and many of the settlers homes. It is a fascinating insight into old Russian / Siberian rural life of the 17-19 centuries. The museum complex is divided into three sectors. One of them is devoted to traditional structures of Buryat people who inhabited the Irkutsk territory to the west of Baikal. The largest sector displays the log structures from the Ilim area erected by Cossacks in the 17th-century. Finally, located in a grove, the smallest sector is dedicated to the indigenous nomadic Evenk people, which is believed to be the most ancient population that lived in the area.
I started off outside the village and was able to see how people from the 17th century lives in Siberia.
Next I moved into the village and saw some of the amazing architecture that they had.
The churches were incredible and really stood out among the other buildings.
One thing that stood out to me was how accepting they were of cats. They had built ways for cats to enter their buildings in order to keep them free from rodents.
The cats were everywhere.
While I was there I was able to watch a Evenk celebration.
Inside the homes, it was setup to that everyone could see how life was on a day to day basis.
The men and women’s side of the house are separated.
Here is where they would filter goats milk to create alcohol. I was eager to try it, but it was not available.
This village is located right on the edge of the Angara river about 20 kilometers before Lake Baikal with beautiful views.
I then went to check out the schools.
The school houses also had living quarters for the teachers.
I also got to see some of the weapons used at that time.
Afterwards, I left the Taltsy Museum to visit the Limnological museum. As disheartening as it was to see the Nerpa (Baikal Seal) in a cage, they are adorable.
After seeing everything in the museum, I headed up to a high point on the mountain behind the museum and got some amazing views of the area.
Then the fog came in.
On my way back home, I noticed an archery range.
It was a great learning experience, to see how the people of the 17th -19th century lived in Siberia. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who travels to Irkutsk.
See you soon!