Baikal Museum of Wooden Architecture (Taltsy)
Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture is an unique storage of history and culture of the peoples of Eastern Siberia. This incredible open-air museum consists of several fabulous exhibit areas which hold interesting ethnographical collections and show life of the Siberians. The variety of amazing Siberian wooden izbas, churches, living houses and Buryat wooden yurts were brought together from different parts of Siberia. The museum is conveniently located in a picturesque place on the right bank of the beautiful Angara River on the way from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal. Taltsy museum is a highly valuable object of cultural heritage of of Russia.
When you enter the museum you enter a real Siberian village! Acres of forested land are filled with wooden structures replicating the buildings of historical Siberian villages, including houses, farmsteads, churches, and a school building. Visitors to the museum can walk the museum grounds, stopping in at each building to see tools, clothes, furniture, and other everyday objects from past centuries of Eastern Siberian village life. You'll see unique monuments of the Russian wooden architecture of the XVII - XIX centuries: the passing tower and the church of the Mother of God of Kazan from Ilimsky Burg (the exhibit of the 17th c), the parish school, farmsteads of peasants with plank bed, Russian oven and the "red corner" with icons in it. You can catch a glimpse of the famous Russian stove, known to all lovers of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and other masters of Russian literature as the warmest and most comfortable spot in the house.
Taltsy is an open-air museum of fantastic Siberian traditional architecture. Numerous old wooden buildings from villages in the Angara valley have been transported to the museum and reassembled there. Territory of the Museum is 67 hectares. It is composed of more than 40 historical and architectural monuments and 8000 exhibits of great historical value. The decision to build the museum was taken on January, 9, 1966. The first wooden buildings of the museum were moved from the flooded area of Ust-Ilimsk Reservoir. Having become a branch of the Irkutsk State United Museum, it received its first visitors in 1980.
The Museum attracts visitors not only with rich natural landscapes, but also with the possibility to get acquainted with material and spiritual culture of the peoples of the Baikal region - Russian, Buryat, and Evenki. Expositions of this fabulous museum tell about life and the peculiarities of life, customs and traditions of the peoples of the Baikal region in XIX-XX centuries. Original and majestic Siberian folk architecture attracts particular attention of tourists.
An unique potter and a birchbark crafts are recreated in the museum. Visitors of the museum can sculpture with their own hands a little clay "masterpiece" and take it away as a souvenir of the museum. A barrel house serving traditional Russian cuisine works on the territory of the museum. Convenient walkways lead visitors to exhibitions and places of recreation. A nice time with family and friends at the museum on the banks of the Angara will be remembered for a long time.
One of the centerpieces of the collection is a partial recreation of the 17th-century fortress of Ylimsk, which consists of the original Spasskaya Tower and the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. In early 2000s, exact modern copies of the southern wall and tower of the fortress were added. Perhaps one of the most unique things to see at Taltsy is the exhibit of Buryat yurts, featuring both a cloth yurt and a wooden yurt, inside of which is replicated the distinct men's and women's sides of the yurt, and the sleeping area and fire pit between them.
Everything is impressive here really! A yurt settlement is located behind the peasant village. In the middle of every yurt you see a hollow in the ground for the hearth. Here are the Buryat traditions, culture and way of living. The museum is located directly on the shore of the Angara River and is especially beautiful in mid September just when the leaves are changing color and beginning to fall. You'll also find tables selling Baikal souvenirs at the museum. Do you wish to ride a horse? Here you go - ladies can get in to an old lordly carriage and gentlemen are free to prance astride. But if you need conquer the heart of your beloved you have to climb the stilts. And one more attraction is Russian swing up to the sky! Traditional Russian national holidays are organized for many years in the museum. Mass festivals are held on Christmas, Saint Days (between Christmas and Epiphany), Shrovetide, Trinity, and a Holiday of Crafts.