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Barguzinsky district

Source:  Tourist Buryatia. - 2009. - . 97-103.

The history of the district's dates back to the time of appearance of the most ancient inhabitants here ‑ Barguts or Khorchida-Mongols. They formed the union of ancient Mongol tribes, who later removed to Inner Mongolia. This fact is proved by some archeological findin gs. Besides, people's memory preserves the legends about Barguzin Buryats, according to which Barguzin was the place, where Chingis Khan kept moving, the legendary ancestor of Mongols ‑ Borto-Chino lived here.

The joining of Transbaikalia to Russia began from the north and west soon after the appearance of the first peoples on the shore of lake Baikal. The permanent settlement of Russians in Barguzin valley dates back to the first quarter of the 18th century. By the way totally today there live 41 thousand people, and the density of population is low: from 0,9 to 1,8 people per  square km.

It's necessary to say that the nomadic way of living of local people ‑ Evenki at that time didn 't allow them to provide their domestic systematically and when Russians came to Baikal, its main form was hunting. Together with of Buryats and Russians to Barguzin in the result of their agricultural and cultural relations their developed cattle breeding. Traditions have been alive. The peculiarities of nature and climatic conditions and existence of have been contributing to development of breeding till now, mainly cattle breeding and sheep breeding. Rich natural resources let them develop industry, mostly agricultural and fish products. Besides, wood and are also developed in the district.

Barguzin valley is rich in mineral resources, flora, fur and fish supplies, as well as in archeological, historical relics and natural monuments. The peculiar of the valley saves it from cold north and Baikal winds, gardens grow well here.

All this speaks for the fact that the district has high potential for development of hunting and mountainous tundra, dark and light fur trees, numerous lakes ‑ places of inhabitance of animals, which are allowed to be hunted: deer, Manchurian deer, roe deer, musk deer, sable, squirrel. In autumn hunters being in sportive take their guns and hunt for ducks and geese.

For those who don't consider hunting and fishing the best rest they offer tour along the Chevyrkuysky Channel. Here there is the most picturesque scenery on lake Baikal, the brightest dawns. Here one is sure to find something to admire and to compare with!

The Chevyrkuysky Channel combined the whole world of amusing Baikal landscapes and biological diversity: thermal springs are situated close to cedars, the blue sea seems close to the red sky, princes of plant kingdom ‑ iris ‑ are the neighbors of the nests of herons, brown bears live together with the unique in the world freshwater seals. Everything in the Chevyrkuysky Channel, in the land of warm beaches and rocky islands, numerous tourists and brave fishers is peculiar and is remembered for a long time. They start a tour to the settlement of Maxi-mikha, from there tourists travel to Zmeevaya Bay to sulphur hydrogen thermal springs by yachts. They spend night on board the yacht. Next day they move to Krokhalinaya bay by yacht. One can sunbathe and fish here. The fourth day is devoted to a cruise round the Chivirkuysky Bay, the fifth ‑ to a trip to the Ushkanji islands. The Ushkanji islands are situated in the middle part of the Baikal and represent the peaks of the Akademichesky range, rising over the water's surface. The total area of the islands is 10 square km. The archipelago consists of 4 islands: Bolshoy, Tonky, Krugly and Dolgy. There are peculiar flora and fauna, mild continental climate on the islands. The big island rises over the water as 216 m high mountain and stretches for 5 km from west to east being about 3 km wide. Three small islands rise above the Baikal's surface for 17-22 meters. The islands are composed of the ancient rocks: marble, crystal limestone with quartz stratum. In the northern part of Bolshoy island, in some 1-1,5 km from the shore they mined emerald-green marble in small portions, which is said to be rare among the world's deposits.

On the Bolshoy island primordial forest consisting of tall larches and pines has been preserved. Under the trees are thickets of Daursky rhododendron, the bushes of which get covered by numerous bright violet flowers in spring.

The isolation of the islands from the continental coast influenced greatly the development of fauna. One of the most interesting phenomena of the islands is ant hills. There is no any other island in the country like Bolshoy island according to density of ant hills, there are aboul 18-20 ant hills per 1 hectare, and their total number is about several thousand.

Bolshoy Ushkansky island is also famous for the three caves on the north-eastern shore. They contain sites belonging to man of the New Stone Age (5000-4001 years ago). One of the caves is 4 m long, 6 m broad, 3,1 m high.

Another tourist water route goes round the Svyato) Nos peninsula. It stretches for about 54 km from north to south. The peninsula is separated from the continent!)!

a narrow and low sand belt. The same belt separates the bargusin and Chivirkuysky Channels. It was called so because the first settlers were Saint patrons, monks of Troitse-Selenginsky Monastery (in theXVIII-th century).

For lovers of walking winter tourism various impressions can be caused by a sport route along the coast from Ust-Bargusin to Kurbulik.

The local nature is beautiful at any season ‑ in summer and winter, spring and autumn. It's always ready to share with its beauty and secrets.

In Barguzin district there is one of the main sanctuaries of the northern buddhistic world ‑ the Baragkhan Mountain. On the way from the village Suvo to the village Bodon one can see a sacred place of Barguzin valley the stone Buukhe-Shuulun (the stone-bull). Its spirit is considered to be the master of the valley.

The territory near the village of Yarikto has attracted attention recently. Here people saw Divine Yanzhima who appeared in the form of the petroglyph. The image of a dancing woman of yellow colour on the big boulder covered with grey moss is a face of the patroness of dances, arts, fertility.

"Ininskii garden of stones" is situated on the plot of the river Ina's outlet from the Ikat range. It occupies more than 10 km2. The garden of stones reminds an islands archipelago in the ocean or a landscape with mountains peaks overhanging the clouds sea.

Suvinskii castle is a chain of stone lumps 500 m high and 300-400 long. This monument of nature is situated behind Big Alga Lake not far from the village Suvo. They make a picturesque group reminding castle's ruins with huge stone domes and a narrow rock gorge between them. It is 400 meters long and 50 meters high. On the background of the blue sky there are separate stones and lumps. It's "Ptenchik" (the Baby bird) and "Gribok" (the Marshroom) which are situated near the village of Bodon, and "Golova" (the Head) near the village of Dushelan.

The petrogliphs of Barguzin valley are evidence of its long history. They are Alginskie petrogliphs near the villages ofSuvo, Kladovo, Dushelan, Gul'makta, Voronkovo. Remains of some villages with their typical ceramics, numerous funeral and burial places near the villages Dushelan, Bodon, Ulukchikan, Borogol, Kharamodon, Khar-gana and other settlements are evidence of the tribe of the Kurikans who lived in the valley since IV century A. D.

On the territory of the district there is the Zabaikalskii National Natural Park which occupies the eastern coast of Lake Baikal including the Chivirkuiskii gulf with the peninsula Svyatoi Nos (Saint Nose), the western part of the Barguzin range and the islands of Ushkanii. The total area of the park is 256 thousand ha2 (the total area including ponds is 269 thousand ha2.)


Barguzin village is located in the northern part of Barguzin valley, in 50 km from Lake Baikal and 315 km from the capital of the Buryat Republic ‑ Ulan-Ude. The history of the village began in summer in 1648 when a group of Cossacks lead by Ivan Galkin, the ataman (leader of Cossacks) founded Barguzin gaol (a fortress, later used as a prison). After the fire in 1734 the ostrog's fortifications were burnt down and were not rebuilt anymore. In 1783 Barguzin became a chief town of Nerchin-skaya district submitted to Irkutsk government. In 1790 the city gained its coat of arms. The top half of the arms was similar to the picture of the Irkutsk arms. At the bottom of the arms there was a squirrel sitting with a cedar cone on a silver field. It symbolized timber resources of Barguzintaiga. In 1798lrkutskprovince was established. Apart from Barguzin district it included other 17 districts. In 1822 Barguzin as a chief town was abolished. In spite of the convenient location in a fertile valley not far from the lands full of jewelry, mineral springs and valuable furs, Barguzin had never been like such cities as Verkhneudinsk and Kyakhta. Being the centre of an extensive district it was developed and grown very slowly. Barguzin was populated mainly by political prisoners who came there after hard labours in Nerchinsk and Akatuj. There were representatives of all revolutionary currents: petrashevtses (a youth secret society discussing a theory of a peasant revolt; the society consisted of Socialists and Democrats), narodovoltses (a society advocated for destruction of autocracy), people who took part in the revolt on the battleship "Potyomkin", cadets (members of the main liberal and monarchical bourgeoisie), esers (members of the socialist party), Mensheviks (a party against Lenin), Bolsheviks (a party of Lenin). Exiled people, being under vigilant surveillance of the police, did their bestto educate adult and teach children In 1831 brothers Wilhelm and Mikhail Kueckelbeckers, Decembrists (insurrectionists of the revolt in December 1825) were exiled to Barguzin after hard labours at the Petrovskij plant. Having seen the village for the first time, they said: "It is an amazing small city with incoherent, single-storey houses looked like grey toys."

In 1880-s narodovoltses Nikolaj Sergeevich Tyutchev, Ivan Loginovich Linev, Semeon Ivanovich Agatov, Alexandra Khristoforovna Goryainova, Aron Lvovich Rashkov, eser Ekaterina Konstatinovna Breshko-Breshkovskaya and others were banished into Barguzin. In 1881 Breshko-Breshkovskaya, Nikolaj Tyutchev and their friends broke away from Barguzin, but they were arrested on the Ikat pass. They were judged again and exiled into other places of Siberia. So, Breshkovskaya had been living in Barguzin for 3 years, at that moment she was 37 years old. Later Breshko-Breshkovskaya became one of the founders of the eser's party. After the revolution in February 1917 she vigorously supported Kerenskij,afterthe October revolution she wasan ardent opponent of Bolsheviks. Then she lived in France, cooperated with the white emigrant newspaper "The Days". Breshkovskaya is known all over the world as "the grandmother of the Russian Revolution". There isa list of "prisoners of the State" in the school museum of Barguzin region. One can find in this list 125 families, who were convicted or exiled into Barguzin region.

In 1851 the city was ranked to Transbaikalian region. In October in 1927 Barguzin received the status of a village. Barguzin village was transformed into a working settlement by an edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Buryat Republic on 22, March in 1973. In 1990 Barguzin was included into the list of the Russian historical cities. In 2004 Barguzin settlement was again transformed into a village.

Modern Barguzin is presented by houses typical for countryside. As a rule, houses have household yards and gardens. Almost all stone structures, forming the perimeter of the main square, were built in 1950-1970-s. The only exception is a corner ancient house which was built in the last quarter of the 19th century and belonged to merchant Breshlavskij till the Revolution. The house is attractive not only by its fa ade, but also by its yard with a remained wide wooden terrace and ancient drainpipes. Now the regional court is situated in this building.

Not far from the square, by the river, there is a bell town of the stone Spas-Preobrazhenskij Cathedral rising above the village. This church is one of the most ancient constructions in Barguzin. It was built instead of the wooden one in 1934 for means (with support) of a rich Barguzin merchant Ivan Chernikh. Conforming to the traditions of Orthodox Church architecture, the Spas-Preobrazhenskij temple still has unusual form and details. The church was closed on 20, February in 1930. In 1940-s the building was used as a cinema. Later there were woodshops there. Today the Spas-Preobrazhenskij Cathedral is returned to the faithful, its restoration is going on.

A representative building of the former District Bank with a beautiful wooden portico on the facade is fairly considered as one of the main sights. This house belonged to a gold digger Butlitskij and was built in the 19 century. Firstly it was used as an office and storehouse for food products. Gold and smoked products were kept in a deep cellar, borrowing all the area under the house. The building stands surrounded by more plain but still ancient structures of the main street along the Barguzin River. The house, where Butlitskij lived, is situated nearby (59, Krasnoarmejskaya Street). It is a good specimen of the provincial wooden architecture of the end of the 19 century with attractive decorative facades.

The old Barguzin cemetery is one of the main sights of Barguzin. It is situated to the east from the central square of the village. Judging by remained monuments and tombstones, mixed national population lived in Barguzin: Orthodox Christians and other believers, Evenks, Buryats, Jews, and Mongols. A part of burials has lost its tombstones and only small hills remind us of life transitory. Many famous people, who had done a lot for the economic and cultural development of Barguzin area, were buried on the old Barguzin cemetery. They were: Decembrist M.K. Kuechelbeckerand his children, insurrectionists of the revolt on the battleship "Potyomkin" Ivan Orlov, exiled narodovoltses and revolutionists RE Lobanov-Lobanchuk, Bogdanov, an active participant of the soviet authority establishment Danenberg, merchant gold diggers Novomejskie, one of the organizers and permanent director of Barguzin reserve Z.F. Svatosh, his wife and others.


village of Maksimikha, Puskin St., 1. Tel.: (30131) 92-6-99, www. kumutkan.ru


village of Maksimikha, Zabaikalskaya St, 37. Tel.: (30131) 30-1-31, 92-6-12, www.lampal.ru

"Park-museum Svetlaya Polyana

(Bright Meadow)",

village of Maksimikha. Tel.: (30131) 92-6-82


village of Katun'. Tel.: (3012) 21-57-11, www.kumutkan.ru


Chivirkuiskii gulf, Bay Zmeevaya.

Tel.: (3012) 21-12-09, 65-83-64,




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