Lower Angara embankment in Irkutsk

Lower embankment of the Angara - street in the city of Irkutsk, Russia
Lower embankment of the Angara – street in the city of Irkutsk, Russia

Lower Angara embankment in Irkutsk

Irkutsk owes its appearance to the Angara River, on the banks of which settlements once arose. The embankment in the city center is a favorite place for walking tourists and locals. Gagarin Boulevard is particularly popular. Many architectural monuments of the 19th century have been preserved on this street.

The lower embankment of the Angara stretches for 900 meters and is divided into two tiers. One is a roadway, the other is a pedestrian zone.

The main attraction of the Lower Embankment is the Cathedral of the Epiphany. It is built in the Siberian Baroque style, which was first mentioned in the late 17th century. Nearby is the Spassky Church, also an old one. When getting acquainted with Irkutsk, be sure to visit here.

On the pedestrian level of the embankment there is an observation deck. Here, according to tradition, photos are taken, and the newlyweds always hang a lock as a souvenir.

Interesting facts

The lower embankment of the Angara River in Irkutsk began to form at the end of the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th century, it had become so long that it extended to Karl Marx Street, which at that time was already the outskirts of the city. Life here was in full swing: ships docked, there was trade in fish shops, houses were built up nearby, and later the residence of the mayor appeared.

Today, the Lower Embankment is the oldest street in the city, where festivities and fireworks are held during the holidays.

What to see

On Gagarin Boulevard you will see the White House. Yes, that’s exactly how, because of the color of the building, they called the residence of the governors-General back in the Soviet years. Since 1918, the house has been part of the Irkutsk State University complex, where the scientific library was located for many years. Until the 60s, the street was called Vuzovskaya Embankment. Here the students made dates.

Nearby is a monument to Emperor Alexander III. In 1908, merchants donated money for its construction in honor of the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

On the Lower embankment of the Angara River, in addition to the temples, see the Moscow Gates in the Empire and Renaissance style. This is the first of three triumphal arches created in Russia. Unlike in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Irkutsk arch was demolished by the revolutionaries. It was restored only in 2011.

Embankment at different times of the year

Of course, the best time to walk along the Lower Embankment is late spring, summer and early autumn. Even on a summer day, you will feel the coolness of the Angara River flowing out of Lake Baikal.

In winter, Irkutsk is cold, but stories of severe frosts are exaggerated. Low temperatures in dry climates are easier to tolerate. So the whole question is how to dress. From any hotel in the city center to the waterfront can be reached on foot. The distance is from 500 meters to 3 kilometers. There are also hotels located directly on Gagarin Boulevard.

From the embankment there is a beautiful view of the Epiphany Cathedral, which falls into the lens of the cameras of all tourists.

Of course, against the background of the Angara River! Moreover, in winter, the snow-covered buildings and the Lower Embankment look no less beautiful than in the summer sunlight. It is more convenient to shoot the city panorama of Irkutsk from the bridge.

Selfies are usually taken on the observation deck and near the monument to Alexander III. By the way, just diagonally, at the drama theater there is another monument-to the playwright Alexander Vampilov. You can walk there, too.

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