Irkutsk regional fine arts museum named after V. P. Sukachev
This museum is one of the oldest and the richest fine arts museums in Siberia. It was founded by famous public man of Irkutsk V. P. Sukachev (1849-1920). In the very beginning it was started as an art collection of his own.
There are more than 250 paintings of Russian and foreign artists of the last century in the museum. This collection was enlarged by a collection of Chinese paintings and sculptures, collected by the Eastern-Siberian branch of the Geographical society. Today in all there are over 15 thousand art pieces from different nations in the museum.
For example, the art of Eastern Europe is represented by painting of French, Italian, German, Dutch and English artists of the 18-19th centuries.
Besides, there is a great collection of Russian icons and wood sculptures of the 18th century as well as portraits made by V.D. Polenov, V. A. Tropinin, D. G. Levitsky, K.P. Bryullov, I. E. Repin, V. M. Vasnetsov and B. M. Kustodyev.
Arts museum is famous for its very big collection of Chinese and Japanese art, which includes fine art, such as porcelain, wood, metal and stone art pieces from the 3rd to the 20th centuries.
The museum itself is located in the present building only since 1975. Before that, there was Government Boys' Secondary School at the place.
The museum of the Decembrist S. G. Volkonsky
The museum of the Decembrist S. G. Volkonsky is a leading Russian museum devoted to the description of Decembrists' life in Siberia.
Originally the Volkonsky family house was built in 1838 in the Urik village in Irkutsk region. In 1849 the family bought a piece of land in Irkutsk not far from the Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya (the Savior's Transfiguration) Church and moved to their house there. Then the house became the center of the public life in Irkutsk. Parties for young people and musical concerts, reading and theater nights often took place there.
In this house the Volkonsky family spent 17 out of 30 years of their exile. The museum was reopened after the 11-year restoration on December, 10th, 1985.
On the outside, the residence is simple but good-looking. On the inside, the furniture and other items of the Volkonsky are still kept as well as the elegant rooms painted in bright colors and the friezes of the nineteenth century.
Irkutsk Regional Museum (Imperial Geographical Society Museum)
Irkutsk Regional Museum is one of the oldest museums of Siberia. It was founded in 1782.
Its foundation is connected with the name of Franz Klichka, who was the governor of Irkutsk in 1778. The collection started from several books bought for the Irkutsk Public Library.
In 1854 the museum has been given to the Eastern-Siberian branch of the Siberian Department of the Geographical society. After that, it quickly began replenishing with the collections delivered by the numerous expeditions organized by the Geographical Society. In 1879 the big fire destroyed the museum and its 22830 exhibits. Many scientific institutes and societies of Russia and Siberia helped the museum, including the Russian Academy of Science, the Free Economic society, the museums of Siberia and Russia, the Petersburg botanic garden, the main Physical Observatory and some others. By 1888 the museum already contained over 16 thousand subjects. At present the number of exhibits is about 300,000.
The museum has the biggest collection of Russian Orthodox, Shamanism and Lamaism ceremonial objects as well as armaments and ornaments. One of the unique historical and cultural pieces is a collection of jade objects of the New Stone Age. Besides, the museum contains the biggest collection of coins in Siberia.
The architectural-ethnographic open-air museum "Taltzy"
This museum is situated on the right bank of Angara 47 km away from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal.
It holds a unique collection of historical, architectural and ethnographical monuments of the 17-18th centuries. There are four historical-cultural complexes: Russian, Buryat, Evenki and Tafalar.
Each building is real here: well-built wooden houses, spacious yards, household things and even kennels!
Visitors can enter any house freely and take a picture at an old spinning wheel, Russian style stove or icons. Visitors should never forget to bend their head while entering each house because the doorway is too low for keeping more heat inside.
The museum is always replenished with new examples of buildings and household goods. At present its expositions tell about life and life features, customs and traditions of the peoples who lived near Lake Baikal in the 19 - early 20th centuries.
In different villages the different types of buildings can be found. Russian village includes a church school, parish clerk house, bath-houses and many other buildings.
Behind the Russian village there is a Buryat one - Ulus (it is called this way in the native language of Buryat people). Such a kind of Ulus consists of many yurts. It is a traditional place of the dwelling of Buryat families. There is also a shaman yurt.
Irkutsk History Museum
The museum was founded on October, 4th, 1986.
The primary goals of the museum are preservation and popularization of the historical and cultural heritage of Irkutsk as well as patriotic and moral education of the rising generation. The museum has the status of a complex city museum that allows not just making investigations, but also organizing exhibitions of artists, applied art masters, carrying out mass actions, poetic nights and musical concerts.
The exhibition work is rather active at the museum. In 1999 a number of stationary exhibitions has been created, including "War in my heart" (dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the withdrawal of the Soviet armies from Afghanistan), "Gifts to the museum in 1998", " Hello!" (Buryats in Irkutsk), "Pushkin. Irkutsk. 100 years ago" and a lot of others. They have received greater gratitude of the visitors
Today the museum exhibits the dioramas of the city development in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and models of the original Irkutsk jail.
Mineralogical Museum of the Irkutsk State Technical University
The Mineralogical Museum of the Irkutsk State Technical University is famous not only in our region, but also far outside. It possesses a collection of precious and semi-precious stones, some of them are unique and invaluable. Some items were donated to the museum by the archeologists or other people; others were bought on the money, gathered within the university. The university collaborates with a lot of museums worldwide and usually participates in different exhibitions of different level, conferences and congresses. The museum provides excursions, which are very popular, especially with the future geologists from the Technical University. Moreover, some of the items are offered for buying.