Like in most cities of ex-USSR, it's quite difficult to go without some knowledge of Russian. However, people under the age of 40 with higher education might be capable of speaking some English. But don't expect English from hotel workers or maintenance staff in tourist places, policemen, salesmen and taxi drivers.
It's not very easy to get into Krasnoyarsk from abroad, so one is adviced to fly to Moscow, Novosibirsk or Irkutsk first.
There are several planes every day from/to Moscow (airp. Domodedovo) to the local airport Emelianovo (Ð•Ð¼ÐµÐ»ÑŒÑÐ½Ð¾Ð²Ð¾). There are also flights from most of the largest Russian cities, and a few regular flights from abroad — Beijing, Tianjin, Harbin, major cities of the nearest ex-USSR countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan). KrasAir is a monopolist in the region, so you should check its web-site www.krasair.ru for currently available flights.
Secondly, Krasnoyarsk airport Tcheremshanka (Ð§ÐµÑ€ÐµÐ¼ÑˆÐ°Ð½ÐºÐ°) serves regional flights only, usually between Krasnoyarsk and northern parts of Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Krasnoyarsk is located on the Trans-Siberian Railway, so every day dozens of trains pass the Krasnoyarsk railway station. It takes about 12-14 hours to get to Krasnoyarsk from Novosibirsk and Irkutsk, minimum 60 hours from Moscow and Vladivostok.
There is a road connecting Vladivostok and Moscow, which passes through Krasnoyarsk. However, Russian automobile roads are not very suitable for long-distance travels — no motels, no eateries, and the low quality of the roadbed does not permit fast driving.
Buses are available only from the nearest cities in the region and from the neighbouring Khakassia region. They arrive to the main bus station, located in the northern part of the city, which is known as Vzletka (Ð’Ð·Ð»ÐµÑ‚ÐºÐ°). To date directions and current time tables are not available on-line. A usual price for a trip up to 400km is about 200-300 rubles (8-12USD).
There is a good network of public buses, which are indeed very cheap (8 rubles in 2006, per trip, regardless the distance). In large buses the conductor walks among the passengers and gets paid once he (or, more often, she) comes by a newly entered passenger. In a minibus (marshrutka Ð¼Ð°Ñ€ÑˆÑ€ÑƒÑ‚ÐºÐ°) the conductor sits by the driver and gets paid before passengers exit. The conductor can be determined by a roll of tickets in the hand, a belt purse and, if a bus is crowded, loud demands for payment. However, without a local consultant it's rather difficult to plan a way because route maps are not usually available on the bus stops, though there is a very comprehensive software map of Krasnoyarsk (in Russian) which is able to calculate routes automatically.
Numerous taxi carriers have appeared during the last years. Booking by phone is possible (but unlikely your English will be understood) as well as hitching on the streets. In Russia it's a very common case when any driver who wants to earn some money stops near your risen hand, but in Krasnoyarsk you're strongly advised to use only authorized carriers, usually booked on the phone (it's a very safe city, but do not risk without necessity — many licensed drivers are available there). Their cars must be marked with a chess-board-like ornament on the top, and usually have some advertisements on the doors.
Usually taxis are cheap as well (even if not using a meter) and honest, however seeing a foreigner some drivers can try to make you pay through the nose. Half-a-city drive should not be more than 150 rubles (6USD), if you suspect cheating, demonstrate your intent to complain to the driver's boss.
Krasnoyarsk is a very old beautiful city, established by Russian Cossacks (military servants) in 1628. It's name consists of two words — Krasnyi (red, because of clay reddish soil) and Yar (steep bank). Views of Yenisey River and the nearby Sayan Mountains covered by taiga forest are quite picturesque.
There is also a cable car that travels to the Reserve. Check the web-site for more details.
Karaulnaya Gora (ÐšÐ°Ñ€Ð°ÑƒÐ»ÑŒÐ½Ð°Ñ Ð³Ð¾Ñ€Ð°) — a hill topped by the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel is a symbol of the city — it is depicted on the 10 ruble note. The surrounding area is known as the local Harlem (populated with criminals and drug-trafficers), so you should not try to walk there.
Next to Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk is the second most prominent scientific and educational center of Siberia with more than 30 higher education facilities, many of which are the branches of the Russian Academy of Science, and about 200 high schools. The most notable higher education institutes are:
Similarly to Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk has a special city district called Akademgorodok (Academic Town in Russian) where many of the institutes are located. There, in the Institute of Biophysics, the experiment on ecological isolation of human beings called "Bios", similar to the US experiment Biosphere 2, has been successfully held in 1973-1985.
Like any industrial center, Krasnoyarsk has a large number of employment opportunities. However, salaries are low (up to 500 USD/month is 'good', 1000+USD/month is 'very good'; higher salaries are availble for top-managers or business owners only).
The one unique thing you're advised to buy is cedar nuts, because the Siberian region is the only region where the authentic variety of this delicacy can be purchased. Throughout the rest of the world cedar nuts are extremely expensive.
Other goods are the same as all over Russia. Chinese clothes could be slightly cheaper on the Chinese market.
Well, it's difficult to stay hungry in Krasnoyarsk. However, perhaps fortunately, you will not find any chains, like McDonald's or KFC there.
The only places you're strongly adviced NOT to visit - any restaurants near the Railroad Station, and the local Market-Place ('ÐšÐ¾Ð»Ñ…Ð¾Ð·Ð½Ñ‹Ð¹ Ñ€Ñ‹Ð½Ð¾Ðº', which is located at the end of Diktatury Ð”Ð¸ÐºÑ‚Ð°Ñ‚ÑƒÑ€Ñ‹ street), because they are traditionally occupied by local and visiting criminals — that is unless, of course, you yourself are a criminal looking to socialize.
A number of cheap bars serving sandwiches served are spread all over the city. Just stop in any one and you'll find hospitable people (you will, however, need to understand some Russian to get very far in these venues).
Also there are a number of excellent Chinese restaurants on Mira street near the Theater of Musical Comedy, where real Northern Chinese Cuisine can be found.
Numerous night clubs can be found in all parts of Krasnoyarsk, but it's better to avoid those located in suburbs (the clientele can be unpleasant), or very expensive luxury clubs and restaurants (frequented by local criminals).
Most cinemas have night clubs as well. Actually, it quite difficult to find several adjacent blocks without at least one night club or disco.
NOTE: if you get in any night club, either luxury or villag-ish, watch out for drug traffickers! They can be found in ALL night clubs, but usually don't disturb those who don't want to contact them.
Generally speaking, the closer to the center, the safer. Although Krasnoyarsk is a very safe place, you're not advised to look for accommodation in the suburbs; local lumpens won't make your stay pleasant. The Right Bank is mostly "lumpenized" except for the Predmostnaya Ploshchad' (Bridge Square, or ÐŸÑ€ÐµÐ´Ð¼Ð¾ÑÑ‚Ð½Ð°Ñ Ð¿Ð»Ð¾Ñ‰Ð°Ð´ÑŒ); on the contrary, the Left Bank is nice except for the most distant districts.
You're strongly advised to book your accommodation beforehand (better by phone, and don't expect to find any English-speaking staff), because there are not many hotels in Krasnoyarsk, most with no on-line booking service and no English-speaking personnel. Don't expect to find Internet and hair-dryers, but be ready to meet insects and to go without hot water, unless you choose the most expensive hotels.
There is no budget accommodation in the city. The cheapest hotels are from 50USD per night, which is hardly a budget level. On the Railway station, some elderly women can suggest rooms in their own flats for ~10USD per night—accept at your own risk (elderly women may have young sons).
Krasnoyarsk's two luxury hotels cost from 130USD per night, which is hardly worth it. However, you're safe from insects, and their location is quite convinient.
The international code for Russia is +7, Krasnoyarsk code is 391-2 (for other cities of the region the last number varies).
Public phones are not very spread. International phones can be found in the post offices, where you prepay your talk to a cashier.
Mobile phones are carried by almost everyone, including children. Prepaid SIM cars with Russian federal number are sold for many national and local telecommunication providers: BeeLine (Ð‘Ð¸Ð»Ð°Ð¹Ð½), MTS (ÐœÐ¢Ð¡), YeniseyTelecom (Ð•Ð½Ð¸ÑÐµÐ¹ Ð¢ÐµÐ»ÐµÐºÐ¾Ð¼), Megafon-Krasnoyarsk (ÐœÐµÐ³Ð°Ñ„Ð¾Ð½-ÐšÑ€Ð°ÑÐ½Ð¾ÑÑ€ÑÐº), all around the city. The mobile standard is GSM 900/1800, however some operators still provide DAMPS service. SMS usually costs 3-6 USD cents, one minute of talk is 10-20 USD cents. Since July 2006 you cannot be charged for incoming calls (unless you're using roaming), but sometimes you pay for a "connection" a fixed price of 50 USD cents. Outside the city, all-Russian providers like Beeline, MTS and Megafon, do not have coverage, while local ones usually keep good quality of connection for longer distances.
Internet cafes are not common, but Mobile GPRS in Russia is usually very cheap — up to 0.5 USD per 1Mb.
Though generally safe for the experienced traveler, Krasnoyarsk can be a tricky destination for someone not familiar with the region and culture. The downtown areas are pretty much safe all night, but in suburbs it's better not to walk alone at night. Other places of higher risk are the local marketplace, and the railway station—be sure to keep your cash out of view and out pickpockets' reach.
Avoid asking the police for help unless it is really necessary. If possible, communicate with the hotel staff and security first, because communication with local policemen may be unpleasant due to both the language barrier and their usual rudeness—or even dangerous, especially for non-European-looking foreigners (although police in Krasnoyarsk is far from being as dangerous as in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Sadly, this is a national problem in Russia—there is not much difference between police and criminals.
The easiest way to travel from the city is to fly to Moscow first, and then to wherever necessary. However, there are some flights from the local airport Emelianovo to China and the nearest ex-USSR countries, or through Novosibirsk and Irkutsk which can be easily reached by train.
The neighboring region of Khakassia with its major city Abakan is 400km West, reachable by car (M-54 road) and everyday train from the railway station.
The next stops of note on the Trans-Siberian Railway are Achinsk to the west towards Novosibirsk and Kansk to the east towards Irkutsk
During the summer there are 1–2 week cruises to the Northern part of the Krasnoyarsk Krai to the mouth of the Yenisey. Everyday connections exist only for the city of Divnogorsk, located 40km west, near the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Station.
Krasnoyarsk (ÐšÑ€Ð°ÑÐ½Ð¾ÑÌÑ€ÑÐº) is the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, and the third largest city in Siberia. Krasnoyarsk lies on the Yenisei River and is an important junction on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city is served by Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo Airport. During the Cold War it was home to Krasnoyarsk Northeast air base, which has been turned into apartment blocks since then. Population: 909,341 (2002 census); 912,629 (1989 Census).
The total area of the city, including suburbs and the river, is . The average air temperature in January is ; in July, . The lowest temperature ever recorded was ; the highest, .
The Yenisei River flows from west to east through the city. Due to the Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric dam upstream, the Yenisei never freezes in winter and never exceeds in summer through the city. Near the city center, its altitude is above sea level. There are several islands in the river, the largest of which are Tatyshev and Otdyha Isles, used mainly for recreation.
To the south and west, Krasnoyarsk is surrounded by forested hills averaging in height above river level. Further south are the gigantic rock cliffs of the Stolby Nature Reserve rising from the surrounding hills. The western hills form the Gremyachinskaya Griva crest, starting from the Nikolayevskaya Sopka hill (notable for its ski jumping tracks) and extending westwards up to the Sobakina River. The terrain north of town is rather plain, with forests to the northwest and agricultural fields to the north and east.
The most prominent hills in the Krasnoyarsk area are:
The major rivers located in the Krasnoyarsk area are:
Due to the specifics of the relief, few natural lakes exist in the Krasnoyarsk neighborhood.
The nearby towns are (with distances from Krasnoyarsk and directions):
Krasnoyarsk is divided into seven administrative districts:
The population count by year:
Population count by districts (2002 census):
The population of Krasnoyarsk includes a number of peoples, the most numerous are Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Germans, and Belarusians. Lately the number of Tajiks, Uzbeks and other Central Asian and Caucasian peoples has grown extensively because of the vast, often illegal immigration in search for work.
Another populous immigrant group is the Chinese who, unlike other foreign workers, are employed in much more lucrative areas and often form business partnerships with local companies. Many Chinese trade at the bazaars, and there is even a special large Chinese bazaar named Sodruzhestvo (Russian for fellowship), and the Chinese Trading Town (known in Russian as ÐšÐ¸Ñ‚Ð°Ð¹ÑÐºÐ¸Ð¹ Ñ‚Ð¾Ñ€Ð³Ð¾Ð²Ñ‹Ð¹ Ð³Ð¾Ñ€Ð¾Ð´) or colloquially Kitai-gorod situated at Strelka.
The city was founded in July of 1628 as a Russian border fort. The group of service class people led by the Cossack Andrey Dubenskoy arrived to the confluence of the Kacha River with the Yenisei River and constructed fortifications intended to protect the frontier from attacks of native peoples who lived along Yenisei and its tributaries. In the letter to Tsar the Cossacks reported:
:...The town of trunks (log buildings) we have constructed and around the place of fort, we the servants of ye lord, have embedded posts and fastened them with double bindings and the place of fort have strengthened mightily...
The fort had been named "Krasny Yar" (ÐšÑ€Ð°ÌÑÐ½Ñ‹Ð¹ Ð¯Ñ€) after the local Turkic name of the place it was built by: "Kyzyl Dzhar", meaning "Red Cliff" or "Krasny Yar" in Old Russian. The name "Krasnoyarsk" was later given when the village of Krasnyy Yar had received town status.
An intensive growth of Krasnoyarsk began with the arrival of the Moscow Postroad (the road M53 nowadays) in 1735 to 1741 which connected the nearby towns of Achinsk and Kansk with Krasnoyarsk and with the rest of Russia. Growth continued with the discovery of gold and the arrival of a railroad in 1895.
In the 19th century Krasnoyarsk was the center of the Siberian Cossack movement. In 1822 it had gained the status of town and had become the capital of the Yenisei Guberniya. By the end of the 19th century Krasnoyarsk had several manufacturing facilities, railroad workshops and an engine-house.
In the Russian Empire, Krasnoyarsk was one of the places to which political exiles were banished. For example, eight Decembrists were deported from St. Petersburg to Krasnoyarsk after the failure of the revolt.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917 during the periods of centralized planning (pyatiletkas) numerous large plants and factories were constructed in Krasnoyarsk: Sibtyazhmash, the dock yard, the paper factory, the hydroelectric power station (now the fifth largest in the world and the second in Russia), and the river port.
In 1934, the second largest Russian administrative division, Krasnoyarsk Krai, was formed. Krasnoyarsk was established as the administrative center.
During the epoch of Stalinism, Krasnoyarsk was a major center of the Gulag system. The most important labor camp was the Kraslag or Krasnoyarsky ITL (1938-c.1960) with the two units located in Kansk and Reshyoty. In the city of Krasnoyarsk itself, the Yeniseylag or Yeniseysky ITL labor camp was prominent as well during World War II (c.1940-41).
During World War II dozens of factories were evacuated from Ukraine and Western Russia to Krasnoyarsk and nearby towns, stimulating the industrial growth of the city. After the war additional large plants were constructed: the aluminum plant, the metallurgic plant, the plant of base metals and many others.
In the late 1970s, the Soviet Union began constructing a phased array radar station at Abalakova, near Krasnoyarsk, which allegedly violated the ABM Treaty. Beginning in 1983, the United States demanded its removal, until the Soviet Union admitted the radar station was a violation in 1989. Equipment was slowly removed from the site and by 1992 it was officially declared to be dismantled. The equipment from the site was likely relocated to a new site near Komsomolsk-na-Amure.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and beginning of the privatization many large plants and factories, such as the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant, many became owned by alleged criminal authorities and oligarchs while others were declared bankrupt. The economic transition resulted in a dramatic raise in unemployment and numerous strikes.
The best known financial scandal of the second half of 1990s happened when ownership of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant by a known Krasnoyarsk businessman Anatoliy Bykov had been cancelled after he was accused of murdering his partner, Vilor Struganov. The accusation eventually turned out to be false.
The Krasnoyarsk plants ownership problems continue through the early 21st century since nearly all of them are owned either by monopolistic financial groups or by oligarchs.
Since the election of Pyotr Pimashkov as the mayor of Krasnoyarsk in 1996, the city's appearance has slowly improved. Old historical buildings have been restored, asphalt walkways have been replaced with paving-stone, and numerous squares with fountains have been constructed. Now the majority of the city bears only a few traces of its pragmatic Soviet look.
Coat of arms
The first version of the Krasnoyarsk coat of arms was approved on March 12, 1804. The coat of arms was divided horizontally into two parts, the upper part containing the coat of arms of the Tomsk Guberniya, and the lower part picturing the Krasny Yar cliff on a silver background.
A revised coat of arms, approved on November 23, 1851, had the golden figure of a lion placed on a red heraldic shield with a spade in the right fore paw and a sickle in the left fore paw, both made of the same metal. The shield was topped with the golden crown of the Russian Empire.
The current coat of arms (see above) approved on November 28, 2004 contains the same red shield with a slightly changed figure of the lion topped with the golden five-tower status crown of a federal subject center.
In 2005, a tall pillar with a bronze statue of the Krasnoyarsk heraldic lion upon its top was erected at the Krasnoyarsk Railway Station square.
There are a number of historical buildings in Krasnoyarsk, the oldest of them is the Intercession Cathedral (ÐŸÐ¾ÐºÑ€Ð¾Ð²ÑÐºÐ¸Ð¹ ÑÐ¾Ð±Ð¾Ñ€, 1785 to 1795, restored in 1977 to 1978). Other locally significant samples of Russian Orthodox architecture are the Annunciation Cathedral (Ð‘Ð»Ð°Ð³Ð¾Ð²ÐµÑ‰ÐµÐ½ÑÐºÐ¸Ð¹ ÑÐ¾Ð±Ð¾Ñ€, 1802-12), the St. Trinity Cathedral (Ð¡Ð²ÑÑ‚Ð¾-Ð¢Ñ€Ð¾Ð¸Ñ†ÐºÐ¸Ð¹ ÑÐ¾Ð±Ð¾Ñ€, 1802-12), John the Baptist Church (Ð¦ÐµÑ€ÐºÐ¾Ð²ÑŒ Ð˜Ð¾Ð°Ð½Ð½Ð° ÐŸÑ€ÐµÐ´Ñ‚ÐµÑ‡Ð¸, 1899, former episcopal residence), and the new Michael the Archangel Church (Ð¦ÐµÑ€ÐºÐ¾Ð²ÑŒ ÐÑ€Ñ…Ð¸ÑÑ‚Ñ€Ð°Ñ‚Ð¸Ð³Ð° ÐœÐ¸Ñ…Ð°Ð¸Ð»Ð°, 1998 to 2003).
On the top of the Karaulnaya hill, originally a pagan shrine, later occupied by the Krasnoyarsk fort watchtower, the St. Paraskeba Chapel (Ð§Ð°ÑÐ¾Ð²Ð½Ñ ÐŸÐ°Ñ€Ð°ÑÐºÐµÐ²Ñ‹ ÐŸÑÑ‚Ð½Ð¸Ñ†Ñ‹, 1804, rebuilt in 1854 to 1855) still stands. The chapel, displayed on the 10-ruble note, is one of iconic images of the city. The chapel was abandoned and fell into disrepair during the Soviet era and only when the Perestroyka came it had been regained by the Yenisei bishopric.
Another unofficial symbol of Krasnoyarsk is the incomplete 24 storey tower located at Strelka. Construction of the tower had been started just before Perestroyka and then frozen due to the administrative crisis. The outline of the tower is clearly seen from many places in the city.
A bridge near Krasnoyarsk carries the Trans-Siberian Railway across the Yenisei. This structure, one of the longest at the time, was constructed between 1893 and 1896 to an award-winning design by Lavr Proskuryakov. When approved for the inscription on the World Heritage List in 2003, the bridge was described by the UNESCO as "an early representation of a typical parabolic polygonal truss bridge in Russia" which became "a testing ground for the application of engineering theories and the development of new innovative solutions, which had numerous successors" ().
Among other notable buildings are the mansions of the merchant Nikolay Gadalov (beginning of the 20th century), the Roman-Catholic Transfiguration Chapel (ÐŸÑ€ÐµÐ¾Ð±Ñ€Ð°Ð¶ÐµÐ½ÑÐºÐ¸Ð¹ ÑÐ¾Ð±Ð¾Ñ€, 1911, also known as the Krasnoyarsk Organ Hall), the Krasnoyarsk Krai Museum stylized as an Ancient Egyptian temple, the Krasnoyarsk Cultural/Historical Center and the triumphal arch at the Spit (2003), the :Image:Krasnoyarsk Mira 110 krai admin.jpg|regional administration building flanked with two towers known as the "Donkey Ears".
There are a number of 2-storey wooden houses in the city built mostly in the middle of the 20th century as temporary habitations. Many urbanized villages located inside the city keep the remnants of the traditional Russian village architecture: wooden houses with backyards, many somewhat dilapidated now but still inhabited.
Krasnoyarsk is the hometown of many famous people, some of whom are well-known throughout the world. The most prominent culture figures are the world-famous historic painter Vasily Surikov, the classic writer Viktor Astafyev, the world-class opera singers Pyotr Slovtsov, and musicians Alexander Porochine and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. The other honourable artists are the painters Andrey Pozdeyev, Valery Kudrinsky, and Toivo RÃ¤nnel, sculptors Boris Musat and Yury Zlotya, writers Roman Solntsev and Nikolay Gayduk.
There are a number of local holidays celebrated annually in Krasnoyarsk. The most significant holiday is the Day of the City celebrated in June, usually with the carnival. Other holidays and cultural events are: the Mana Festival (ÐœÐ°Ð½ÑÐºÐ¸Ð¹ Ñ„ÐµÑÑ‚Ð¸Ð²Ð°Ð»ÑŒ) usually held on last weekend in June with the traditional bard contest, the International Museum Biennale traditionally held in the Krasnoyarsk Cultural/Historical Center, the avant-garde Museum Night festival dedicated to the International Museum Day (May 18), the Jazz on Yenisey festival, the Stolbist Day held many times a year celebrating the traditions of mountain climbing in the Stolby national reserve, the Bikers' Rally.
Krasnoyarsk has a number of local television companies and the highly-developed telecommunications, many districts of the city have LAN-based broadband Internet access.
The city is also home to the Krasnoyarsk Children's Choir a world-renowned choir that tours in many countries as The Little Eagles of Siberia.
Next to Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk is a very prominent scientific and educational center of Siberia, with over 30 higher education facilities, many of which are the branches of the Russian Academy of Science, and about 200 high schools. The most notable higher education institutes are:
Like Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk has a special city district called Akademgorodok (Academic Town in Russian) where several educational institutes are located. Krasnoyarsk's Institute of Biophysics is known for a 1973-1985 experiment on ecological isolation of human beings (the "Bios Experiment").
An underground network (three lines) has been in planning and construction phases in Krasnoyarsk for decades. The first three stations have not been opened yet, but several construction sites around the city are visible. There is no fixed date for opening of the system.
The most popular place of attraction for tourists visiting Krasnoyarsk is the huge national nature reserve Stolby (Pillars in Russian) or the Rock Pillars. Stolby covers an area of 470 kmÂ² (181 mileÂ²) with numerous giant granite rocks formations up to 100 meters high, many of very extraordinary shapes. Stolby is also a major rock climbing location, many local climbers intentionally do not use any belaying equipment and call their extreme sport "stolbizm", which is known around the world as solo climbing.
Other popular showplaces include the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Station dam, the Karaulnaya Gora hill with the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel, museums, theaters, etc.