Slyudyanka, Russia

Slyudyanka is a city on the western shore of Lake Baikal, famous for the fact that here you can ride on the Circum-Baikal Railway, which, after the creation of the Irkutsk reservoir, was cut off from the Trans-Siberian Railway and is now a tourist attraction. From Slyudyanka to the port of Baikal, the same historical train runs along the old one-track railway, which tourists enjoy with pleasure, admiring the idyllic landscapes of Lake Baikal.

You can get to Slyudyanka itself from Irkutsk by Transsib. The city got its name due to the presence of mica deposits in its vicinity. There are also marble quarries, material from which went, for example, to the construction of a local train station, which looks more like a palace than a simple station building. Tourists visit the marble mines, admire the snow-white stone ruins, watch the auto races that take place on the track specially equipped in the quarries.

Slyudyanka was founded at the beginning of the 19th century on the site of an inn, where travelers could rest on the way from Irkutsk to Kyakhta. The historical center of the city is located on the shore of Lake Baikal and is bounded by Lenin Street. Its length is only 1.5 km. Further, in the opposite direction from Lake Baikal, typical residential areas of the Soviet era begin. Tourists come to those places if they want to hike to Chersky Peak. The trail to the top begins just behind these houses.

In the city you can see the Nikolskaya Church, the Museum of Local Lore, the Private Museum of Minerals and the Water Tower. The latter was built by exiles, who had nothing to love the tsarist regime, therefore, as local guides say, they decided to take their revenge and encrypted an obscene word in the lower floor of the tower. It is said that some tourists have such a developed imagination that they see this message.



The name Slyudyanka is of Russian origin. It is based on the appellative "mica" - the name of a mineral that has been mined for 350 years in the vicinity of the settlement. Slyudyanka did not change its name, being a prison, a winter hut, a village and a city. The river that flows within the city and in the middle course of which mica deposits were discovered is also called Slyudyanka.



ancient history
The first people on the territory of Slyudyanka appeared in the Eneolithic era. This can be judged by the burials of an ancient man found in 1962 on Cape Shaman. These burials have been attributed by archaeologists to the Chinese Eneolithic era. Drawings and rock paintings of ancient people were found in the caves on Shamansky Cape, but after the rise in the level of Lake Baikal in connection with the start of operation of the Irkutsk hydroelectric power station, they were under water.

The territory of Slyudyanka before the arrival of the Russians
Little is known about this stage in the history of Slyudyanka. Historians suggest that in the 1st century BC. Huns lived on the territory of the Southern Baikal region. Then they were replaced by the Kurykans, a people of Turkic origin. According to historians, they are the progenitors of the Yakuts. According to the found graves of the Kurykans, one can judge that they were cattle breeders, knew how to melt iron, were rich relative to the tribes surrounding them, and had a developed art. In the 11th century, they were supplanted by the Mongol tribes, among whom were the Buryats. They inhabited the southern, southeastern, eastern and southwestern coasts of Lake Baikal, including the territory of Slyudyanka. In addition to the Buryats, Evenks lived in the territory of the Southern Baikal region. By the time the Russians arrived, their camp was located on the site of Slyudyanka. As noted by the Decembrist Lorer, by the time of his arrival in 1813, Kultuk, the nearest settlement to the territory of Slyudyanka, was still a village inhabited mainly by Evenks.

Slyudyanka from 1647 to the 1890s
At the beginning of the colonization of Siberia, mica was one of the most valuable goods for explorers, in addition to furs and salt. The Cossacks who arrived in southern Baikal began searching for this particular mineral and found it in the middle reaches of one of the small mountain rivers, later called Slyudyanka. At the mouth of the river adjacent to it, there was an Evenk camp. In its place, it was decided to organize a small prison in order to mine mica and protect miners and miners from the Evenks. Its founder was the explorer Ivan Pokhabov, a Yenisei Cossack, a boyar's son. The creation of the prison was reported to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. At this place, the prison did not last long and was transferred by the Russians a few years later to the place where Kultuk now stands, but the river at the mouth of which the prison stood was named after its founder.

After the transfer of the prison, there were no settlements on the territory of Slyudyanka until 1802. In 1766 and 1780s. traveler Eric Laxman visited the territory of Slyudyanka. He became interested in minerals in its vicinity and discovered deposits of jade, lapis lazuli and rediscovered deposits of mica, which had been forgotten and not developed by that time.

After the appearance of the decree of Paul I "On the population of the Siberian Territory ...", settlers from the central provinces of the Russian Empire in 1802 set up the Slyudyanka winter hut on the site of modern Slyudyanka and revived the extraction of mica. The next important step for the development of the Southern Baikal region was the decision to build a wheeled road from Irkutsk to Kyakhta. A post station was organized at the Slyudyansk winter hut. In the 50s. XIX century Muravyov-Amursky approved the idea of building the Circum-Baikal tract along the coast of Lake Baikal. By that time, Kyakhta began to lose its former significance. Verkhneudinsk became its competitor, and it was decided to build a road along the very shore of Lake Baikal, first to Posolsk, and then to Verkhneudinsk. The construction was carried out by the efforts of the exiled Poles, who raised an uprising in 1866. Wheel and postal communication along the road was opened in 1864.

Slyudyanka from the 1890s before 1917
In 1899, land was allocated from the land owned by the Kultuk rural gathering for the construction of a railway settlement. So the village of Slyudyanka was founded [6]. It housed the First and Second Sections of the Construction Administration of the Circum-Baikal Railway. There are different versions about why it was necessary to create the Slyudyanka railway junction, and not to make it in the then largest settlement in the south of Lake Baikal, Kultuk. There is an assumption that the construction of Slyudyanka was a personal wish of the then Minister of Railways Khilkov. According to another version, the village gathering of Kultuk refused to allocate land on its territory for a railway station, since in this case the already small land suitable for agriculture would be occupied by the station and the locomotive depot. The Circum-Baikal Railway was a strategically important and at the same time very expensive link of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The locomotive depot, as well as the world-famous Slyudyansky station made of white marble, were commissioned in 1904, and in 1905 train traffic was opened. In 1912, an initiative was put forward to transform the village into

“... the city of Slyudyanka, since in terms of the number (4072 souls of both sexes), class composition and occupation of the population, this settlement, which currently has the character of an urban settlement, in the future, due to natural geographical conditions: the proximity of many useful minerals (mica, white clay, alabaster, marble) and the convenience of selling them along the railway and waterways adjacent to the village must inevitably expand and develop.

By 1916, 5109 people lived in Slyudyanka, there was a church, 6 schools, 4 inns, a tavern and about 60 shops.


At the beginning of the 20th century, revolutionary organizations began to develop in Slyudyanka. In 1903-1904. a Social Democratic group appeared in the city. With the beginning of the revolutionary movement of 1905 in Irkutsk, unrest begins throughout the railway. In December 1905, the Council of Deputies of Workers and Employees of the Railway was created in Slyudyanka. To support the rebels in Irkutsk, the Bolsheviks, led by I.V. Babushkin, seized a train with weapons in Chita, but at the Slyudyanka station, Babushkin was captured by a punitive expedition, taken to Mysovsk and executed there with his comrades. In memory of this event, a memorial plaque by the sculptor G. V. Nerody was installed on the pediment of the Slyudyansky railway station.

In Slyudyanka, the well-known revolutionary figure Sergei Kirov conducted agitation work.

The October Revolution of 1917 took place in Slyudyanka in the form of spontaneous strikes. Soviet power was established practically in the first days after the revolution.

In the spring of 1918, in Slyudyanka, in order to prevent anyone who inspired even the slightest suspicion of belonging to an officer, the further path to Transbaikalia, the Bolsheviks organized a “checkpoint”, where several hundred Russian officers died as a result of the reprisals of Commissar Dashkov. These measures of the Bolsheviks led to a sharp increase in the bitterness of the internecine conflict. So, analyzing the behavior of officers in the Far East, the Supreme Ruler Admiral A. V. Kolchak noted.

By mid-July 1918, the Red forces, who had left Kultuk, retreated to Slyudyanka after they, retreating by rail in echelons, managed to get ahead of the White forces advancing on foot along the old Circum-Baikal Highway from Irkutsk through the village of Vedenskoye to Kultuk. When parts of the Czechoslovak corps of Radol Gaida approached Slyudyanka, the Slyudyanka Revolutionary Committee announced the introduction of martial law. On July 17, the train of the commander of Tsentrosibir arrived in Slyudyanka, and on July 19 military clashes began. The Slyudyankov Red Guards, detachments of Nestor Kalandarishvili and the Angara icebreaker resisted, but the White Guards advancing from Irkutsk easily occupied the trench defenses and on July 23 the Bolshevik forces left the city. The front of the Civil War rolled back to Verkhneudinsk. Soon Russian power was established in Slyudyanka. At the same time, there was a Bolshevik underground in the city, which carried out sabotage at the shipyard in Listvennichny against state power. On January 8, 1920, an armed uprising led by Georgy Rzhanov was raised in Slyudyanka against the forces of the Russian army retreating along the entire front, as a result of which Soviet power was established in the city.

Soviet years (1920-1991)
Slyudyanka before the Great Patriotic War
Immediately after the establishment of Soviet power, disputes arose between Kultuk and Slyudyanka over the volost administration. As a result, until 1930, the management of the volost committee was carried out from Kultuk, which caused discontent of the Slyudyansk village committee. On November 13, 1930, the Slyudyansky district was allocated from the East Siberian Territory by the decision of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the USSR, and it was decided to make Slyudyanka its center. In 1928, Slyudyanka was granted the status of a workers' settlement, and in 1936, the status of a city.

Immediately after the Civil War, confiscation of property from the wealthy segments of the population began in Slyudyanka. Also, under the pretext of storing weapons, the Slyudyanskaya St. Nicholas Church was closed. It was transformed into a May 1 club.

The industry of Slyudyanka at that time was represented by railway enterprises, mainly a locomotive depot, a brick factory and mica mining (in 1927 the Slyudyanka Mining Administration was opened). Also, local crafts were developed in the city - fishing, picking berries and pine nuts. Due to the insufficient provision of workers and railway workers with food, forest gifts made up a significant part of the diet of local residents.

In Slyudyanka in 1924 there was only one school and one club. The only cultural and entertainment center was the Blue Blouse propaganda train, which traveled with concerts for residents of railway villages. In 1936, funds were allocated from the regional budget for the construction of an orphanage for homeless children in Slyudyanka.

In the 1930s, repressions began in Slyudyanka. About 500 people were repressed in the city. On the mountains near Slyudyanka there were logging sites where exiles and repressed people worked.

On January 1, 1939, 12,331 people lived in Slyudyanka.

Slyudyanka during the Great Patriotic War
During the Great Patriotic War, 3461 people were mobilized from Slyudyanka.

Slyudyanka was a deep rear during the war years. The extraction of mica and the maintenance of the stable operation of the railway were carried out by hard work. "Vostochno-Sibirskaya Pravda" has repeatedly written about the workers of the labor front, the Slyudyan people - the head of the Slyudyansky mining department Bertenev, the worker of the mica factory Anastasia Stupa, the Stakhanovite miners, the machinists who achieved significant coal savings by caring for the machines, the fishermen of the Baikal fishing collective farm, who received the All-Union award for shock work, about the women of Slyudyanka, who cleared the paths. At the same time, financial assistance was also provided to the army. About 23 thousand rubles were collected by the steam locomotives of the depot alone. The Slyudyansk military hospital was also opened in Slyudyanka. V.P. Snedkov became the head physician. Many fighters here have recovered and returned to duty. Local enterprises and the pioneer organization took patronage over them. The well-known Baikal scientist Gleb Vereshchagin gave lectures at the hospital. In September 1945, there was a railway accident near Slyudyanka. The train with soldiers returning from the Japanese front went downhill. 15 people died. In memory of them and the wounded who died in the hospital, on June 22, 1989, a memorial was opened in the Uluntui valley.

In memory of the Slyudyans who did not return from the front, another memorial was created in the city - a memorial in the Pereval park. The sculptural composition consists of a monument to the warrior-liberator and plates with the names of the dead. One of them bears the names of the Heroes of the Soviet Union I. V. Tonkonog and G. E. Beresnev. Every year, a local Victory Parade is held near the memorial.

Slyudyanka after the Great Patriotic War
During the war and in the post-war years, a geological study of the territory was carried out. Samples of about 200 minerals were found, new mica veins were explored. The main event was the discovery of a deposit of marbled limestone. The thickness of the productive horizon here reached 350 m, and the length was about 10 kilometers. The possibility of its use as a raw material for the production of cement was considered. The reserves of raw materials at that time were estimated at 200 million tons. In 1955, the construction of the largest quarry for the extraction of building materials in the Irkutsk region at that time began. By 1957, it was completed, and the Pereval quarry, named after the deposit, produced the first tons of raw materials. Together with the quarry, a residential area for 1,500 people was built, consisting of panel apartment buildings.

Mica mining developed. It was used in various industries, including radio engineering and the aerospace industry. A mica factory was organized in Slyudyanka to process mica. Mining in the post-war period was carried out at full speed. Nine mines were in operation. The exhausted adits were abandoned, mining began. In 1958, one of the mines was flooded. Unprecedented engineering surveys were carried out to divert the water. A five-kilometer-long working was created to divert groundwater to Baikal. However, mica mining was unexpectedly stopped in 1973. Aldan phlogopite mica had to be marketed to justify the investment in this project.

After the war, Slyudyanka became a major railway junction. It was decided to build a section of the railway Slyudyanka - Bolshoy Lug - Irkutsk. Construction was completed by 1949. In the same year, the Slyudyanka II and Rybzavod stations were built (near the fish cannery). By 1960, the Trans-Siberian section from Mariinsk to Slyudyanka was electrified. In 1961, the locomotive depot of the city was transformed into a locomotive depot. In 1980, the depot was transferred from the Irkutsk branch of the Eastern Railway to Ulan-Ude.

In 1975, mica mining was completely stopped. It was necessary to re-profile the mining department to save jobs. It was decided to extract building materials. The Slyudyansk Mining Administration became part of the Rosmramorgranit Industrial Association of the Ministry of Building Materials Industry of the RSFSR and began mining marble, gneiss and granodiorites at the Burovshchina (in the village of the same name), Dynamite and Orlyonok deposits. During mining, a stone-working shop and a mosaic slab shop were organized. 30% of the products were exported from the region, mainly to Moscow and other cities of the Soviet Union, where work was carried out on lining metro stations. In 1985, the mining department produced 45 thousand m² of facing and 50 thousand m² of mosaic slabs.

Modern period
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the decline of industry in the city begins. As a result of privatization, in 1993 the Slyudyansk Mining Administration was transformed into Baikalsky Marble JSC, and then it broke up into various JSCs, such as Baikalpromkamen JSC, Baikal Stone Processing Plant JSC, Burovshchina Quarry JSC. In the same year, the Yuzhno-Baikal fish cannery was privatized and named AOOT "South-Baikal fish factory and Co."

In 1994-1995. the inhabitants of Slyudyanka were terrorized by the serial killer Boris Bogdanov. Being a forester and a professional hunter, he lay in wait for his victims in the forest, usually they were people who gathered wild garlic or mushrooms in the forest. According to official data, there were fifteen victims on the account of the criminal, according to unofficial data (taking into account the homeless people who lived in the forest) - 20 people. The police failed to detain the sadist, as he professionally tangled his tracks in the forest and had a phenomenal instinct, each time leaving the chase at the last moment. On May 22, 1995, the house where he was hiding was surrounded. One of the operatives, Alexander Kutelev, was shot dead by a maniac during the storming of the house. When Bogdanov realized that he could not escape, he shot himself. One of the streets of the city was named after Kutelev.

In 1998, the South Baikal Fish Cannery ceased to exist. Its closure was due to the general crisis of the fishing industry in the Irkutsk region. A tough tax policy, as well as serious competition from the Far Eastern canned fish producers, undermined the development of the fish processing industry in Slyudyanka. An attempt to revive the plant by transferring the enterprise's capacities to processing chicken and pork meat into semi-finished products failed.

In 2005, as part of the celebration of the centenary of the Circum-Baikal Railway, the Slyudyanka I station was reconstructed. A new boarding platform was built (from the side of the city). Repairs were also made in the station building. Its appearance was changed, an exhibition exposition appeared in it, telling passengers about the Circum-Baikal Railway.

In 2011, Slyudyanka celebrated the 75th anniversary of receiving city status. By this anniversary, the construction of housing for Slyudyanka resumed in Slyudyanka. For veterans of the Great Patriotic War, a residential complex is being built as part of the Federal Program to provide them with housing. A sports and recreation complex is being completed. Work was carried out on the arrangement of street sports facilities in the city.



Geographical position
Slyudyanka is located in Eastern Siberia, in the south of the Irkutsk region, on the southern shore of Lake Baikal, 110 kilometers along the R-258 highway and 126 kilometers from Irkutsk along the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Circum-Baikal Railway starts from the city. The city stands on two rivers, in the foothills of the Khamar-Daban mountain system. The area of the city is 38.7 km² (excluding the Slyudyansk municipality); 436 km² (together with him).

The city is located on a foothill plateau (pediment) at the foot of the Khamar-Daban mountain system. The lowest point of the city is the edge of Lake Baikal, which is 456 meters above sea level. The plateau is formed by estuarine valleys and filled with alluvial deposits of the Slyudyanka and Pokhabikha rivers. The plateau is inclined to the water surface of Baikal. Its length from west to east is about 5 kilometers, from north to south - from 2 to 4 kilometers. The plateau is surrounded by the Komarinsky Ridge and one of its spurs, protruding into Baikal - Cape Shaman. Shaman Cape is one of the most recognizable elements of the Slyudyanka relief, as well as a popular vacation spot.



Slyudyanka is located in the center of the Baikal rift zone, and therefore earthquakes of up to 11 points with a huge intensity and magnitude are possible in it. Large earthquakes (up to 6 points) occurred in Slyudyanka in 1862, 1959, 1995, 1999. An earthquake in February 1999 damaged the Slyudyansk wastewater treatment plant. But the most powerful earthquake occurred on August 27, 2008.

On August 27, 2008 at 10:35:32 local time, the strongest earthquake in its history with a magnitude of 7–9 points occurred on the territory of the Slyudyansky district. The epicenter was located 50 kilometers north of Baikalsk. In Slyudyanka, the tremors reached 8 points. By a happy coincidence, not a single collapse of a residential building occurred in the city and no one died. In houses built in 1940-1950. numerous cracks appeared (along the streets of 40 years of October and Perevalskaya). There was a displacement of the railway track and a break in the electrical wiring, so long-distance trains and suburban trains were delayed for several hours on the Mysovaya-Angarsk section. The district administration allocated funds to help victims of the earthquake. The damage was estimated at 80 million rubles. Holidays for schoolchildren were extended until September 8. Some houses were deemed uninhabitable, demolished and new ones built in their place. The building of the former kindergarten, in which the primary classes of the secondary school No. 4 studied, became unusable. It was demolished, and a kindergarten No. 213 of Russian Railways was built in its place.



Slyudyanka is located in the foothills of the Khamar-Daban mountain system, consisting of rocks of the age of Baikal and Early Caledonian folding, in connection with this, the main rocks found in the vicinity of Slyudyanka are granites, marbles, crystalline schists, diopsides, feldspars, etc. The city's four most famous minerals are phlogopite mica, marble, lapis lazuli (lapis lazuli), and marbled limestone.

The first attempts to start industrial mining of mica were made in 1902, when the local miner Yakunin discovered mica veins 3 kilometers from the railway station and staked them out. Industrial mining of mica began in Slyudyanka only in 1924. The trust "Slyudasoyuz" was created, and then, in 1929, the Slyudyansk Mining Administration was organized. The extraction of mica was carried out at a high pace due to the high demand for mica in electrical engineering and military engineering. By 1975, mica mining had ceased. Now mica mines can be of interest only to tourists.

Currently, the most used mineral is marbled limestone. Its extraction is carried out by the forces of OAO Quarry Pereval. For the construction of the dams of the Angarsk HPP cascade, cement was needed, and in 1958 a quarry was opened in the vicinity of Slyudyanka to extract raw materials for the production of cement, which was mined limestone and sent to the Angarsk cement plant. In 2008-2010, the quarry worked intermittently.

No less valuable fossil is marble of different colors, from white to pink. It was mined in the Burovshchina quarry. After the cessation of mica mining, the Slyudyanskoye Mining Administration refocused on the extraction and processing of marble. Marble from Slyudyanka was used for the production of tombstones and as a facing stone. They lined the Krasny Prospekt station of the Novosibirsk metro, the Proletarskaya station of the Kharkov metro, the Barrikadnaya and Ulitsa 1905 Goda stations of the Moscow metro.

Lapis lazuli began to be mined in the vicinity of Slyudyanka immediately after the discovery of its deposit by Laxman, already mentioned above. The first batch was sent to St. Petersburg for facing the walls of Peterhof. Azure stone was also used for facing the walls of St. Isaac's Cathedral and as a raw material for obtaining ultramarine paint. From 1851 to 1863, Permikin, a craftsman from the Yekaterinburg Lapidary Factory, was engaged in its extraction in the Malobystrinsky quarry. After 1863, its mining stopped for almost 100 years. Obruchev, who visited Slyudyanka in 1889, noted the abandonment of these places. In 1967, the Baikalkvartssamotsvety organization again organized the extraction of lapis lazuli, but in 1995 the enterprise went bankrupt.

Academician Fersman in one of his works called Slyudyanka a mineralogical paradise. In addition to the above minerals, about 400 more minerals were found in the mountains near Slyudyanka, such as apatite, diopside, wollastonite, glavcolite, uranothorite, mendeleevite, goldmanite, azurite, andalusite, afghanite, bystrite, vermiculite, graphite, dolomite, hydrogoethite, quartz, corundum , laurovite, molybdenite, orthoclase, plagioclase, rhodonite, sphalerite, florensovite, schorl, etc.



Slyudyanka is located in the temperate continental climate zone. Almost the entire Irkutsk region is located in the zone of a sharply continental climate, and the mildness of the climate of Slyudyanka is associated with the location of the city on the shores of Lake Baikal. Due to the warming influence of Lake Baikal, winter in the city is milder than in the rest of the Irkutsk region, and due to its cooling influence, spring comes late in the city, the summer maximum temperatures are shifted towards August, and autumn lasts relatively long. The last spring frosts end here in the 20th of May, and the first autumn frosts come after September 25th. The long-term average duration of the frost-free period is one of the longest in the Irkutsk region. It lasts 126 days. It is larger only in two places in the region - the city of Baikalsk and Peschanaya Bay (135 and 136 days, respectively).

There is little rainfall within the city. This is due to the special local air circulation - the city is located in a hollow, surrounded by mountains on three sides, and on the fourth - by the water surface of Lake Baikal. Because of this, local winds prevail - breezes and mountain-valley winds that do not bring precipitation. Meager precipitation is brought to the basin by north-western winds, but most of it falls in the upper tier of the mountains. At an altitude of 1.5 km above sea level, 20 km from Slyudyanka, about 1500 mm of precipitation is already falling at the Khamar-Daban weather station.

In winter, after Baikal freezes, typically anticyclone weather sets in over the city, due to the Mongolian anticyclone. A state of inversion sets in, and cold dry winds flow down from the slopes of the mountains, cooling the territory. The highest relative humidity is observed in November-December during the freezing of Lake Baikal. As the locals say, Baikal is floating. Evaporation at 15-degree frost forms advective fogs.