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Temperature and exile[edit]

I made some small changes. 1. I removed the reference to Verkhoyansk, since this city is not located in Siberia. I also added the information about Lake Bajkal's effect on the climate.

2. I removed the two first lines in the part about exile in Siberia. Irkutsk was not particulary used for this reason, it is enough with the decembrists, as it stands. And the information about Mongolian exile there, had a reference that didn't work, and I also somewhat doubt this information. --Esalen (talk) 08:31, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


Is it too much to ask of an encyclopedia to have a map of where this place actually is? No, it isn't. Hang on...........................................There you go: one map! Kelisi 23:59, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

RISK anyone? No thanks.

Synagogue fire[edit]

I was sorry to read about the fire at Irkutsk's old synagogue.

I visited the city in 2001 and found it to be a pleasant surprise. Instead of the drab Soviet-era architecture that I had expected -- although there was a bit of that -- I found a city full of lovely Italianate buildings and traditional Siberian wooden houses.

By the way, there are some much better examples of those in Irkutsk than what we see in the photo. My pictures are all slides, but perhaps I can render a few into digital pix and post one or two.

I notice that I'm the first to post here if you don't count the guy who wants to play RISK. That's a shame. There is more to some of these places in Siberia than snow and gulags.

Saint Innocent: Miracleworker to Alaska and the Irkutsk Connection[edit]

Historically, there is a strong connection between Irtutsk and Alaska. Russian traders coming to Alaska had to get official papers in Irkutsk allowing them to travel to Alaska for fur trading. Ivan Veniaminov (St. Innnocent) is fondly remembered by scholars, historians and the Native peoples of Alaska to whom he minstered. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage is named after him. There are probably blood ties between people in Irkutsk and peoples of the Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska, namy of whom are Russian surnamed. This is a topic which would be of great interest for research.

St. Innocent of Irkutsk and St. Innocent of Alaska, the Metropolitan of Moscow, are not the same people! See [1] and [2]. The latter was originally from Irkutsk (actually a nearby village), but that's not how he's called since the work for which he's remembered wasn't done there and his relics are in Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:55, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Added info[edit]

Added info to the right side of the page Ilyushka88 00:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


I added the Mongolian name for Irkutsk at the start of the article, but this was removed by User:Ezhiki with a request for explanation.

As I said at my comment, I wasn't sure how appropriate it was to add the Mongolian name at that place. However, given that

1) Alternative names are given for many cities (e.g., Vladivostok, Aix-la-Chapelle etc. etc.)
2) Irkutsk is very close to Mongolia and is in or near areas of traditional Mongolian occupation
3) The Mongolian name is in normal use in Mongolia, i.e., it's not just a historical relic

I felt that the Mongolian name would be a useful addition.

However, I wasn't sure not sure whether it should be added at that particular position, or perhaps just mentioned as an aside in the article. That's why I characterised it as a tentative addition. Still, I feel that it would be useful to add the Mongolian name somewhere in the article.

Bathrobe (talk) 01:24, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the mongolian name might make sense if it was related to the etymology of the name "Irkutsk". Otherwise, the Buryat name might make sense if the city had a sizeable (and native) Buryat population, if the city was under some kind of autonomous status, or if there was some kind of strong historical connection.
I do think I once read about etymology being somehow related to the mongolian word for Nestorian Christs, but don't remember where or if the info was reliable. Even then I think it's better mentioned under 'History' than in the intro.
I don't think mentioning all the foreign names for Aachen makes any sense. Aachen is the German name, and Aix-la-Chapelle is a name that frequently appears in literature. All the rest is redundant, at least in the intro.
On the other hand, I feel like the intro for Zhangjiakou should contain both the chinese and mongolian names (classical mongolian is enough, though), plus "Kalgan". Zhangjiakou was the border town between Inner Mongolia and China proper, it also was the administrative center of Mengjiang, and "Kalgan" is obvioulsy derived from Haalga. Yaan (talk) 10:37, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it's based on the river Irkut, which I'm sure has a Mongolian name; would have to check.
I've no doubt the town itself was founded by Russians -- there's no way you could say it was ever a Mongolian city in any sense of the word. Still, I don't see why the name should be positively excluded from the article. Irkutsk is very close to Mongolia and the area has historic connections with Mongolia. I was a little dubious about adding it after the Russian name at the start of the article, but I still feel that it could be mentioned in the article. Siberia was not tabula rasa before the Russians came. To all intents and purposes the Russian aspect of Irkutsk and its history is predominant, but the existence of other peoples in the area, and the fact that they have their names for Irkutsk, is definitely of interest and relevance.
Bathrobe (talk) 12:10, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
As the original comment was directed at me, here is why I do not think having a Mongolian name in the lead is necessary.
  1. Alternative names are given for many cities (e.g., Vladivostok, Aix-la-Chapelle.... True, but there should always be a very good reason to add one. It makes sense to have a German name in Kaliningrad (it is a former Prussian city), a Tatar name in Kazan (Tatar is the official language of Tatarstan, along with Russian), or even a Chinese name in Vladivostok (which has a sizeable Chinese population), although the latter may still be disputed. There is no equally good reason (not that I know of, anyway) to put a Mongolian name in Irkutsk.
  2. Irkutsk is very close to Mongolia and is in or near areas of traditional Mongolian occupation. So what? Pskov is very close to Belarus, but that is not a good enough reason to add a Belarusian name to the lead. Makhachkala is close to Azerbaijan, but it makes no sense to add a name in Azerbaijani to the lead of Makhachkala, etc.
  3. The Mongolian name is in normal use in Mongolia, i.e., it's not just a historical relic. True, but this is the English Wikipedia. How is having a Mongolian name in the lead of the article about a Russian city relevant to the English Wikipedia?
All in all, I just don't see a compelling reason to include the name in Mongolian. It would make more sense to add the name in Buryat (Irkutsk Oblast, after all, has just merged with Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous Okrug, where Buryat is one of the official languages), but even that, in my opinion, is unnecessary (Irkutsk is not a part of UOBAO). Unless Mongolians constitute a good portion of Irkutsk population or unless Mongolian is very commonly spoken in the city, having a Mongolian name in the lead is unnecessary. Mongolian name may (or may not) be OK in a section describing relations of Irkutsk with Mongolia, but in the absence of such a section I'd suggest we remove the name.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:31, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
My appeal to add this name is not based on an open-and-shut case, which is why I added it "tentatively". There is no hard-and-fast rule about which names should be mentioned. I won't try to "argue a case" here; rather I'll suggest a few points:
The decision to list foreign names for a city is actually rather fluid and will depend on the circumstances. The French name Londres could be added to the article on London, but it's not. This is understandable as London is an English city with no "French quarter" and no particular French claim to the city. You might want to add Londres, however, to show that the city has traditionally been called other names in Europe. Still, it's hard to draw the line. Once you let French or Spanish in the door, you'll have everyone clamouring to add their language, which would be ridiculous. So London only has "London".
However, there are also cities like Trieste. This was an Italian-speaking city in a solidly Slovenian area. That is, the citizens were Italian speaking; the peasants beyond the walls were ethnically Slovenian. So even though the Slovenes didn't live in the city (at least not in great numbers, as I understand), they did have an interest in Trieste. The Italian, Slovenian, and German (Austrian Empire) names are all relevant to this article, and are all mentioned.
Irkutsk is a more marginal case. Irkutsk is indubitably a Russian city, and I suspect (I've never been there, although I would definitely like to go) it's not really some kind of "centre for Mongolians" (like Trieste was for Slovenes). As you say, it's not even located in a Mongolian-speaking republic. However, Buryat lands were transferred to Irkutsk oblast in the past, so Irkutsk is not unrelated to Mongolian history in a broader sense (Buryats are, after all, Mongols).
On the other hand, the name I've added is Khalkh Mongolian, not Buryat. Even in Mongolia the Russian name is known and used (I have a Mongolian map showing the name as Иркутск). So it's quite possible that Buryat Mongolian would use the Russian name and not have a Mongolian-based name at all. Adding the Khalkh Mongolian name could, as you suggest, be irrelevant to both Russians and local Buryat Mongols.
Still, excluding names used in a neighbouring country, on the principle that they're "across the border" and thus quite extraneous, seems a rather strong, almost nationalist position to take. I can't really see any major argument for aggressively excluding the Mongolian term. The Mongolian name is of far more relevance than, say, the Telugu name, for instance (an extreme example, I admit, but relevant for the sake of illustrating the point). The fact that Mongolian uses a different term for Irkutsk than the standard Russian name suggests a historical connection to the area. The Mongols (in the broader sense) have been associated with the area for hundreds of years, in a way that would be unthinkable for a Telugu speaker.
So my position is that the Mongolian name is indeed relevant to the article, and is difficult to exclude in principle. However, I accept that the name should be taken down from the lead of the article. Эрхүү is neither an official not an alternative name in the city itself, and doesn't belong on the same level as the Russian name (the local name) or the English name (expected because this is English Wikipedia).
Bathrobe (talk) 04:20, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Just for the info, on this map it looks as if the name of Irkutsk in traditional Mongol letters was something like Yirkü or Irkü (with the letter transliterated to 'k' being pronounced somewhere between english 'h' and russian (cyrillic) 'x'), and the name of the Irkut river was Yirküt or Irküt ghoul or Irkü-ün ghoul. At least this is what I read, my knowledge of the script being still rather rudimental. Yaan (talk) 00:48, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
On modern Mongolian maps, the river is Эрхүү гол, the city is Эрхүү. I'm afraid I haven't begun to learn the traditional script yet. Incidentally, the map you give suggests that there are reasonably good grounds for including the Mongolian name in the Wikipedia articles on Irkutsk and the Irkut river.
Bathrobe (talk) 05:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
How?Yaan (talk) 13:46, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Good question.
Bathrobe (talk) 14:33, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


Gene martin (talk) 18:33, 11 January 2011 (UTC)I made one change and one addition: 1. Corrected the reference to the bridges. The easternmost bridge is actually the hydroelectric dam; the next one west used to be the one near the Railway station, but now another bridge has been built, across from the Academgorodok. Lastly, there is a third bridge in the Topkinski area. 2. Added reference to the left and right banks, which is still in use.

Dnepropetrovsk maniacs copycat case[edit]

There seems to be a case inspired by the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs in Irkutsk (details at Talk:Dnepropetrovsk_maniacs#Copycat_case.3F) The suspects are said to be facing life sentences, but there is no sentence yet. Could anyone comment on whether this has picked up widespread media coverage?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:53, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Telecommunications & internet[edit]

Can somebody who knows, add a section on telecommunications and internet service to this entry. I have not been there, but assumed that they had widespread broadband internet service, but the person I am dealing with says that he does not have that. It may be that this person is too far from the city centre. Is broadband availability widespread in central Irkutsk? Is it reasonably priced? Are most telephones landlines?, or is it like in third-world countries where simply went straight to cellular service without ever having a decent copper wire network? Thanks to anybody who knows.

External links modified[edit]

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