The Baikal Museum in Listvyanka

Last updated: 18.4.2002

The Baikal Museum is located on the shore of Lake Baikal, at the outlet of the Angara River, about 70 km southwest of the city of Irkutsk. And about 4 km from the village of Listvyanka, further along the shore of Baikal, where the highway from Irkutsk ends. The famous Shaman Rock in the middle of the Angara outlet is visible from the Museum. One can get there from Irkutsk by bus, or in the summer by boat (fast hydrofoils). The Museum's mission is to collect, protect, study and demonstrate exhibits and information related to the Lake Baikal. In the slide show above you can view examples of the museum's exhibits.

Baikal is the deepest lake in the world - its maximum depth is 1637 m, i.e., slightly more than one mile. It contains very pure water that one can drink directly from the lake. It is the home of a large number, more than 1200, of endemic species. The most famous of which is the Baikal freshwater seal, called nerpa (also here). More than 330 rivers are flowing into Baikal, and only a single one, Angara, is flowing out of the Lake.

The Museum is currently converting part of its building into a large aquarium that will soon show the nerpa to the public. The idea behind this is to minimize the disturbance to the population of seals in the wild that is already being threatened by overhunting and poachers.

There are apartment houses behind the Museum for the accommodation of its workers and scientists. Tourists are welcome to stay in these apartments, also with the families living there. Three meals per day are included. The museum also organizes Baikal cruises with lectures by specialists on Baikal history, geology, archaeology, hydrobiology, ichthyology and ecology. Ask here for more information on both.

Many more spectacular pictures, and a lot of further information about Baikal can be found e.g. on the Lake Baikal Homepage.

Central markets, Irkutsk, Bratsk Siberia index The Listvyanka village