#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The small city in the Irkutsk region is called Siberian Petersburg – its design in the Soviet years was carried out by specialists from the Leningrad (now Saint-Petersburg) architectural and planning workshop. Therefore, Angarsk has a lot in common with the Northern capital: the streets are straight, the architecture is of classical style, the three-beam system of squares. And this is not the only thing that makes it related to Norilsk.
In the Irkutsk region, among the cities with a century-old history, Angarsk has always stood apart. Its history began in the 1930s, when it was decided to build an artificial liquid fuel plant in the east of the country. But those plans were interrupted by the Great Patriotic War, and only in 1945 a site for the plant construction was chosen. Considering this fact, as well as the fact that the first equipment for the city-forming enterprise was exported from Germany as a trophy, residents call Angarsk the city born by Victory.
Back in those early years, cutting trees in the taiga for the first street, the builders introduced the tradition – to preserve the natural forest area to the maximum. Even when laying sidewalks, they left pines, birches, bushes. And today Angarsk compares favorably with other Siberian cities with its green zones within the quarters. In this picturesque place between the Angara and Kitoy rivers there are six parks – more than in other regional centers. Other sights that Angarsk residents are extremely proud of is the only Passport Museum in Russia, which opened here in 2010, and the Clock Museum.
In Soviet times, Angarsk was a partially closed city like Norilsk today. Foreigners were prohibited from entering there because of the significant number of closed industries, in particular, an electrolysis chemical plant. Modern Angarsk is still a large industrial center.
There are 116 streets on the city map. The oldest one is Octyabrskaya street. Officially, it has existed since October 12, 1951. Its length is 1485 meters.
The shortest one is Parhomenko street, which is only 60 meters long.
Moskovskaya is the only crooked street. The designers have left intact the historical curve of the ‘shackled’ Moscow tract – as memory of the thousands of convicts who passed along it.
And in the Staritsa microdistrict there is Norilskaya street. Its length from south to north is 1571 meters, from west to east – 819 meters.
For a long time the Staritsa microdistrict was a remote outskirts of the city. Everything changed when the embankment appeared in 2019, now it’s the busiest public space in Angarsk. There are only two streets in the microdistrict – Novoselovskaya and Norilskaya which is near the embankment.
There are no paved roads or developed infrastructure. The population of the microdistrict is about 100 people. And yet they are not going to leave the Staritsa. It has its own atmosphere – there is a forest, a river… They live together, keep an eye on cleanliness. Whole gardens, spruces, pines, thujas are grown, and playgrounds are set up.
It should be noted that with the advent of the embankment, land in Staritsa has significantly increased in price. A lot of new settlers move to Norilskaya street. The locals are happy with them: the more people live there, the faster the long-awaited infrastructure will appear in the microdistrict, and one day Staritsa will turn from a village into a microdistrict, not only on paper, but in reality.
Text: Elena Popova, Photo: open sources