The Taltsy architectural and ethnographic museum
In the early 60's of XX during the construction of the Ust-Ilimskaya HPP, it was decided to save unique monuments of history and architecture of all-union significance - the Spasskaya gateway tower (1667) and the Kazan Church (1679) of the Ilimsky ostrog, which were in the zone of the forthcoming flooding of the Ust-Ilimsky Reservoir. During this period, the problem of preserving monuments of unique wooden architecture was raised in the Soviet Union for the first time. In some regions of the country there were attempts to create open-air museums. Irkutsk oblast was among the few where it was managed to be done. In 1966, the Irkutsk Regional Executive Committee decided to create a folk museum. The place for a future museum was chosen by the Moscow architect Galina Gennadyevna Oranskaya. It was the Taltsy urochishche (plot of land) on the right bank of the Angara on the 47th kilometer of the Baikal highway. After the preparation of the territory not only the Spasskaya gateway tower and the Kazan church of the Ilimsk ostrog were brought to the future museum, but also other unique monuments of history and architecture of the Irkutsk oblast. On July 18, 1980, the Museum of Wooden Architecture open to public. In 1994, the Taltsy Museum formerly a branch of the Irkutsk regional ethnographical museum, was converted into an independent institution of the culture of regional subordination. In 1995, by the Presidential Decree of the Russian Federation, the Taltsy museum was announced to be a cultural monument of historical and cultural heritage of federal significance. In 1999, the museum, previously functioning only in the summer tourist season, moved to year-round work. In the same year it became the Methodological Center of Siberia and the Far East of open-air museums of architectural and ethnographic profile. The Taltsy museum is a unique depository of history, architecture and ethnography of the 17th-20th centuries. A visit to open-air museum gives guests a unique opportunity to explore everyday lifestyle and cultural traditions of the people of Pribaikalye. The museum retrospectively recreates four historical and cultural zones: Russian, Buryat, Evenk and Tofalar. The culture and lifestyle of Buryats, Evenks and Tofalars, indigenous people of Irkutsk oblast, is reflected in Evenki and Tofalar camps, a complex of Evenki burials and the Buryat summer ulus (camp). The Russian zone shows monuments of wooden architecture of Pribaikalye of the 17th and early 20th centuries, mostly brought from Bratsk and Ust-Ilimsky districts of Irkutsk oblast. The "Volost Village" complex recreates an administrative center of the late 19th and early 20th century, including the "Volost Administration" complex, the parish school, the manor of the psalmist, the manor of the Cossack policeman. The pearls of the Taltsy museum are the Spasskaya gateway tower (1667) and Kazan Church of Ilimsk Ostrog (1679), masterpieces of wooden architecture. The Taltsy museum has a representative collection over 20 thousand objects. The museum receives over 140 thousand visitors every year. Folk and traditional holidays are celebrated here (Christmas, the Trinity, Easter), and Slavic pagan holiday (seeing of the winter). The museum gathers craftsmen of different skills from weaving or plating from the vine to making birch bark and clay crafts. Several peasant houses accommodated the workshops, where the craftsmen share professional secrets and demonstrate their products.