Infobox Russian cityYakutsk ( _ru. Яку́тск; _sa. Дьокуускай, [IPA|dʒokuːskaj] ) is a city in the
Skyline=Yakutsk 1 (synchroswimr).jpg
CityDay=Second Sunday of September
Charter of Yakutsk
September 25, 1632
Russian Far East, located about 4° (450 kilometres) below the Arctic Circle. It is the capital of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic (formerly the " Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic"), Russiaand a major port on the Lena River. It is served by Yakutsk Airportas well as the smaller Magan Airport. Population: ru-census|p02=210642|p89=186626
Yakutsk was founded in 1632 as a
Cossackfort but did not grow into a city until the discovery of large reserves of goldand other minerals in the 1880s and 1890s. These reserves were developed extensively during the industrialisation under Stalin. The rapid growth of forced labour camps in Siberia also encouraged Yakutsk's development.
Yakutsk is a destination of
Lena Highway. Actually, the city's connection to the Highway is only accessible by ferry in the summer, or in the dead of winter, directly over the frozen Lena River, as Yakutsk lies entirely on its western bank, and there is no bridge anywhere in the Sakha Republic that crosses the mighty Lena. The river is impassable for long periods of the year when it is full of loose ice, or when the ice cover is not sufficiently thick to support traffic, or when the water level is high and the river turbulent with spring flooding. So the Highway actually ends on the eastern bank of Lena in Nizhny Bestyakh(Нижний Бестях), an urban-type settlementof some 4 thousand people. Additionally, Yakutsk is connected with Magadanin the Russian Far Eastby the Kolyma Highway. A massive dual-use railroad and roadway bridge over Lena is scheduled to be built by 2013 [http://www.sakha-info.ru/index_eng.php?news=2157 "In 2009 construction of the Bridge through Lena River will begin"] , "Republic of Sakha Information Portal", 29 March 2007, reprint of an article by Aleksey Dmitriev in the newspaper “Yakutia”. Link accessed 2008-01-13. en icon ru icon] , when the Amur Yakutsk Mainline, the North-South railroad being extended from the South, will finally connect the city with the East-West Baikal Amur Mainline(the railway has reached a point some 260 km south of Yakutsk). The bridge will be over 3 kilometres long and constructed 40 km upriver at Tabaga, where the river narrows and does not create a wide flooded area in spring. In the dead of winter, the frozen Lena makes for a passable highway for ice truckers using its channel to deliver provisions to far-flung outposts. Yakutsk State Universityis situated in the city. There's also a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which contains, among other things, the "Institute of Cosmophysical Research", which runs the Yakutsk Extensive Air Shower installation(one of the largest cosmic-ray detector arrays in the world), and the "Permafrost Research Institute" developed with the aim of solving the serious and costly problems associated with construction of buildings on frozen soil.
Yakutsk is also home of some theaters and museums among others, Sakha theater and the Museum of Mammoth.
The city has offices of many mining companies, including
ALROSA, whose diamond mines in Yakutia account for about 20% of the world's rough diamond output.
Yakutsk is one of the coldest cities on earth, with January temperatures averaging convert|-40.9|°C|°F|abbr=on|lk=off. The coldest temperatures ever recorded outside
Antarcticaoccur in the basin of the Yana Riverto the northeast. However, July temperatures can often exceed convert|32|°C|°F|abbr=on|lk=on, making the region among the greatest in the world for seasonal temperature differences. Yakutsk is the biggest city built on continuous permafrost. Most houses are built on concrete piles.
With the Lena River navigable in the summer, there are various boat cruises offered, including upriver to the Lena Pillars, and downriver tours which visit spectacular scenery in the lower reaches and the Lena delta.
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/yakutsk Flickr photos tagged Yakutsk]
* [http://www.ysu.ru/index_eng.php Yakutsk State University]
* [http://www.nhpfund.org/nominations/lena_pillars.html Lena Pillars] at [http://www.nhpfund.org/ Natural Heritage Protection Fund]
* [http://sakhafoto.gorodok.net/yakutsk/ Some photos of Yakutsk] ru icon
* [http://minstroy.sakha.ru/gallery.php Yakutsk past and present] : a photo gallery at the Ministry of Construction of the Sakha Republic website ru icon
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.