Sep 18, 2021
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Tour in Yenisei Siberia

Domestic tourism in Russia is at its peak. But will our regions be able to compete for travelers who prefer foreign destinations even after the opening of all borders? At least, in the mountains of Yenisei Siberia, you can definitely see something that is not, for example, in the Swiss Alps: petroglyphs, gold of the Scythians, places of power.

City’s legends

The Krasnoyarsk Territory, Khakassia and Tuva were decided to be united into the territorial brand “Yenisei Siberia”. “These regions have a common culture, history and nature,” explains Sergei Ladyzhenko, general director of the Yenisei Siberia Development Corporation.

Yenisei Siberia © Photo: ANO “Yenisei Siberia Development Corporation”

The big journey starts from Krasnoyarsk. Many are familiar with the city in absentia: Communal bridge from a ten-ruble bill – from here. But you can also walk along Vinogradovsky, which is similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco.

Vinogradovsky Bridge © Elena Gromova

The water in the Yenisei is so clear that you can even see the legs of ducks swimming near the shore. Arrogant and well-fed, these birds love to pose for tourists and expect a treat from them.

The place where the first prison was founded by the Cossacks is now the Peace Square. The size of the ancient settlement is easy to imagine, guided by the modern buildings that fit here: the Philharmonic, a business center, a residential building and a high-rise KATEK Research Institute “Ugol”.

KATEK Research Institute “Ugol” © Elena Gromova

In the latter, they say, ghosts are found. It’s not hard to believe in the stories about ghosts – the building is empty and no one is allowed in by the guards.

View of Krasnoyarsk from Karaulnaya Mountain © Elena Gromova

An excellent view of the city opens from Karaulnaya Gora. In the 17th century, the Cossacks erected a watchtower on its top. Before that, there was a sanctuary, it was believed that this is a place of power. Now on Karaulnaya Gora there is the chapel of Paraskeva Pyatnitsa.

Space for imagination

The business card of the Krasnoyarsk Territory is Pillars, bizarre syenite rocks. Children see in their outlines the heroes of books and films. Once upon a time, the official names of some of the Pillars appeared. “Grandfather”, “Feathers”, “Lion’s Gate” – there are many rocks, the imagination has a place to roam.

Krasnoyarsk Pillars National Park

Syenite rocks have bizarre shapes

Rocks in the national park

“Maybe you won’t be able to find the right image everywhere the first time. But, as the columnists say, when you overcome several kilometers uphill, everything opens up, ”says guide Anna.

Stolbists are local climbers. They do without belaying and perform almost acrobatic stunts when climbing a rock. It is not advised to repeat – preparation is needed. However, you can climb the mountains in Yenisei Siberia not only on the Pillars.

Extreme meditation

When you walk on a curtain wall – a heap of lumps, you need to concentrate: an awkward movement – and injury.

Tourists in the natural park “Ergaki”

Tourists walk along the kurumnik

Natural park “Ergaki”

Getting up is like meditation in extreme conditions. It is dangerous to waste yourself on fears, complexes and experiences.

Extreme routes in the natural park “Ergaki” © Elena Gromova

When climbing, tourists have to be very careful.

This is the path to the Hanging Stone in the Ergaki Natural Park in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and the route is not considered particularly difficult. Those who coped with it will see a block of 500 tons hanging on the edge of the cliff.


The dimensions of the Hanging Stone amaze © Elena Gromova

Hanging stone

If the Hanging Stone falls down, something like the end of the world will begin. Sayan will wake up and punish everyone who mistreated nature.

Fulfilled desires

In Khakassia, do not drive past the Chests.

Museum-reserve “Chests” © Elena Gromova

The reserve museum is considered a place of power

These remnants, like Stonehenge, are an ancient observatory. And a place of power. To fill up with energy, go around the first Chest counterclockwise.

The guide will show you where to make wishes. But he clarifies: the request is formulated according to the rules, if you do not perform all the rituals, it will not come true.

Museum-reserve Chests

Views of tourists in the Museum-Reserve © Elena Gromova

Much depends on the guides on the Chests. Some will shower with links to research. Others will try to create such an atmosphere that even a skeptic will feel the magic of the mountains. But be sure to ask to be led to the petroglyphs – the most famous of them, the “White Horse”, according to various estimates, is from 17 to 30 thousand years old.

Petroglyphs in the Chests Museum-Reserve © Elena Gromova

True, besides the ancient rock art, there are more modern inscriptions on the Chests – the dispersed travelers tried their best. The guide Andrey assures that he knew some of those who left their “autograph”. And he claims: “They did not live to forty, perhaps the spirits punished them that way.”

The source of the Yenisei

The Yenisei begins in Tuva – here Biy-Khem and Kaa-Khem merge. The republic is small, but it has something to offer tourists. Here you can feel the power of the river – just take a ride on the boat of the Old Believer along Kaa-Khem. One threshold after another, the waves hit the side, the water sometimes hisses – it immediately becomes clear where the Yenisei got such a force from.

Boating up the Kaa-Khem © Photo: ANO “Yenisei Siberia Development Corporation”

Rapids on the Kaa-Khem river

Kaa-Khem river

“High mountains border on endless steppes, impassable taiga side by side with sandy deserts. There are many lakes, large and small rivers, ”says the acting Minister for Foreign Economic Relations and Tourism of the Republic of Tuva Rolanda Sambu-Hoo.

Bank of the Kaa-Khem River © Photo: ANO “Yenisei Siberia Development Corporation”

Those interested can take a boat ride

The wild nature of Siberia attracts travelers

And in the National Museum there is the only “stone library” in the world, where ancient tombstones with runic inscriptions are collected. There are many steles, and they are different. One, for example, is dedicated to a female warrior, the other is a testament to descendants.

Steles in the National Museum of the Republic of Tyva © Photo: ANO “Corporation for the Development of Yenisei Siberia

There is also the gold of the Scythians. The nomads succeeded in processing precious metal. They even made beads out of it and embroidered the tsar’s pants with them.

Gold jewelry

Scythian gold in the National Museum of the Republic of Tuva

Since childhood, their ruler wore a symbol of power around his neck – a golden hryvnia. She never filmed and could grow into the body.

Music and character

An obligatory item is a concert of the national orchestra. Throat singing and the sound of Tuvan instruments sometimes seem cooler than blockbuster soundtracks. American Sean Quirk even moved to Tuva – he liked the local music so much.

Tuvan National Orchestra during the performance of musical works © Photo: ANO “Corporation for the Development of Yenisei Siberia”

Now he is the manager of the Alash folklore ensemble, which has a Grammy. In 2009, the award was received for the album Jingle All the Way, which included compositions recorded with the participation of the group.

Visit the shepherd’s camp and see the life of the nomads, which can be compared with the Old Believers – they also live in Tuva. By the way, both of them do not particularly refuse the benefits of modern civilization, some leave for the city.

Yurts on the shepherd’s camp © Elena Gromova

The way to the yurts and to the village of Old Believers is a separate adventure. You have to drive along country roads: bumps, turns, up and down slopes. However, shaking is a feasible price to pay for the views.

But it is in such conditions that the character is tested – his own and new acquaintances.

View of the Yenisei in Kyzyl © Gromova Elena

“After more than an hour’s drive, our minibus had to be pushed onto the ferry, and everyone helped. They put beams under the wheels, told the driver when to go and when to slow down. Nobody whined, it was fun. While the car was getting on board, our group made friends with the locals, ”recalls tourist Tatyana Matveeva.


Elena Gromova

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