Museum of City Life
This small museum filling six rooms of a former merchant’s house illustrates just why 19th-century Irkutsk was nicknamed the ‘Paris of...
Carted off for renovation in 2007, Irkutsk’s second Decembrist house-museum made a comeback in 2012 with English-language information,...
City History Museum
Despite its palatial 19th-century home (built by wealthy merchant Sibiryakov in 1884) what should be Irkutsk's main repository of the...
You’ll smell this place before you see it as Irkutsk’s unpretentious microbrewery-pub creates its own Pilsner Urquell lager, pumping out...
Poznaya Sytny Ryad
Irkutsk’s most appealing cheap pozi joint is in a primly faux-rural timber house surrounded by the disarray of the market area.
per Volkonskogo 10 · interesting places nearby
Volkonsky House-Museum information
The duck-egg-blue and white home of Decembrist Count Sergei Volkonsky, whose wife Maria Volkonskaya cuts the main figure in Christine Sutherland’s unputdownable book The Princess of Siberia, is a small mansion set in a scruffy courtyard with stables, a barn and servant quarters. Renovated in the late 1980s, the house is now a museum telling the story of the family's exile in Irkutsk.
In the decade leading up to the Volkonskys return to St Petersburg in 1856, the house was the epicentre of Irkutsk cultural life, with balls, musical soirées and parties attended by wealthy merchants and high-ranking local officials. A tour of the building with its big ceramic stoves and orginal staircases takes visitors from the family dining room, where governor Muriev-Amursky once feasted on fruit and veg grown by Volkonsky himself in the garden out back, to the upstairs photo exhibition including portraits of Maria and other women who romantically followed their husbands and lovers into exile.
Emotionally charged items on show include Maria's pyramidal piano, a browsable book of images collected by fellow Decembrist wife, Trubetskaya, of the various places the Decembrists were imprisoned, and Maria's music box sent from Italy by her sister-in-law.