This island is one giant park, free of traffic, and is a serene place to wander. It was attractively landscaped by the architect Carlo...
This car-free island becomes a winter wonderland in colder temperatures, with sledding, cross-country skiing and ice skating. Skis and...
Hermitage Storage Facility
Guided tours of the Hermitage’s state-of-the-art restoration and storage facility are highly recommended. This is not a formal...
This new 7000-seat stadium is home to local basketball team BK Spartak (www.bc-spartak.ru) who play here from October to April. The...
This tiny, family-run hideaway offers an intimate atmosphere and delectable food. Try old Russian recipes such as beef in plum and nut...
Buddhist Temple information
Lonely Planet review
Another in the city's collection of grand religious buildings is this beautiful functioning datsan (temple) where respectful visitors are welcome. The main prayer hall has lovely mosaic decoration and there's a cheap and cheerful cafe in the basement. The temple was built between 1909 and 1915 at the instigation of Pyotr Badmaev, a Buddhist physician to Tsar Nicholas II.
Money was raised from all over Russia, and as far afield as Thailand and England, by various Buddhist organisations; it even gained the support of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa.
In the 1930s the communists shut the temple, arrested many of the monks and used the building as a military radio station. In the 1960s it was taken over by the Zoological Institute and used as laboratories. Thankfully, however, the damage was not particularly profound and the datsan was returned to the city’s small Buddhist community in 1990. Services are held at 7pm.