Founded as a foothold ostrog (Cossack fort) in 1675, Abakan remained overshadowed until the 1930s by neighbouring Minusinsk, once the region’s centre of European civilisation. With the tables now firmly turned, today the Khakass capital is a leafy, rapidly modernising place with a handful of undemanding sights and a population that will be (perhaps pleasantly) surprised to see you. Probably not worth a special trip on its own, Abakan does serve as a handy base for trips into Sayan mountains and Tuva.
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