Gorno-Altaisk, the capital of the Altai Republic, was founded in 1830 and immediately saw an influx of missionaries eager to convert local pagan tribes. Today it’s a somewhat bland mixture of Soviet-era buildings and newer development running through an attractive valley. For travellers, it's a convenient jumping-off point for more far-flung bits of Altai, and it's a required stop for those heading to the Mt Belukha area or other Altai border zones.
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