Federal district: Siberian • Capital of Tuva Repablic • Population: 109,918 inhabitants
Kyzyl is the capital of Tuva. It is an administrative, cultural, industrial and scientific centre of the republic. The city is situated in the eastern part of the Tuvinian basin and occupies the area of 200.37 square kilometers. The history of the city starts in 1914 when Russia became a protector of Tuva. A picturesque place near the joint of two rivers Biy-Khem and Kaa-Khem was chosen to build the capital. This place was used by the Russians to trade with local people from ancient times. The new capital was named Belotsarsk. Later it was changed several times due to events of 1917 and finally was named Kyzyl in 1925.
In 1944 Tuva republic was included in USSR. After that the republic began its quick development. Several plants were built on its territory: a milk plant, a plant of special equipment, a plant of wall constructions, a concrete plant, a beer plant, a bread plant and a meat-packing factory. Unfortunately the majority of these factories didn’t manage to survive during the crisis in the 90ies.
All the main educational institutions are also situated in Kyzyl.
The first sightseeing place to visit in Kyzyl is for sure “The centre of Asia” monument. It is situated on the bank of Yenisei river. There is an inscription on the opposite mountains – “Om mani padme hum” – the main Buddhist mantra. This place is not the exact centre of Asia, but it is very easy to feel yourself in the centre of this vast and mysterious part of the world.
Near the monument there is a one storey wooden building, several yurts and a ritual construction ovaa. It is one of the seven shaman clinics in Tuva republic. The head of the clinic is a hereditary shaman Ai-Churek Oyun. She is considered to be one of the most powerful shamans in Tuva.
One of the most beautiful places in Kyzyl is Arat square, situated in the centre of the city. In 1977 the Tuvinian state musical and drama theatre was built here. After that the square got unique national color. The architectural complex also includes the government of Tuva and the parliament of the republic. In 2006 “a drum of wishes” was installed on the square. It is a pray drum full of sacred mantras. This event was very important for all the Buddhists of the republic as all previous pray drums were destroyed during the USSR period.
There are several museums working in the capital. At first you should visit the National Aldan Maadyr museum of Tuva republic. In 2007 the museum was granted with unique archaeological objects which were found in the“Valley of Kings” – so called “Scythian gold”. There is also the Museum of political repressions history, Nadya Rusheva museum and the Exhibition hall.
The surroundings of Kyzyl are also worth visiting. There is a mineral spring “Tos-Bulak” situated 10 km far to the south from the city. On the way to the mineral spring there is a monument called “Free arat”. It symbolizes a shepherd in tuvinian national clothes surrounded by white stones which represent his sheep.
- Krasnoyarsk region
- Republic of Khakassia
- Republic of Tuva