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Khakassia

Khakssia republic - республика хакасия

abakan - абакан

The capital of Khakassia – Abakan – was founded in 1675 as a small military outpost. Today it is a pleasant city but notoriously short of places of interest. Travelers can comfortably stay overnight in one of Abakan’s many hotels and during the day make sightseeing raids into the surroundings.

The recently built Transfiguration Cathedral.

The Khakassia administration.


salbyk mound – салбыкский курган

Khakassia is a cradle of the Siberian civilization. Standing stones and burial mounds (kurgans) are dispersed all around the republic. Some of them are more than 3000 years old. Therefore, it makes sense to allocate a couple of days for driving around Khakassia. Undoubtedly, the most impressive is the Salbyk Kurgan excavated in 1956. It is located about 60 km north-west of Abakan. It is a huge ancient grave once was 11 meters high. Some of the huge stones weigh 50 tons.

There is a small museum at the entrance to the kurgan.


Much less known but equally attractive and rarely visited kurgan called Barsoochy Log (Барсучий Лог) is hidden in a valley about 10 km from the heavily touristed Salbyk. It is not easy to find as there are no signs and no paved roads. This burial mound was excavated in 2004-2006. It dates back to IV-III century B.C.

John Burke from Cleveland, Ohio, USA enjoyed his visit to Khakassia's burial mounds in 2015.

The landscape of Khakassia is mostly hilly grasslands dotted with standing stones and burial mounds.

The most revered and worshipped standing stone of Khakassia stands in Kazanovka.


A collapsed mine in the village of Tuim.


askiz – аскиз

They say that Askiz is the most Khakas town in Khakassia. However there is little to see except, perhaps, a very sad Lenin.

The statue of Nikolay Katanov (1862-1922), a public figure and philologist. He is considered to be the first Khakas scientist.


The main attraction of Askiz in my mind is The Sovietsky Hotel exhibiting many artifacts of the glorious Soviet past and having a well-kept carefully mowed garden. The restaurant serves very decent food.

Flags of all 15 former Soviet republics.

The Eifel Tower made of 1,500 flower pots.

The interior of the hotel is very colourful.


sayano-shushenskaya dam - саяно-шушенская ГЭС

Russia’s biggest and the world’s fourth in terms of energy production Sayano-Shushenskaya hydropower station is located in Khakassia south from Abakan about 30 km from the town of Sayanogorsk (саяногорск). The dam is 245 meters high.

Few foreign tourists come to Khakassia. Still fewer ever ventured to travel to its remote corners. I recommend a circular drive Abakan – Kyzyl – Abakan by the road running through rural areas in the western corner of Tuva, where nomadic Tuvans live traditional life in yurts being little affected by modern conveniences, as well as across the remote southern part of Khakassia. The border between the two republics lies right on the top of a scenic mountain pass at 2214 m ASL. This route is still can be considered a relatively off-beaten track.

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