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Krasnoyarsk is an important junction on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and has been an important Siberian stop ever since the great Siberian Post Road went through here in 1735. Named for the high red banks of the river (even before the Cossacks arrived, it was called “Kyzyl-Yar-Tura,” or “Red Banks”), the city sits on one of the most important rivers of Siberia, the Yenisey, and is, in fact, the capital of the Yenisey Republic. The famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov, in his “Journey to the End of the Russian Empire,” described the nearby mountains to the south and west of the city as having a “smoky, dreamy quality,” part of the reason why he would later describe Krasnoyarsk as the most beautiful city in Siberia.

Despite the large number of industries that moved here during and after World War II (the city boasts the largest aluminum plant in Russia), some of that natural beauty still blends well with the early Siberian architecture of the city to create a uniquely Russian setting.The many urbanized villages remain nestled into the cityscape helped preserve quite a large number of the old one- and two-story wooden masterpieces that originally housed immigrants and exiles.

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