The Lake Baikal in Siberia

Friday, 21 August 2015 - 04:28 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Sunset at Lake Baikal © Emilianka/cc-by-sa-3.0

Sunset at Lake Baikal © Emilianka/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lake Baikal is a rift lake in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between the Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast. Lake Baikal is the largest (by volume) freshwater lake in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water, and at 1,642 m (5,387 ft), the deepest. It is also among the clearest of all lakes, and thought to be the world’s oldest lake at 25 million years. It is the seventh-largest lake in the world by surface area. With 23,615.39 cubic kilometres (5,700 cubic miles) of fresh water, it contains more water than that of all the Great Lakes combined.

Like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape with a surface area of 31,722 km2 (12,248 sq mi). Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two-thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is also home to Buryat tribes who reside on the eastern side of Lake Baikal, rearing goats, camels, cattle, and sheep, where the mean temperature varies from a winter minimum of −19 °C (−2 °F) to a summer maximum of 14 °C (57 °F).

Murino River to Lake Baikal © Sansculotte/cc-by-sa-3.0-de Listwjanka © Octagon/cc-by-3.0 Sunset at Lake Baikal © Emilianka/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Murino River to Lake Baikal © Sansculotte/cc-by-sa-3.0-de
The lake, nicknamed “the Pearl of Siberia”, drew investors from the tourist industry as energy revenues sparked an economic boom. Viktor Grigorov’s Grand Baikal in Irkutsk is one of the investors, who planned to build three hotels, creating 570 jobs. In 2007, the Russian government declared the Baikal region a special economic zone. A popular resort in Listvyanka is home to the seven-story Hotel Mayak. At the northern part of the lake, Baikalplan (a German NGO) built together with Russians in 2009 the Frolikha Adventure Coastline Track, a 100-kilometer (62 mi)-long long-distance trail as example for a sustainable development of the region. Rosatom plans to build a laboratory in Baikal, in conjunction with an international uranium plant and to invest $2.5 billion in the region and create 2,000 jobs in the city of Angarsk. According to 19th-century traveler T. W. Atkinson, locals in the Lake Baikal Region had the tradition that Christ visited the area:

“The people have a tradition in connection with this region which they implicitly believe. They say “that Christ visited this part of Asia and ascended this summit, whence he looked down on all the region around. After blessing the country to the northward, he turned towards the south, and looking across the Baikal, he waved his hand, exclaiming ‘Beyond this there is nothing.'” Thus they account for the sterility of Daouria, where it is said “no corn will grow.”

Read more on unesco.org – Lake Baikal, lakebaikal.org, Wikivoyage Listvyanka and Wikipedia Lake Baikal. Learn more about the use of photos.To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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