Siberian Federal District
Time: Yakutsk Time Zone (YAKT/YAKST).
Local time now:
Federal district: Siberian Federal District (on March 1, 2008, Chita Oblast merged with Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug to form Zabaykalsky Krai).
Main cities: Baley, Borzya, Krasnokamensk, Petrovsk-Zabaykalsky.
Land and Resources: It had extensive international borders with China (998 km) and Mongolia (868 km) and internal borders with Irkutsk and Amur Oblasts, as well as with the Buryat and the Sakha Republics. Forests cover about 60% of its territory.
Climate: Harsh continental climate with long and cold winters. Average January temperatures range from −23 °C in the south to −33 °C in the north and southeast. The summers are warm, average July temperatures range from 10 °C to 20 °C in the hollows and from 5 °C to 7 °C in the mountains.
Transportation: Chita stands at the confluence of the Chitinka and Ingoda rivers and on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 500 miles east of Irkutsk. Chita is a large railway junction. There is an airport Kadala. Public transport in the city consists of trolleybuses, ,buses and marshrutkas.
The settlement of Chita is known since 1653 founded by Pyotr Beketov`s Cossacks. Chita was incorporated as a town in 1851.
Chita is laid out in a grid pattern, which is rare in Russia. Architecturally, Chita is a clash of styles. Foremost, Chita is populated with five-storey communist concrete buildings. In contrast to these Soviet signatures, Chita is also populated with individual homes made primarily out of wood, the equivalent of those you would see in any mountainous area.
The Mikhailo-Arkhangelskaya Church (Church of Decembrists) built in 1771 reminds of stay of decembrists in Chita.
The Chita establishments of culture are the Drama and Puppet theatres, the Philharmonic society, the Museum of local lore, the Art museum, the Museum of Decembrists, etc.
The Chita Regional Art Museum is the owner of the prize "Gold Palm-96" awarded by the International Association of France "Partnership for the sake of progress".
The centrepiece of Chita is Lenin Square with a large fountain. In early winter the city invests in ice sculptures, built by Chinese firms, a beautiful ice castle of around three metres` height being lit colourfully by night. Central Chita is built on a slope down towards the confluence of the Ingoda and Chitinka rivers. This is the point at which the first Russian settlers founded the city in 1653. Just above the Chitinka river stands the impressive classical white railway station, dating from the pre-revolutionary coming of the Trans-Siberian railway. In front of the station is a huge and impressive Orthodox cathedral. Built during the early years of this millennium on the site of an old Soviet stadium, the cathedral gleams with gold onion domes and garish sky blue walls.
The old wooden post office and the green city hall form the eastern edge and the imposing regional duma (parliament) dominates the square from the north. Venture along the streets around Lenin Square and you will find reasonably busy commercial areas, modern shopfronts shining beneath Stalin and Khruschev-era blocks. The Old Market trades outdoors in all weathers, but the real bustle takes place in the nearby Chinese market, known locally as the Kitaika.
Following Lenin Street north from the square, one encounters the huge Filarmonia concert hall, beside which stands the square of the Fighters for Soviet Power in the Transbaikal Region. This is a drab expanse of concrete above which towers a monument of three workers/soldiers, faces stoic and weapons pointed skywards in true Socialist Realist style. Following Lenin Street in the opposite direction one finds the Officers` Club, an imposing colonnaded Stalin-era structure behind which stands a park complete with a row of World War Two military hardware. Beside the Officers` Club stands a beautiful nineteenth-century merchant`s house.
View of Chita
Station in the city of Chita
the Kazan cathedral, Chita
Encarta World Atlas