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"Goldboiling" Kyakhta

Source:  Buryatia. The sunny side of Baikal. - Ulan-Ude, 2010. - H. 62-64.

«Goldboiling» -  this  worn comes from the ancient world. But it could he used to name, once famous Siberian Kyafkhl ta, which in the past centuries  accepted lots of goods ( most of all - tea) from two border countries, Russia and China. Here   multi-million   agreements were made, the place even had a street called Millionaire Street...

Kyakhta appeared and had quite boisterous life thanks to the tsar ambassador, count Savva Raguzinskii. He was appointed to mark the border and establish the trade with China. The count started working immediately: he established the shop ping arcade and in front of it they founded a small fortress, where a Trinity church wasI established, with a side chapel consecrated L in honor of St. Sava - this is where the name Troitskosavsk originates from.

From Russia they exported different ironwork, peltry, textiles; from China - textiles and mostly tea - the Russians finally realized that the drink is very tasty and couldn't do any more without it.

" Nowadays «sandy Venice» (there is sand everywhere) - this is how they used to call Kyakhta - is a provincial town with the population of about 20 000 people. You can feel history in every little detail. This amazing history has left its trace not only in the local sand, but in whole Siberia, in whole Russia...

But best of all this history is told by the marvelous ethnographical museum, founded in 1894. It keeps vast entomological, ornithological and ichthyologic collections; geological and botanical material, the material on Baikal fauna and collections of items from ancient burial grounds. Unique collections «Asian Huns» were exhibited at «Europalia-2005» in Brussels. During the excavations they found the household objects, weapon, items of horse harness, decorations (real art masterpieces) presented by open-work buckles and plates from the belts. Different ceramic vessels astonish with their perfect shape and proportion.

Collection «The Old Capital of Tea Russia» is a participant and prize-winner of the festival «Intermuzei-2006» in Moscow. The exposition includes examples of tea, presented by the merchants of Kyakhta in the late 19th century: brick-tea, sphere-shaped tea, pekoe tea, flower tea (they added rose petals and jasmine), which cost very much. Exposition «Buddhism and Orthodox religion reflected in religious items» has exhibits from the churches of Kyakhta and datsan of Murochinsk, shut down in the 1930-s. Besides, there is a precious collection of Chinese and Japanese decorative items.

The store-rooms have a library of rare books inside... There are so many interesting things! The museum is a must to be visited by everyone going through Kyakhta... That is why tourist routs through Kyakhta, the «tea capital» of Russia with a visit to the museum are unique, being rather informative and emotional. Both Kyakhta and museum have a special status in the project called «Tea Rout».

On the map one can see the tea rout - at the distance of 5000 km from Fuchan province of the south China the tea is transported by the carriers with the help of shoulder-yoke; the road is rocky and the path is narrow.

From Khankou tea is transported by waterway along the rivers and bays of the sea; carried by mules. Then in Kalgan it is loaded onto Mongolian camels or bulls. These camelcades wade through the desolate wilderness, covering 45 km to Kyakhta. From Kyakhta across Russia across Baikal to Irkutsk it gets to Nizhnii Novgorod, where it is sold at Irbit trade fair after 205 days of difficult trip covering almost one third of the globe!

Moscow was the center of tea-distribution in European Russia. Tea Rout became one of the great trade routs, connecting different lands and civilizations.

In 2007 active work started, aimed at arrangement of international tourist project «Tea Rout». The participants of the project are China, Mongolia, Russia - the countries across which the Rout used to go and now the new, tourist rout would be paved.



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