Yakutsk

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Y-ostrog.jpg
The tower of ostrog, a XVII century Russian fort in Yakutsk
Yakutsk (Якутск) (pop. 196,800, 2001 census), Template:Coor dm is a city in central Siberia. It is the capital of Sakha Republic (formerly the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic), Russia and a major port on the Lena River.

It is also a highway center and has tanneries, sawmills, and brickworks. Yakutsk was founded in 1632 as a Cossack fort but did not grow into a city until the discovery of large reserves of gold and other minerals in the 1880s and 1890s. These reserves were developed extensively during the industrialisation under Stalin and the rapid growth of forced labour camps in Siberia also encouraged Yakutsk's development.

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Kulakovskystreet.jpg
Kulakovsky Street at night. On the left, Sciences Building of the university
The city has a university (founded 1956) and a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which contains, among others, the Institute of Cosmophysical Research, which runs the Yakutsk Extensive Air Shower installation (one of the largest cosmic-ray detector arrays in the world), and the Permafrost Research Institute developed with the aim of solving the serious and costly problems associated with construction of buildings on frozen soil.

Yakutsk is also home to Sakha theater and the Museum of Mammoth, and has offices of the Alrosa company, which diamond mines in Yakutia account for about 20% of the world's rough diamond output.

The Lena River runs through the city, and in the summer there are boats sailing along the river to the Trans-Siberian Railway. There are also very expensive cruises downriver offered by the remains of Intourist which visit spectacular scenery in extremely remote areas near the Arctic Ocean.

Yakutsk is one of the coldest cities on earth, with January temperatures regularly remaining below −50 °C (−58 °F). The coldest temperatures ever recorded outside Antarctica occur in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast. Yakutsk is the biggest city built on continuous permafrost. Most houses are built on concrete piles.de:Jakutsk el:Γιακούτσκ ja:ヤクーツク ru:Якутск fi:Jakutsk uk:Якутськ

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