Salekhard is the main city of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, located on the right bank of the Ob River. This is the only city on the planet, which is built on the latitude of the Arctic Circle. Translated from the Nenets language, the name "Salekhard" means "city on the cape." In terms of the size and development of industry, the city is inferior to other centers of a gas and oil producing district - Novy Urengoy and Noyabrsk. The city has a total of 48,507 people.

Salekhard is one of the oldest cities in the region. It was founded at the end of the XVI century and until 1933 was called Obdorsk. For a great contribution to the development of the Russian North since 1990, Salekhard was included in the List of Historical Cities of Russia. Today the main governing bodies of the federal district are concentrated here. In addition, Salekhard plays the role of a cultural center for indigenous peoples living in the territory of the Yamal Peninsula.

Salekhard has a thoughtful layout. Over the past 15-20 years, the central part of the capital Yamal was rebuilt, and it began to resemble an architectural exhibition. Today, in the city you can see the luxurious building of the county government, which is called the White House, the ultra-modern “Torch” bridge, major supermarkets and entertainment centers. Most of the new buildings are painted in bright colors. This is very important for the northern city, because on its streets two thirds of the year lies snow.

Travelers visit Salekhard, as a rule, passing through. Here stop groups that make water and hiking routes in the mountains of the Polar Urals or organize expeditions to the area of the Dead Road: Chum-Labytnangi-Igarka.

Many tourists come to Salekhard on the Day of the reindeer breeder, which is celebrated every year in late March - early April. During the colorful festival you can watch the gambling races on reindeer sleigh rides, see competitions in jumping and throwing lassoes, as well as ride sleds. On the Day of the reindeer breeder guided tours, craft and food fairs and competitions of national clothing.

Formally, Salekhard is considered part of the border zone, but for Russians there are no problems with entering here. Certain restrictions apply only to foreigners.

History of Salekhard.

In 1595, Russian Cossacks who came to the lower reaches of the Ob River founded a fort in the mouth of the Poluy. He was called Obdorsky, which in translation from the Komi language means "settlement on the Ob." It was the northernmost Russian fortress on the territory of Siberia, and from 1635 it became known as Obdorsk outpost.

At the beginning of the XIX century unnecessary fortifications were demolished, and Obdorsk turned into a village, which was part of the Tobolsk province. Thanks to the harsh climate and remoteness, the exiles began to live in these places, and Obdorsk played the role of the northern prison in Soviet times. In 1930 it was made the administrative center of the district, and three years later it was renamed to Salekhard. The status of the city district settlement received in 1938.

Geographical location and climate.

Salekhard was built on the Poluy Highland, which is part of the extensive West Siberian Plain. The city lies on the border of two climatic zones - subarctic and temperate. He is under severe influence of the Arctic Ocean.

About 200 days a year, this land is covered by a steady snow cover. The average January temperature is -23.2 ° C, with frosts often reaching -50 ...- 40 ° C. In July, the average air temperature is around +15 ° C, but on some days it can be very hot - up to +25 ... + 30 ° C.

In the summer, there are not so many mosquitoes in the Yamal capital, as in the surrounding tundra. The reason for this - the successful location of Salekhard. The city is built on a hill and is blown from all sides by the winds. Those travelers who in the summer months plan to travel from Salekhard to a less populated area should be prepared for a meeting with huge hordes of midges and mosquitoes. In order to have fewer problems, you need to dress in fully closed clothes and use strong repellents. Salvation comes after only the first frost, when the annoying midges diminish.

For the year, 450-500 mm of precipitation falls over Salekhard. Most of them come in the form of summer rains, the peak of which is in July and August.

In the capital of Yamal, you can observe the polar day, but there is no polar night here. Polar day comes when the upper edge of the solar disk does not go beyond the horizon line. It lasts from June 7 to July 7.

Landmarks of Salekhard.

When leaving the airport in the direction of Salekhard, on the street Aviation, 22, is a large Park-Museum of aviation equipment. It is organized by the airline "Yamal". A spacious open-air area is occupied by old aircraft and helicopters, which played a big role in the development of the Tyumen North. There was a place for the An-26 transport aircraft, a seaplane AN-2V on the float chassis, a pioneer of cargo and passenger transportation of LI-2, a Yak-40 aircraft and mi-1, MI-4, MI-6A and MI-8 helicopters.

To imagine what the old Russian fortress on the Ob looked like, you should recover in the historic center of the city, to the mouth of the Poluy river. In 2006, a wooden Obdorsk fort was recreated on a high cape. The reconstructed fortress on the Respubliki street, 1, was built of wood according to the old technologies - without using nails. From its walls there opens a good view of the Poluy valley, and in clear weather in the north-west, the spurs of the Polar Urals look out.

Today, the historical and architectural complex is the "District house of crafts". Behind the high palisade there are watchtowers, a monument to the founders of the city, the Church of St. Basil the Great with a bell tower and a Cossack house. A Museum of the history of Siberian Cossacks is being created in the wooden fortress. While it is not open to visitors and the collection of exhibits continues. In Ostrog you can visit the art gallery and buy souvenirs.

Travelers who came to Salekhard are surprised at the Torch Bridge, which is laid across the Shaytanka River. He divides Salekhard into two parts. On one side of the bridge rise modern houses, and on the other are the wooden houses of the old city. The bridge structure rises high up and looks like a gas torch - one of the symbols of the Yamalo-Nenetsky Okrug. Upstairs there is an observation deck, which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Here is an expensive two-story restaurant. Many advise to admire the bridge in the evening, when the inscription "Yamal" is beautifully highlighted on it.

The first stone Orthodox church built on permafrost is considered a local landmark. Vasilievsky church was erected in Obdorsk from 1747 to 1751. It had gilded domes and a painted metal roof. Over time, the temple deteriorated, and on the high bank of the Polui, a new one was built with private donations. The rite of consecration in it was held in 1823.

The third stone church of Peter and Paul was erected at the end of the XIX century, and it has survived to the present day. In the Soviet years, it was closed and used as an archive, storage and residential premises, children's sports school. In the 1990s, the church was returned to believers, after which its revival began. Today, the temple of Peter and Paul beautifully restored and is open every day. It is located on Nogo Street, 8, near the Obdorsk fort.


A separate monument is dedicated to the geographical position of Salekhard - the stele “66 parallel”. It was installed in 1980, but later it turned out that the place for the monument was chosen not exactly. In 2003, surveyors identified another place, and a new stele appeared on it, made of modern durable materials. It towers near the road that connects the airport and the city. In the evening, the stele is very beautifully highlighted in different colors.

On the bank of the Ob, right next to the place where the ferry, plying between the city of Labytnangi and Salekhard, approaches, you can see the huge sculpture “Little Mammoth Lyuba”. Her appearance is associated with an unusual find. In 2007, a local reindeer herder, Yuri Khudi, discovered the remains of a baby mammoth in the upper reaches of the Yuribey River. The appearance of an extinct animal in Priobye is understandable. In prehistoric times, when the climate in the lower reaches of the Ob was much warmer, huge animals lived here in large herds.

Mammoth looked great, as well preserved in the permafrost. It was given to scientists. In Yekaterinburg, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk began to study the morphology of mammoth. Japanese scientists have done a computer tomography of the remains. In the United States conducted molecular genetic examination of an extinct animal, and Dutch experts were engaged in radiocarbon analysis.

The authorities of Salekhard decided to perpetuate a rare find in the form of a sculpture on the bank of the river. The realistic statue created by sculptor A. Tyutnev immediately fell in love with the locals and tourists. She became one of the business cards of Salekhard, and her image is often published on advertisements. The little mammoth stands on the dais, and stairs lead to it. And under the monument is a parking lot for vehicles.

One of the modern monuments created for Salekhard Perm sculptor Rustam Ismagilov. It is installed on the square in front of the entertainment center “Polaris” and has a loud name “Formula of the North - installation with a dragonfly”. The giant dragonfly, crouching on an unusually decorated lamppost, looks rather aggressive. Since dragonflies eat mosquitoes, an innovative installation is perceived as a monument to the “hero”.

Near the Fakel Bridge, on the bank of the Shaitanka River, an aluminum monument to the northern deer rises. It was made in Minsk and installed in 2005, when Salekhard celebrated its 410th anniversary. The monument reaches a height of 6 m and is therefore visible from afar. On its pedestal one can see verse stanzas devoted to the reindeer.


In the center of Salekhard, on Chubynin Street, 38, a large museum and exhibition complex has been opened. It bears the name of Ivan Semyonovich Shemanovsky - a priest who from 1898 to 1910 headed the Obdorsk parish mission. Shemanovsky remained in history as a philanthropist and founder of the library reading rooms, schools, an orphanage, production workshops and a local museum. At the beginning of the last century, his collections were devoted mainly to the history of the indigenous peoples of the North - the Ostyaks and Samoyeds.

The contemporary museum occupies several buildings. It looks like a large exhibition center and a club of interest. From the first exhibits, a shaman tambourine and a stuffed white bear are preserved in it. In the museum you can also see an ancient mummy found in the permafrost and an exact copy of the famous mammoth Luba. There are wooden idols and a rich collection of costumes of northern nations. All visitors are surprised by a dress woven from nettle fibers and a Chukchi jacket made from the intestines of marine animals.

The second floor of the museum is occupied by a huge library. For more than a hundred years, it has greatly grown and now, besides old books, periodicals and regional literature, has Internet access to the largest libraries in the world. In the exhibition hall, occupying 700 m², there are permanent and interchangeable exhibitions: “Mammoth Time”, “Yamal Antiquities”, “Through the Center of Russia to the Kara Sea”, “Ethnic Pictures” and others.

The museum and exhibition complex is open from Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 18.00 (break from 12.30 to 14.00), and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00 to 17.00.

A branch of the museum and exhibition complex is the museum-apartment of the famous Nenets writer Leonid Vasilyevich Laptsui (1929-1982). One-story wooden house stands on the street. Komsomolskaya, 40. In the three memorial rooms the situation in which the writer lived, as well as his office, is preserved. Here you can see books, typewriter and photos of L. V. Laptsuya. For visitors to the museum-apartment is open from Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 12.30 and from 14.00 to 18.00.

What you can see in the vicinity of Salekhard.

Using minibuses or taxis, from the city you can go to the picturesque village of Aksarka, which is located 60 km from the east from Salekhard. It has long been in these places the Nenets overtook deer on summer pastures. The settlement was founded 120 years ago, but the main buildings of Aksarka were made by the hands of expatriate peasants who were sent here, who were brought to the coast of the Ob River in the 1930s.

Today the village is the center of the Priuralsky district. There is a fish factory and a district museum of local lore. The village sells fresh venison and delicious sausages made from reindeer meat, reindeer skins, warm and comfortable fur shoes, as well as animal fur skins.

In the tiny village of Gornoknyazevsk, 12 km from Salekhard, there is a natural ethnographic complex. These places have a rich history and before were the possessions of the powerful princes of the Khanty - Tayshinov. Now in Gornoknyazevsk there is the residence of the Yamal Santa Claus, who is called Yamal Iri here. In the natural ethnographic complex, travelers can touch the skins of the wolverine and the arctic bear, get acquainted with the decoration of the tents, see the Nenets sledges and try on the national costumes of the indigenous peoples of the North. There are many fishermen on the river bank in Gornoknyazevsk, so you can always buy fresh fish here.

Souvenirs and shopping.

A large selection of original souvenirs is presented at the kiosk at the museum and exhibition complex on Chubynin Street, 38. They sell traditional Khanty Akan dolls, handicrafts made of wood and deer antlers, stylized bijouterie made of wool and ceramics, and CDs with musical works of Yamal authors. Designer backpacks and T-shirts with the image of one of the recognizable symbols of Salekhard - Mammoth Lyuba are very popular.

Opposite the museum and exhibition complex opened shopping center "Gifts of Yamal". Here they sell northern fish: fresh-frozen and smoked cheek and muksun, dried ryapushkoy and smelt, fish dumplings, fish caviar "Severyanochka" and canned food from Ob white fish.

Delicious souvenirs from Salekhard are often brought venison. In the "Gifts of Yamal" there is always a sale of fresh meat, as well as stew, sausage, dumplings and deer chips. On Saturdays and Sundays, residents from neighboring villages come here, so you can buy reindeer skins, fur clothes, mushrooms and tasty tundra berries on the market - lingonberries, blueberries and cloudberries. The shopping center is open seven days a week from 10.00 to 19.00.


In the summer, Salekhard and Labytnangi are connected by ferry.
For passengers crossing the Ob is free. Owners of transport must pay a small amount for the crossing. Ferries run every half hour.

In winter, two parts of the city on different banks of the Ob River are connected by a winter ferry, on which minibuses and taxis drive. The opening and closing time of the winter road depends on weather conditions. In the off-season, which falls in October-November and April-May, they travel by helicopter and hovercraft.

In Salekhard there is a large river port from which passenger traffic is carried out. From Salekhard along the Ob you can get to small villages in the Ob Bay, as well as the cities of Omsk and Khanty-Mansiysk.

One tradition of this city surprises all visitors. Local drivers without fear of leaving the car open, locking the door on the lock. The road system around Salekhard is undeveloped, so there’s no place to steal cars from here. In addition, in the car left in the cold you can always warm up.