Yakutsk is the capital city of Yakutia. Yakutsk has gained attention as potentially the coldest city in the world, but is worth a visit more for the great natural beauty of its surrounding countryside.
The Sakha Republic stretches to the Henrietta Islands in the far north and is washed by the cold waters of Arctic Ocean. The Ocean is the coldest and iciest of all seas in the northern hemisphere, are covered by ice for 9-10 months of the year.
Yakutsk is the major port on the Lena River. Yakutsk is also a highway center and has tanneries, sawmills, and brickworks.
Yakutsk has Sister City agreements with Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, Guirin (China), Muroyama (Japan), and Darmstadt (Germany). The city is also the home of Yakutsk State University, which has an active exchange program with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Some of the city's museums operate on an ad-hoc basis. The Permafrost Institute, for instance, operates tours only upon request, taking tourists into its underground research chamber. There, beneath the Earth's frozen crust, the temperature is a steady 23° F year-round.
Yakutsk also offers some excellent historical and cultural museums, such as the Museum of Folklore of Yakutia's Peoples and the Regional Museum. Both museums focus on Yakuts, the most populous of the often-forgotten peoples that inhabited the Sakha Republic before the arrival of Russians.
Yakutsk is truly a treasury of natural resources. Diamond deposits in West Yakutia as well as gold deposits in the basins of Aldan, Indigirka, and Yana, are all well known. The Republic has large reserves of tin, wolfram, mercury, complex and iron ores, bituminous and brown coals, natural gas and oil. Yakutia is also famous for construction materials and salubrious mineral waters.
Yakutsk is also a center of science and education. The research institutes are mainly involved in the study of geography, ecology, agriculture, industry and economics of the Sakha Republic, language, history and traditions of the Sakha and other peoples of the North.