Yeniseisk is one of the oldest cities in Siberia. Its history is inseparably linked to the annexation of Eastern Siberia to Russia. Yeniseisk was founded upon the order of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich in 1619 by a squad of Cossacks and was to be used as a military fortress. For over one and a half centuries the town was the main point of entry to Eastern Siberia.
In the second half of the 17th century Yeniseisk became a major industrial center. By the end of the 17th century Yeniseisk had become the second largest center of crafts and trades after Tobolsk. Yeniseisk is a trade thoroughfare to Moscow and Tobolsk, to the east and the south of Siberia, to the Amur, and China. The goods made by Yenisei blacksmiths, silversmiths and founders, wood carvers, leather workers, and icon painters became widely known .
Until the end of the 18th century, Yeniseisk was the capital of a vast region. In the 19th century Yeniseisk, the largest city in the province, was listed in the top ten district centers of Russia. Yeniseisk was also one of the most beautiful towns in Siberia: architects who worked here were talented people who created beautiful and original buildings.
Yeniseisk is a memorial town included in the list of 115 historical towns and cities of Russia and is a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List. The town's appearance and its atmosphere are created by its proudly towering temples, striking in their greatness and originality of architectural ensembles.
The first object recognized as a monument of history and culture of national importance was the complex of Our Savior's Monastery, while another 28 items were included in the list of historical and cultural heritage of federal importance. 82 items were included in the list of historical and cultural monuments of local importance. The most valuable monuments include the stone architecture of the 18th century: The Epiphany Cathedral, the Resurrection, Assumption and Holy Trinity churches, the surviving parts of the Savior-Transfiguration Monastery with Our Savior Cathedral, the Gate Church of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the building with the monk's cells and the fence, and a fragment of the Nativity of Christ Monastery with the Iveron Church. The Epiphany Cathedral, founded back in 1709, is the oldest surviving structure of the Yenisei region.
The central part of the town may be termed an open-air museum, where visitors admire merchants» mansions and estates: Yevseyev's House, the Governor's House, Gryaznov's House, the building of the government offices, the cells of Spassky Monastery, and the magistrates» building, all constructed in the 18th century. Today, the main and the largest group of objects of cultural heritage consist of wooden manor houses which lend the urban environment a provincial atmosphere. The main construction materials were larch and pine. They still give the town and its houses a unique appearance. A distinctive feature of the monuments of wooden architecture is their varied carving which frames windows, pediments, and friezes of buildings and the gates.
The August Fair is held annually in Yeniseisk to revive the tradition of the 18th-century fur fair which was well-known in Russia, Asia, and Europe. August Fairs in Yeniseisk became widely known for being the place to where goods were brought from both the European and Asian parts of Russia. Merchants came here from Moscow, Kazan, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, and Kyakhta. The products sold at the fair included Dutch bells and strings, English tobacco, Chinese silk and tea, oriental brocade, and canvas. Yeniseisk was famous for a number of goods, partiularly furs and ironware. Today, the August Fair in Yeniseisk is a vibrant festival of folk culture which attracts visitors from all over the region.
In 2019, Yeniseisk will celebrate its 400th anniversary.
Tourist Information Portal of Krasnoyarsk Krai / http://visitsiberia.info