Slioudianka is a fairly large coastal town of about 20,500 inhabitants. Slioudianka, which had emerged from the ground when it was connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1899, does not shine by its charm: the town centre is now mainly composed of Soviet buildings. On the other hand, its Trans-Siberian railway station is a unique monument in Siberia. Inaugurated in 1905, it is the only one in the world to be entirely made of marble (white and pink). Situated in cold waters, Slioudianka, not so touristy, is the starting point of a very popular attraction: an excursion on the Circum-Baikal railway. Finally, it is the only access to the Chersky Peak (2,090 m, the highest point of the Komarinsky Mountains), from where the view of Lake Baikal is stunning.
Slioudianka has built its economy on its subsoil and geology. The mineral deposits are numerous: mica (from which it takes its name), white marble (the only one still exploited, intended for the production of cement), slate, lapis lazuli. It also bears the title of Pribaïkalsky Mineralogical Pearl, to the delight of gem lovers, who take advantage of its many abandoned quarries to enrich their collection. This is why it hosts a mineralogical museum with an extraordinary collection.
Slioudianka is located at km 5311 of the Trans-Siberian Railway. It's a major rail hub. The train journey from Irkutsk takes 2.5 hours. By road, again from Irkutsk, it is 110 km and 2 hours (several departures per day).
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