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The great datsan near Ivolginsk is the only buddhist monastry in the Soviet Union that remained active during the period of communist rule. It is situated in the Buriat Republic, which is a part of the Russian Federation.

The tiny village of Ivolginsk and the monastry are about an hour's bus drive from Ulan Udé, the capital of the Buriat Republic.

Nowadays many new monastries are being built in this part of Siberia, mostly in places that are hard to get to.

The photographs are made with a Lubitel' box camera with Lomo 27x4.0 objective and kodak film. They are digitised in an Ultima Electronics Scanrom-4e scanner from positive prints and digitally processed with Paint Shop Pro.

Related sites
You can see the main building of the Datsan from another viewpoint at Lonely Planet.
A team of Frenchmen also travelled through Buriatia. Find out about their investigation here.
General information about the region is given in the Lake Baikal guidebook, a Russian Travel/Tourism server.
The amateur astronomer Daniel Fischer went to Siberia to witness the solar eclipse of 1997 and included one and another tiny pictures of the datsan in his story. Don't click the popup window away, but activate your browser's main window instead. Otherwise, the popup window will pop up again and again.

Last changes made monday April 6, 1998