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Abakan

(4.3/5 based on 500+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, parks, historic sites
Abakan is the capital city of the Republic of Khakassia, Russia, located in the central part of Minusinsk Depression, at the confluence of the Yenisei and Abakan Rivers. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 165,214, a slight increase over 165,197 recorded during the 2002 Census and a further increase from 154,092 recorded during the 1989 Census.HistoryAbakansky ostrog was built at this location in 1675, also known as Abakansk. In the Russian Empire, it was a part of Yeniseysk Governorate. During 1823–1931, it was known as Ust-Abakanskoye, in 1914–1925 as Abakan, and in 1925–1931 as Khakassk. It was granted town status and given its current name on April 30, 1931.Chinese exilesIn 1940, Russian construction workers found ancient ruins during the construction of a highway between Abakan and the nearby district center village of Askyz . When the site was excavated by Soviet archaeologists during 1941-45, they realized that they had discovered a building absolutely unique for the area: a large Chinese-style, likely Han Dynasty era palace. The identity of the high-ranking personage who lived luxuriously in Chinese style, far outside of the borders of the Han Empire, has remained a matter for discussion ever since. Russian archaeologist L. A. Yevtyukhova surmised, based on circumstantial evidence, that the palace may have been the residence of Li Ling, a Chinese general who had been defeated by the Xiongnu in 99 BC, and defected to them as a result. While this opinion has remained popular, other views have been expressed as well. More recently, for example, it was claimed by A. A. Kovalyov as the residence of Lu Fang, a Han throne pretender from the Guangwu era.
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