The Angarsk Clock Museum / Музей часов города Ангарска
ул. Карла Маркса 31 (г. Ангарск, остановка “Музей часов”)
Entrance: Adults, 50 rubles. Students with ID, free. Photography permit, 50 rubles.
Transportation: 15-70 rubles (bus for 70 rubles, elektrichka 20-50 rubles, depending on student status)
The Clock Museum in Angarsk makes for a great day trip outside of Irkutsk. To get there, you can take a bus or the elektrichka from the main train station in Irkutsk (Иркутск пассажирский вокзал). Buses are more frequent, but the elektrichka is cheaper (especially with student ID, it costs under 30 rubles, compared to 70 rubles on the bus) and can be more comfortable and social, if you like the idea of talking to strangers across from you. The elektrichka station in Angarsk is also more convenient to the clock museum and main square where Lenin lives, forever embodied in steel.
The Clock Museum in Angarsk is really worth checking out, especially if you have a specific interest or fascination with clocks, or a more general interest in quirky museums. Free for university students with ID, the people at the clock museum are generally very nice and eager to give helpful information. The museum has an impressive collection clock pieces from all around the world, of all different types, styles and time periods. Quietly walking around the several exhibition rooms of the clock museum, you hear the constant sound of ticking from hundreds of different clocks, each with their own unique sound. There are intricate metal standing clocks, grandfather clocks, cuckoo clocks, musical clocks, pocket watches, and old fashioned time pieces like sundials and water clocks (through which water drips at a constant rate and markings on the side of the bowl show the current time). That’s an example of some of the interesting tidbits that the staff at the clock museum eagerly provide as you walk through. They will also happily give demonstrations of particular clock chimes or cuckoo clocks as you wander around the museum. The upstairs exhibit hall also features some more modern time and productivity-related inventions, such as an example of one of the first time card readers (for entering your work hours) from the States, and an old Cyrillic typewriter. The clock museum also features one hall for rotating artist exhibitions, so when you visit you may get a chance to see a local artist’s work in addition to the permanent clock collection.
Besides seeing Angarsk’s famous clock museum, with a trip to Angarsk you get to experience a smaller-scale Siberian city, with a bit more of the remnants of Soviet life and architecture. Walking around Angarsk, you can’t miss the beautiful Soviet murals on nearly every other apartment block, including a large mural of Pushkin’s poem, To Siberia. All in all, Angarsk is an interesting town to explore, especially on a sunny day, to get a feel for life in a smaller Siberian city.