The river, 580-meter (1,900 ft) wide, is crossed by the Irkutsk Hydroelectric Dam and three other bridges downstream.The Irkut River, from which the town takes its name, is a smaller river that joins the Angara directly opposite the city.On July 27, 2004, the Irkutsk Synagogue (1881) was gutted by a conflagration.In December 2016, 74 people in Irkutsk died in a mass methanol poisoning.In 1920, Aleksandr Kolchak, the once-feared commander of the largest contingent of anti-Bolshevik forces, was executed in Irkutsk, which effectively destroyed the anti-Bolshevik resistance.Irkutsk was the administrative center of the short-lived East Siberian Oblast, which existed from 1936 to 1937.The first train arrived in Irkutsk on August 16 of that year.
The ostrog gained official town rights from the government in 1686.
Irkutsk originally had a borderline subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dwc).
Since 2000, the temperatures have resembled a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwb).
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Irkutsk was named after the Irkut River, whose name was derived from the Buryat word for "spinning" and was used as an ethnonym among local tribes as Yrkhu, Irkit, Irgit, and Irgyt.