Harbin was founded by Russians at the very end of the century before last. Although enough time has passed, the connection between our cultures has not been lost. There are many buildings and sights in the city, one way or another connected with Russia. One of the most famous parks is named after Stalin, and the Volga estate is a large and popular cultural and tourist center. Even on the largest pedestrian street in Asia, it is Russian shops and restaurants that stand out from the general row.
There are enough modern buildings in Harbin, for example, the opera house opened in 2015 is a real work of architectural art. Local residents and visitors can relax in theme parks or on the territory of an indoor ski resort. And lovers of wildlife should visit the park with the Amur tigers.
What to see and where to go in Harbin?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
Saint Sophia Cathedral
Built in 1907. It underwent major changes in the next two decades. The three-domed temple has a height of about 48 meters, made in the pseudo-Russian style. The interior painting was done by the artist Anastasyev. For some time after the departure of the Russians, it stood in ruins. Restoration was carried out, and since 1996 the cathedral has been included in the list of cultural monuments. It houses an architectural museum.
Zhongyang Pedestrian Street
Also called "Central". It stretches from Flood Victors Square to Jingwei Street. The largest pedestrian street in Asia. Length - almost 1.5 thousand meters, width - 21 meters. Appeared at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Initially it was dirty, but in 1923 it began to take on a respectable look. Since there are now many shops here, the territory has become not only a walking area, but a place for active shopping.
Park "Sunny Island"
It is located on several islands, which are surrounded by lakes and the Songhua River. The area is 3.8 thousand hectares. It has two zones: park and resort. A large species diversity of flora and fauna complements the local beauty. In summer, tourists visit the spacious white sand beach. In winter, various sports competitions are held here. In the southern part there is a Russian district, where there is appropriate architecture and institutions.
Monument to the Flood Fighters
Installed at the entrance to the Stalin Park. The monument appeared in 1958 and is dedicated to the events that took place a year earlier. The Songhua River overflowed its banks and threatened several districts of the city at once. All available forces and resources were thrown into the fight against the elements. At the moment, dams have been built to prevent such a scenario. The memorial complex consists of a column 13 meters high and a gallery, which is almost 2 times lower.
Broken in 1953. In the past, there were warehouses here. It occupies an area of 10 km². Stretches along the waterfront. There are many monuments and sculptures in the park, including a bust of Stalin. The square in the center is the venue for events during public holidays. One of the most popular places in the park is the Pribrezhny restaurant of Russian cuisine. Its building is an example of wooden Russian architecture.
It is located in the center near the main pedestrian street of the city. Founded in 1906. In the heart of the park, you can find an artificial lake and a picturesque mountain. A visit at different times of the year will give new impressions. For example, in the summer there are many attractions for all ages. And in winter, a festival of snow and ice sculptures is held. There are also skating rinks and play areas for the youngest tourists.
Museum Detachment 731
Founded in 1978. Its goal is to prevent new generations from forgetting the terrible pages of Chinese history. The exposition tells about the activities of the secret Japanese detachment 731. Wards of the military biologist Shiro Ishii tortured the captives and subjected them to inhuman experiments. In 1945, all the test subjects, along with the equipment, were destroyed. The museum is located in the former headquarters of the detachment. Entrance to it is free.
heilongjiang science and technology museum
Opened since 2003. The area is 50 thousand m², of which 13.5 thousand m² are exhibition halls. There are about 200 exhibits in the large hall. In total, the exposition occupies 3 floors. The exhibitions are divided into 12 zones according to the field of science and themes. Interactive programs have been developed. The cinema at the museum is one of the most modern in the world. There are facilities for international conferences.
Heilongjiang Provincial Museum
The building was built in 1904. Inside was the Moskva store. Later, part of the premises was taken over by a bank and a post office. Temporary exhibitions have been held here since 1923. The area is 12 thousand m². The permanent exhibition started operating after the liberation of China. There are more than 107 thousand exhibits. Most of it is kept in the funds, the most significant are exhibited in three halls. The first one tells about ancient relics, the other 2 - about the animals of the region.
Harbin Opera House
Opened in 2015. Built on a swampy island on the banks of the Songhua River. It is connected to the city by a road bridge. The building is futuristic: smooth curved lines should emphasize harmony with the surrounding area. The design of the roof and walls made it possible to make the atrium very light. The hall is sheathed with wood and can accommodate 1600 spectators. The area of the theater and the adjacent territory is 80 thousand m².
Founded in 1923. The name of this Buddhist temple is translated as "bliss" or "the highest joy." In terms of interior space, it is one of the largest in the northeast of the country. The height of the building is about 30 meters. Consists of several rooms. Each of them has statues of Buddha. The area around Jile is also decorated with monuments of various sizes.
Temple of Confucius
It was built in the 20s of the last century. The area of the territory, including the temple itself, is 25 thousand m². Just outside the gate is a gift shop. Nearby, on a special pedestal, a beam is kept, which used to lock the gates in the past. It is touched to find peace of mind. Since 1998, a statue of Confucius has been standing in the courtyard. There are several separate rooms, each with its own purpose. For example, there is a museum in one of the halls.
Cable car through Songhua
Laid over the river and connects the city with the "Sunny Island". Length - 156 meters, maximum height - 70 meters, speed - up to 5 km / h. Tourists have a choice - small cabins or classic eight-seat cabins. In one hour, when fully loaded, the cable car is able to carry about one and a half thousand passengers. During a short and comfortable journey, you can admire the surroundings.
It is used for its intended purpose - for broadcasting radio and television signals. Height - 336 meters. The highest in Asia and the second highest in the world. There are several observation platforms, as well as a revolving restaurant, from which the panorama of the city is also clearly visible. At night, the tower is illuminated with spotlights. The first floors are reserved for the exposition of wax figures and souvenir shops.
Harbin Wanda City
The largest indoor ski resort in the world. It works all year round, the temperature inside the main premises is approximately -5 °C. There are several slopes of varying difficulty. The height difference reaches 80 meters. The area of the entertainment zone in the park around the covered slope exceeds 15,000 m². About 30 show programs are available to visitors. Not only winter attractions work, but also theatrical performances are held.
Harbin Polar Aquarium
Located on Sunny Island. The area exceeds 1.5 hectares. The conditions for comfortable living of many polar species of animals and fish are recreated here. There are daily performances featuring penguins and sea lions. You can watch the inhabitants of the park both in close proximity and through large monitors installed in the premises. There are cafes and souvenir shops.
Siberian Tiger Park
It is located 15 km from the city. Area - 356 hectares. It was originally opened to save the Amur tiger population, which is considered an endangered species. Subsequently turned into a tourist center. The money received from visitors remains in the park and goes to its maintenance. The number of tigers has grown from 8 individuals to several hundred. Visitors are allowed not only to look at wild cats, but also to participate in their feeding.
Located in the suburbs of Harbin. The area of the territory is 600 thousand m². All buildings are made in the traditional Russian style. In addition to walking areas, restaurants with Russian cuisine, conference rooms and natural beauties, there are cozy hotels within the complex. Since 2011, the status of the Volga as a state-level landmark has been upgraded. This does not prevent the estate from hosting festive events such as weddings.
Forest Botanical Garden
Founded in 1958. The area is about 136 hectares. It is divided into zones where about 1.4 thousand plant species are planted. Of particular interest to tourists is the garden of medicinal plants. Separately allocated an extensive rose garden. One of the distinguishing features is that the park workers try to leave it blooming all year round. Therefore, in place of fading specimens, new ones immediately appear.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
First held in 1985. Since then, it has become an annual event, and lasts a month, starting on January 5th. The tradition of making ice lanterns dates back to the Qing Dynasty. In the present, they have gone far enough from it in meaning, but retained the basics. During the festival, an entire ice city appears on the streets of Harbin. Sculptures made of snow and ice are illuminated to give them even more beauty and grace.