The Jewish Autonomous Region was founded in 1934. It is the only autonomous region in Russia after the USSR restructuring in 1990s, during which all autonomous regions became independent republics. It borders China in the south, the Amur Region in the west, the Khabarovsk Territory in the east. The Region occupies the territory of 36 thousand sq km. its population is 188 thousand persons.
The administrative center of the Region is the city of Birobidzhan, located 6,548 km from Moscow (straight-line distance), or 8,100 km (by railway). The Time Zone difference from Moscow is +7 hours.
The population of the Region amounts to 188.7 thousand persons. Birobidzhan has no airport. The nearest airport is located in Khabarovsk, 200 km from Birobidzhan.
Despite the small area of the Region, two types of relief are represented here: mountains and plains. The climate is moderate with little snow in winters (average temperature about —21°C) and warm, humid summers (average temperature +20°C).
The Region has abundant flora, including nectarous and medicinal plants, as well as berries, mushrooms and nuts in taiga. Brown and Himalayan black bears, Nepalese martens, foxes, marshotters, sables, wild hogs, elks inhabit local forests. 73 species of fish including those recorded in the Red Book of Endangered Species can be found in local rivers. You can raft down rivers in a rubber boat to Tyoplye Klyuchi village, where you will be offered a trip to the fish farm. Specially protected areas cover more than 300 thousand hectares in the Jewish Autonomous Region and include 1 nature reserve, 7 partial reserves, and almost 30 monuments of nature. Regional reservoirs are represented by the Lebedinoe Lake, the Utinoe Lake, several unnamed lakes in Smidovichsky District. Fans of caveology will no doubt enjoy visiting karst caves in the Obluchensky and Oktyabrsky Districts with well-developed tourist paths. The Cave “Old Bear” is of special interest for tourists. Age-long ice never melts in this cave, even at +32°С outside.
The Region has medicinal mineral springs. Kuldur village is especially famous for mineral springs. Its springs are the most typical representatives of nitric-siliceous thermal waters in the Far East of Russia with content of Aluminum, Ferrum, Manganese, Titanium, Chrome, Copper, Argentum, Chlorine, Lithium, Barium, Strontium, Fluorine. A famous sanatorium was founded in Kuldur.
One of the longest tourist routes runs along the Amur River where you can get acquainted with such amazing monuments of nature as «Medvezhy Utyos» (Bear Cliff) with its с unique cliff flora, the Gomel Mountain and Kazachy Garden, go fishing and admire rare plants in the “Vertoprashikha Creek”, admire the lakes of the Manchuria System, the Utinoe Lake, the Lebedinoe Lake and cedar forests of the partial reserve «Dichun», as well as visit archeological sites of the ancient settlements of Mohe.
The museum “Volochaevskaya Sopka” is the major cultural and historical place of interest. It is devoted to the Volochaevskaya Battle, one of the largest closing fights of the Civil War in Russia.
Sights in Birobidzhan are the Bira River, the monument of Sholom-Aleyhem (despite the fact that the writer died before the decision on the Jewish Region foundation and had never been to Birobidzhan), and the same-name museum. The museum has sections devoted to nature, history of the civil war and the Great Patriotic Wars, the history of the Region foundation and development. There is a Regional Museum of Modern Fine Arts with the most complete collection of masterpieces created by modern artists on themes of the Old Testament. A sculptural composition in the form of a cart with sitting persons dedicated to the first relocatees which is located at the railway square is considered to be an architectural monument in the city.
The downtown of Birobidzhan is very picturesque, clean, with paved sidewalks, nice squares, and monuments.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.