Chita was founded in 1653 as a Cossack stockade, and barely a century later, had Russians begun mining the ore-rich region for its silver, and later, golden treasures. Chita's place in Russian history was made in 1827, when 85 of the Decembrist revolutionaries, including leading military figures and academics, were exiled to the area to work in construction or in silver mines.
Chita, the capital city of the Chita Oblast (region) of southeast Siberia, presides over one of the world's richest gold mining areas. Today Chita is considered the capital of Transbaikalie — a region stretching southeast of Lake Baikal and covering a territory equal to France and Belgium added together. Architecturally, Chita is a clash of styles. Foremost, Chita is populated with communist concrete buildings. In contrast to these soviet signatures, Chita is also populated with individual homes made primarily out of wood. In the center of Chita you will find buildings with a definite hint of Japanese style.