Krasnoyarsk is the third-largest city in Siberia and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai. To the south and west, Krasnoyarsk is surrounded by forested mountains. The most prominent of them are Nikolayevskaya Sopka, Karaulnaya Gora, and Chornaya Sopka, the latter being an extinct volcano.
The gigantic rock cliffs of the Stolby Nature Reserve ("pillars") rise from the mountains of the southern bank of the Yenisei river, which covers an area of 470 square kilometers with numerous giant granite rocks formations up to 100 meters high, many of very extraordinary shapes.
There are a number of historical buildings in Krasnoyarsk, the oldest of them being the Intercession Cathedral, significant samples of Russian Orthodox architecture are the Annunciation Cathedral, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, John the Baptist Church and the new Michael the Archangel Church.
On the top of the Karaulnaya Hill, originally a pagan shrine, later occupied by the Krasnoyarsk fort watchtower, the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel, which is displayed on the 10-ruble note, is one of the iconic images of the city. The chapel was abandoned and fell into disrepair during the Soviet era and only when Perestroyka came was it regained by the Yenisei bishopric.
Krasnoyarsk is a prominent scientific and educational center of Siberia, with over 30 higher education facilities, many of which are the branches of the Russian Academy of Science, and about 200 high schools. Krasnoyarsk has a special city district called Akademgorodok ("Academic Town"), where several scientific research institutes are located.