Chitinskaya Oblast is situated in Transbaikalia. It borders upon Mongolia, the Republic of Buryatia, the Republic of Sakha (YakutiaYakutia), Irkutskaya, Amurskaya Oblasts and China. Chitinskaya Oblast has internal borders with Aginsky Buryatsky Autonomous Okrug.
The main rivers belong to the basin of the Baikal, the Lena and the Amur (the Shilka, the Argun). The climate is distinctly continental. The average temperature of January varies from -33 to -26 degrees, of July - from +17 to +21 degrees centigrade. Precipitations are 300 mm per year.
Chitinskaya Oblast was formed on the 26th of September, 1937. Its area is 412.5 thousand sq. km (without the territory of Aginsky Buryatsky AO). The region includes 28 districts, 10 cities and towns, 4 urban districts, 41 urban settlements, 314 villages. The regional centre is Chita. The city was founded in the year of 1851. The distance between Moscow and Chita is 6074 km. The city consists of 4 districts: Zheleznodorozhny, Ingodinsky, Tsentralny and Chernovsky.
Other cities are Baley (1938), Borzya (1950), Krasnokamensk (1969), Petropavlovsk-Zabaikalsky (1926), Machoga (1950), Nerchinsk (1690), Sretensk (1783), Khilok (1951), Shilka (1951). The largest cities (number of inhabitants on the 1st of January, 1998, thousand people) are Chita (313.0), Krasnokamensk (56.8), Borzya (32.2).
Chitinskaya Oblast was separated from Dalnevostochny krai in 1937. In the years of 1922-1926 there existed Zabaikalskaya province, in 1851-1920 - Zabaikalskaya Oblast with its centre in Chita. Transbaikalia began to develop in 1653 when the group of Cossacks under command of Peter Beketov founded the first fortifications on the place of present Chita and Nerchinsk. In XIX century the region became the main and most known place of penal servitude connected first of all with extraction of gold. Decembrists were banished here.
The Trans-Siberian railway, laid right in the beginning of XX century, transformed Chita into the main transport unit of Transbaikalia.
The last "construction of the century" the Baikal-Amur highway affected the oblast too.
The Chita Regional Art Museum is the owner of the prize "Gold Palm-96" awarded by the International Association of France "Partnership for the sake of progress".