The Church of the Blood was built in 2000 on the site where Tsar Nicholas and his family were assassinated in 1918. They are now saints. There are large photos of the family outside the church. Inside, marble plaques for each family member line a wall.
The Ipatiev house where they were imprisoned was torn down in 1977 on Yeltsin’s orders, after being named a national monument in 1974. (Too many people visiting?) The church is on the same property.
This is the place where - in the night of July 17th, 1918 - the bodies of the Romanov family were hidden after their execution at Ipatev House in Yekaterinburg.
It was an abandoned mine, located near the village of Koptyaki, 15 km north from the city.
Actually, the Bolsheviks returned one night later and moved the bodies to another cave, not far from here. Nevertheless in this site a Monastery complex was built in year 2001, after the canonization of Romanovs by the Russian Orthodox Church. It is composed of seven chapels, one for each member of the royal family located in a beautiful wood environment.
Ganina Yama is today a popular site of pilgrimage as well as a quite and peaceful destination for a sightseer visit.
This massive building with its evident Stalinist appearance houses today the City Hall an the local Duma. It is placed in the central square named Ploshchad 1905 Goda. The large cathedral which used to stand in this square was demolished in year 1930, as well as a statue of the Czar Alexander II, later replaced by one of Lenin.
During the Soviet times Yekaterinburg was renamed as Sverdlovsk, after the name of a famous Bolshevik party leader. In 1991 it returned to its original name, but most of the street names are still unchanged. Among them, I was surprised to find Ulitsa Sacco and Vanzetti, a street named after the two Italian anarchists executed in the electric chair on August 23, 1927 in Massachusetts.
In fact, their arrest, conviction and execution sparkled protests and demostrations in the whole world as it appearead to be a political trial.
In year 1977, 50th anniversary of their execution, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were proclamed by Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as "unfairly tried and convicted".
This stone was placed for the 250th anniversary of Yekaterinburg's foundation and it marks the spot where the first metallurgical plant was built. The town owes its origin to this metal-working plant and by the standards of those days it was one of the best in whole Europe. The hydraulic power used to be provided by the little dam on Iset' river which can be seen behind the monument.
This bare feet couple must look quite odd in wintertime when temperatures can get as low as 40°C below zero... You can meet them in Ulitsa Vaynera, a pedestian street in the city center with botiques, restaurants, and modern shopping centers. Somebody call it the 'Arbat of the Urals' as it reminds the more famous pedestrian way in Moscow.
This giant obelisk to country's first post-Soviet leader was recently unveild on Feb. 1st, 2011, a date which would have marked Boris Yeltsin's 80th birthday. It was in Yekaterinburg that he was born and he started his political career.
It is a 10 metrs high white marble obelisk imprinted with Yeltsin's image.
If you arrived in Yekaterinburg the best thing to start with is an acquaintance with the city.
Currently I'm preparing this excursion and would like to share this info.
So, the historical centre of the city is the dam situated on Lenina avenue. The route I suggest starts near it - from central subway station called the square of 1905 (Ploshchad 1905 goda), on the picture attached it is the point number one. The route finishes in the point number 18 - here is the house of officers and a restaurant with traditional russian cooking, named USSR (CCCP).
So let me describe other points and directions briefly :)
1 - you are standing near central subway station and the street you are at is called "8 marta". In google maps it's "ulitsa 8 marta" cause ulitsa means a street. Let's go to the parallel street called "Vaynera"
2 - you are on Vaynera street, it's the favourite place of walk for many citizens. This street is an analog of Moscow's arbad. Let's cross Lenina avenue ("prospekt Lenina") and go to the embankment of the city pond.
3 - you are near the building of government of Sverdlovskaya oblast, and you can see a wonderful view of the city, the most charming in this view is a cathedral, you'll see it for sure, this cathedral is in this route also.
4 - the Drama theatre, let's go over the embankment to the main street, "prospekt Lenina"
5 - as soon as you are on prospekt Lenina you'll see the main square and the building of city administration, let's turn left and come through the dam
6 - the house of Sevastyanov, built in the first quarter of XIX century, it just rivets eyes :) so tel's go over another side of the embankment, to the gem of the city - cathedral on the blood
7 - on the way to the cathedral you'll see the cinema and concert hall "Cosmos"
8 - the Cathedral on the blood. It was build on the place where last russian emperor Nikolay II and his family were killed.
9 - If you look into the distance you'll see another church and old buildings near it. So these buildings compose old architectural ensemble, built in the end of XIII century
10 - the church of Ascension, but let's go back to Lenina avenue
11 - philharmonic society, and nearby there are museums and cinema
12 - the theatre of musical comedy
13 - (!!!) here you can see the city panorama, in antey entertainment complex, often called antey tower
14 - the Opera theatre
15 - here it's better to cross the road
16 - Urals State University
17 - the memorial called black tulip, to warriors who participated in Afghanistan war
18 - house of officers and the "CCCP" restaurant
The route takes about 2 hours and can be done during the day or at evening.
You can walk alone, but probably with a guide it will be more interesting. And I can be your guide too :) So, you are welcome to Yekaterinburg!
Russian baths - one of the favourite russian fun.
Taking a steam bath is one of the most ancient traditions of russian people. This procedure is done not only to be washed, but also to relax both - body and soul.
Typical Russian baths ("banya") is a small wooden house, consisting of a dressing-room and a steam room. In a dressing room you can relax and taste some snacks, drink tea with bread rolls or something stronger. And the main feature of Russian baths, which has been followed for centuries - a steam room with a broom and herbal extracts.
Usually the question arises: what is a broom, and why you need it. When I was first asked this question it was a bit difficult to explain :) A broom is a bunch of green birch twigs. But probably it's much easier to show, so I attached the photo. So, a broom is used to take a steam, something like a nice light massage and it doesn't hurt.
If you decide to visit a Russian bathhouse, it's nice to go there with a friend who knows how to take a steam or to order the services of experienced bathers. This fun is suitable for females as you can order a special women's steaming, when a broom work as a large fan - very unusual sensations.
In addition to a massage with a broom there are two other things which you can try - contrast dousing with water and jumping into the snow. The last one is a bit extreme and I haven't tried it myself, but russian men find it very amusing :)
So if you want to try it, have a nice baths!
December - January: Ice Town opens
when: 29th of December or earlier, where: the square of 1905 year (ploshad tisyacha devyatsot pyatogo goda)
January: Epiphany with swimming in ice hole - extremly popular activity for brave people :)))
when: 19th of January, where: city lake Shartash
February: Shrovetide with street festivities
when: 13th and 14th of February, where: Central park of culture and rest (CPKIO Park)
May: the Military Parade of World War II
when: 9th of May, where: the square of 1905 year (ploshad tisyacha devyatsot pyatogo goda)
May: Museums' night - all main museums open at night and several city shows are available
when: 16th of May (but date may vary each year), where: in the city centre (the square of 1905 year), in most of museums
May: "May walking" - all fans of cycling and walking moves over several routes (26km, 46km)
when: day may vary, where: starting point may vary
July: Tsarist days - thousands of piligrims come to Yekaterinburg to follow the last way of last russian emperor
when: 16th of July, where: the way starts at Shartash railway station
August: City birthday
when: 18th of August, where: all over the city, mainly in its center - the square of 1905 year
September: Day of Knowledge, children wearing smart clothes go to school with flowers for their teachers
when: 1st of September, where: everywhere in Yekaterinburg and Russia
November: skiing resorts of Urals open
when: after snowfalls, where: near Yekaterinburg (in 40km) there are Pilnaya mount, Teplaya mount and Volchiha mount, and two beautiful resorts are Ezhovaya and Belaya (in 100-150 km)
Here are the events i remember, but maybe there are also interesting ones I haven't mentioned.
Other months are good for visiting too, for example on March a spring begins, and on October nature is the most beautiful cause it's gold autumn.
Hope this information is new and interesting :)