Monastery of the Holy Martyrs
This monastery is being built on the site where the bodies of the Romanovs were first buried. There are 7 churches dedicated to different saints, one of them to the Romanov family (they were declared saints by the Orthodox church). All the buildings are wooden and built in the old Russian way without using nails.
Women have to wear a headscarf and a skirt to enter the monastery. Both are provided at the entrance.
The monastery is at Ganina Yama, about 15 km from Yekaterinburg.
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walking tour over Yekaterinburg
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!
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August Festival of the city's birthday
Every year, on the third Saturday of August, there's a great city festival - the birthday of Yekaterinburg.
The program offers various attractions from early morning till late night: parade of vintage automobiles, open-air concerts of local folklore choruses, dancing ensembles and modern musical bands, open marriage ceremony for dozens of pairs, sport events and regatta on the city pond, flower expositions and a lot more. At night the sky welcomes the annual fireworks festival!
Trying Russian baths
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!
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city of contrasts
Eburg is a city of contrasts.
It's a symbol city for communist revolution, because it's the place where last zar where killed, but, maybe just for this, as a sort of expiation , it's also a place where the zar's recall is still strong.
so, behind the death monument to zars...
Annual events in Yekaterinburg
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 :)
- Adventure Travel
Memorial to the victims of Stalin's purges
There is a site in the forests outside of Yekaterinburg that has the graves of many victims of Stalin's purges. I understood that while Stalin would order you killed anyplace you were located apparently many victims had first been sent east of the Urals, out-of-sight, out-of-mind may have been the logic behind moving people but murdering them defies reason and logic. The memorial site is reached by a main highway traveling west out Yekaterinburg. In fact in the same direction as the Europe-Asia monument but not quite as far. This was a stop along the way to that site.
Is is a very open area but with defined spaces within that context. The main section has a large Christian cross (actually in the style of western tradition Christians) Perhaps many of Stalin's victims were in fact the Lutheran Finns he had ordered deported from the area around St. Petersburg, ostensibly to lessen the chance they might rebel during the war with Nazi Germany. It is obvious that the site honors all the victims regardless of their faith tradition. The small four sided monument at the center of the radiating paths among the walls of names, has the symbols of all those who trace their faith to the God of Abraham,. Judaism, Christianity (of both eastern and western traditions) and Islam
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was being erected during 1794-1824. The name of the architect is unknown though conjectures about the authorship are numerous. The fact is that M.P.Malakhov – the best architect of the "golden" Ekaterinburg – took some part in creating this palace.
The south facade (the one overlooking the square) is commonly considered the main one. It has a beautiful colonnade of six Corinthian columns based upon a high arcade thus forming the first & second floors' balconies. Remarkable are the east facade (opening onto the garden) and the west one (lowering in the direction of the train terminal) – it is wrought with astounding diversity and decorated with columns and fanciful grate-work.
The mansion (alongside with the nearby Church of Ascension) dominating the Voznesensky (Ascension) Hill, the most elevated place in the city, is a classical sample of the peculiar "Ekaterinburg-style" estate – with a facade stretching along the so-called red line and gradually giving way to gardens, parks, court-yards and auxiliary premises. The garden with its pond, pavilions, artificial slopes and a rotunda was the town's first public park.
There has survived the document that defined the garden's place "near which, as is known, the Beriozovsky gold mine is situated". It is a purely Ekaterinburg detail.
The house had been intended for a happy family life, but another fate was in store for it; the heirs' quarrels and litigation resulted in a situation where the mansion stood for some time quite uninhabited, then became a house to let ...
During the Soviet years it housed the Palace of the Young Pioneers. Now it is the Children's Center for Creative Activities.
The Novo-Tikhvin Nunnery Ensemble
used to be surrounded by a high stone wall with round and domed towers. Some of these towers have survived up to nowadays.
The Novo-Tikhvin Nunnery of Ekaterinburg was legitimated in 1809 and till the very October Revolution of 1917 it was one of the wealthiest cloisters in the Urals. The construction of the nunnery lasted all through the 19th century. The ensemble consisted of 8 churches (including The Cathedral of St.Alexander of the Neva), numerous cells, a hospital and an alms-house. The park of the nunnery was large and well-kept, it had a (sacred) number of ponds and a little river in it.
After the Revolution of 1917 the nunnery became a God-and-people-forsaken place, some of its buildings were ruined, other ones – altered. Now the old photos are the only evidence of the nunnery's gone wealth and majesty.
The Cathedral of St. Alexander of the Neva
was founded in 1814 in commemoration of the victory over Napoleon. The construction lasted up to 1836. Then the cathedral was being altered and modified 1836 through to 1854. The architect – M.P.Malakhov – designed the edifice in the vein of mature Classicism, and it is by right considered among the finest buildings of the 19th century's Ekaterinburg.
Many outstanding people of the town – including Malakhov himself – were buried under the cathedral's walls. Alas, their graves have been lost.
The Church of Ascension
founded in 1792 and was being built for about a century. In the first Soviet years it housed an exemplary school; during 1941-44 its premises was used to keep part of the Hermitage's evacuated collection of masterpieces; later still it was the History Department of the Museum of Local Lore. Recently the temple has been returned to God-believers.
The church is the only city's Russian baroque-styled temple.
Hram na krovi cathedral
This cathedral was build in the place where Russian czar and all his family were executed in 1918 after Russian revolution. The czar family was kept and executed in Ipatiev house. The house was later destroyed (by Yeltsin's order) in 1980s not to live tracks of what happened then.
After perestroika the interest to this place became no longer forbidden. First they set a cross and a little chapel there. Later with the help of Sverdlovsk region governor Rossel the money was raised to build big cathedral.
The cathedral is big and in a way impressive. Not everyone likes it (some say it is too modern and too rich), but it definitely worth seeing if you are in Yekaterinburg.
The cathedral consists of two temples - the upper one and the lower one. The upper temple is big with much air and light. The lower temple is located under the ground and includes the place of execution.
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The monument to the founders
In the center of the city is a pleasent little plaza (square), amoung other items there, along with Katerine's Chaple, is a statue,.sculpture, honoring the founders of Yekaterinburg, a Russian and a Dutchman, posed here on the pedistal.
The city was founded as an industrial center. There is a canal in the very center that represents the original raceway that powered the local plant machinery.
Just across the street from this central plaza is what was once a very elegant residence. My understnding was that it now houses public offices of some nature.
Yekaterinburg was named for Peter the Great's German wife, Katerina (Who it would seem distained Russians other than her husband). Perhaps that is why the Russians distort Katerina to Yuk'-a-terin-burg rather that saying Ekaterinaburg
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Visit city parks
There are several parks in the city that are pretty nice to visit when the weather is good. You can walk there, have a picnic or simply come and sit for a while in silence watching birds. :)
I would not recommend going to a park after dark (might not always be safe), but during the day it might be pretty good. As far as I know you can't rent a bike there yet, but if you have one, you can use it there with a great pleasure. In winter there are numerous places where you can rent ski (cross-country).
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St. Katherines Chapel in the heart of downtown
This tiny chapel is in the heart of downtown near the center city canal and outdoor machinery museum. It has been restored, refuirbished and is open for visitors. I was allowed to take pictures inside, there is really only room for four or five people so you are not likely to encounter or interfer with someone deep in prayer.
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