7.10.11

Transsiberian, Transmongolian ... Ekaterinburg


Still on the way eastwards… Less known than Saint Petersburg and Moscow, maybe a few words about Ekaterinburg (also written Yekaterinburg…). You reach the city just after having crossed the Ural Mountains, which also means that you have reached Asia.

The city was created during the 18th century. It’s perhaps today best known as the place where the Tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered in 1918. The house where they lived was demolished in 1977 on the order of Moscow via Boris Yeltsin, who then was a local Ekaterinburg leader. Yeltsin later, in 1998, represented the people when the Tsar and his family got a state funeral; they are now buried at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg (see previous post). On the place where their house stood you can since 2003 find the “Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russain Land”, commemorating the Romanov family and their sainthood.

The city was named Sverdlovsk between 1924 and 1992 (and the region still has that name). You can find the statue of Yakov Sverdlov, just across the Opera House, not far from the Romanov memorial. He was a leading revolutionary personality and was obviously the one who gave the order to execute the Royal family. He could have been the Lenin successor, but died already in 1919.

Svedlovsk, later Ekaterinburg, was also a leading military industrial centre during the Soviet Communist era, and was then a “closed city”, not open to foreign tourists. It was over the suburbs of Ekaterinburg that the U-2 spy plane (Francis Gary Powers) was shot down.

16 comments:

Flartus said...

Fascinating, amazing, beautiful. I'm so intrigued by the transition from Europe to Asia. I was surprised when I visited Moscow at how many Russians had an Asian look to them, but it opened my eyes to the vastness and diversity of the former USSR and traditional Russian lands.

I'm looking forward to the rest of your trip!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Awesome post! Thank you for sharing!

Shionge said...

I wannnnnnnnt to visit all the places you've visited Peter :D

Thank you ssssoooo much, fantastic!!!

Maria O. Russell said...

The first one to die was the Tsar, shot by Yakov Yurovsky himself.

When the squad thought everybody was dead, they heard Anastasia (who had only fainted) regaining conciousness.

Savagely, they finished her in a few seconds too.

Of the Imperial household also murdered among others were Tsarevich Alexei´s doctor, Botkin and the Tsaritsa´s maid, Demidova.

Yakov Yurovsky´s own account of the execution from Robert K. Massie´s book "Nicholas and Alexandra"

Thank you Peter for this fascinating post.

Cezar and Léia said...

What a fabulous adventure! :)
Léia

Thérèse said...

Tout ce marbre! C'est toujours impressionnant. Que de traits communs, je pense aux portables, aux voitures...
Une tres belle explication sur la mort de Nicolas II dans le livre de Marc Ferro "Les tabous de l'histoire."

Paris Paul said...

Incredible! How much would it cost me to be you!

Starman said...

I see the Russians are trying to copy the Parisians with the locks on the bridge.

M said...

Merci for taking us on your vacation! can't wait to see more!!

Kate said...

The Romanov Memorial looks very lavish...the least that they could do! Love the guy with the accordian among the bridal parties and the stretch limo is a real capture!!

Virginia said...

Peter,
So many caught my eye but of course the wedding photos. I think you have yet another calling as a wedding photographer! :)

These are wonderful images for us as we make the trip along with you.
Merci,
V

Eli said...

thank you - you know my fascination with Russian history of that time and 'The House of Special purpose'

Thérèse said...

Joli reportage haut en couleurs.
Les gateaux Irkutskiens supplantent les gateaux americains!
Elles ont une taille certaine ces habitations en bois qui ont servi aux deportes!
Tres interessant, merci.

Thérèse said...

Tu auras compris que le commentaire s'applique a Irkutsk... pardon.

ParisBreakfasts said...

Did you make any films while away?
These are fun but I really miss your old posts with the detailed maps and all the information interspersed with the pictures...
c'est comme ca
cheers Carolg

Ruth said...

This is such a brilliant format for sharing your trip. I intend to watch every slideshow, for these are places in the heart, where we would like to travel if time and resources permit. I will travel for now vicariously, with you. Forgive my slowness, but I will catch up.