After 3 nights on the train, we arrived in Yekaterinburg – the city of Katherine. Situated over 1400km West of Moscow, Yekaterinburg is on the Euro-Asia border. Despite being the fourth biggest city in Russia, we knew very little about it. Founded in the 1700s and dubbed as the ‘window to Asia’, it played a prominent role in the economic growth of the country as many factories and industries thrived here. We had a wonderful guide, Dimitry, who took us around the city and explained some of its complex histories.
Church of All Saints
The full name of this is ‘The Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russain Land’. It was built in memory of the last Tsar family; Nicholas II, his wife; Alexandra and their 5 children; Olga, Tatiana, Maraia, Anastasia and Alexei who were all brutally murdered on July 17, 1918. Although Nicholas had already abdicated on behalf of himself and his son, the white army went ahead with the attack. Nicholas was regarded as a weak emperor and was blamed for the fall of the Russian Empire and the death of millions of soldiers.
This bright and beautiful building situated on the edge of the river was designed by the architect Aleksandr Paduchev for Nikolay Sevastyanov, who worked as a civil servant (yet managed to amass a small fortune). Surprisingly, Nikolay didn’t live in the house itself, but opposite in a moderate dwelling and admired it from afar. However, he did rent it out to other people. Before his death, it was sold to the local Government and during the Soviet era, it was used as a House of Labour Unions. Nowadays, it is now another residence of the President.
The war memorial in the centre of the city is also known as the ‘Black Tulip War Memorial’. It was erected in memory of the fallen soldiers who have fought in the Afghan-Soviet war and the First Chechen War. On the pillars are all the names of the soldiers (from Yekaterinburg) who died for their country.
Husky Sledding ?
As part of our tour, we got to choose an excursion so we decided on husky sledding. Just a little outside the city, we arrived at camp where there are over 50 breeds of huskies. Before we got towed away, we were introduced to the dogs and got to know them a little better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed out as I may have got eaten.☹️
Here’s a video of these guys mushing around.
Mush, Mush.. next up on our adventure is somewhere quite special indeed. The biggest freshwater lake in the world 😀 .. Irkutsk here we come