The host city for Translation Forum Russia 2018 is Ekaterinburg, a megalopolis boasting a rich history, and the regional capital dubbed the “Stronghold of the Nation” by writer Aleksandr Tvardovsky – a telling name by any measure.
Ekaterinburg emerged by the will of Peter the Great who wished to set up production facilities on the banks of the Iset River, with the city being named after the Emperor’s wife Catherine I. It was her namesake Catherine II, though, who ordered to grant the city status to the industrial settlement and to have the Great Siberian Road started from it which was to become the main route of the country. Remarkably, Ekaterinburg is 20 years younger than Saint Petersburg, another creation of Peter I and will celebrate its 300 anniversary in 2023.
The city approaches the boundary between Asia and Europe which lies across the territory of Sverdlovskaya oblast, but it is entirely situated on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains.
Ekaterinburg earned the title of the city with a million-plus population in 1967 and has preserved it ever since. The Ural capital is said to be home to over 1.6 mn people.
The city is one of the world’s largest economic centres. It is in the list of the world’s top 600 largest cities producing 60% of global GDP. One of the largest transport and logistic hubs (the area boasts an international airport, Trans-Siberian Railway and 6 federal highways), an important industrial centre (optical-mechanical industry, tool engineering and heavy engineering, metal industry, printing industry, consumer goods manufacturing and food industry, as well as the military industrial sector).
Dubbed the Capital of the Urals, Ekaterinburg contains and preserves the memories of many centuries, starting from its foundation as a mining and metallurgical region back in the 18th century and through the modern times which are also represented in the city’s history. The city’s history is unusual and unique, its beauty manifesting itself in the industrial look.
We invite you on a short tour of Ekaterinburg that will tell you how the city was built and developed. You will have a chance to visit the historic part of the city – Plotinka, the Historic Garden Square, the 1905 Square and get exhaustive information about the interesting and visit-worthy sights of our beloved hometown and native region.
Pick-up Time from Ramada Hotel: 5:30 p.m. (25 August)
The Church-on-the Blood is the chief centre of the cult of Saint Nicholas II and his family which attracts Orthodox pilgrims from both Russia and the rest of the world. Built on the site of the Special Purpose House, it contains the Ecxecution Room where the tzar’s family was brutally murdered on the night of 16-17 July 1918.
The Rastorguyev-Kharitonov Estate is the palace and garden complex erected in accordance with all the rules of Classicism. The palace history is populated by many legends connected with the large basement and secret underground passageways that were discovered by accident after a massive collapse in the 1920s. Some sources argue that the underground chambers contained special prayer rooms equipped in line with the Old Believer canons. According to another scenario, the underground passageways were remnants of secret tunnels where the merchant secretly mined his gold bars. The third legend is the most blood-curdling. Many people believe that the underground chambers were used as torture rooms where disobedient peasants and runaway or rebellious serfs were subjected to atrocities and then killed.
Plotinka is the city chief attraction. Boasting central location, the dam is as old as the city itself. The dam was built from the trunks of the Ural larch-tree that petrified with age. While it was faced with granite slabs, reinforced and adorned with stone and cast iron fences, the base of the dam remind wooden.
The Historic Garden Square is one the most well-known sites in Ekaterinburg, popular with residents and city guests alike. It was here that in the 18th century the history of the factory started that gave birth to the Urals capital.
Strolling around Plotinka, let us take a walk along the Geological Alley, where one can spot various samples of Ural rocks among the trees. On the lower terrace of the park there is the Museum of Architecture and Design – home to a mechanical factory in the 19th century. Next to the museum, you will see the exposition of large-scale equipment of the Urals factories.
Another must-see is the Sevastyanov’s House. The rumour has it that N.I. Sevastyanov, an official for special missions, did not live in the house himself but instead resided in a small wooden cottage opposite. But he surely enjoyed sitting on a bench in front of the house in the evenings and admire his palace, occasionally asking the passers-by if they knew who the magnificent edifice belonged to. This is not the only gossip circulating about the building. Once it occured to Sevastyanov that he wished to gild the rotunda dome. However, such works required a special permit, as only churches could have gilded domes. The request submitted by Sevastyanov turned out against him – he was sentenced to visiting the nearby church every morning as a penalty wearing boots of cast iron and praying God to pardon his sin of vanity.
From Plotinka we will reach the 1905 Square – the central square of Ekaterinburg. It emerged together with the city and changed several names throughout its history – the Church Square, the Cathedral Square, the 1905 Square. As epochs and authorities succeeded one another, the square always remained the main square, the epicentre of the city cultural and social life.
The final point of our itinerary will be the Yeltsin Centre. The first presidential museum in Russia, The Boris Yeltsin Museum, was opened in 2015. If you are willing to revisit the 1990s and reassess the importance of that period for the life of modern Russia, the museum is the ultimate place for you.
The Urals weather is notably changeable, so be sure to bring warm clothes and an umbrella along with you! Also, opt for comfortable footwear, as the tour guide will certainly want to show you around in the city centre!
Feel free to refer for any information on the city tour to Alena Bezrukova at +7 912 288 32 91 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.