Watch the timelapse by Vitaly Gariev from Chelyabinsk about the capital of the Urals.
And welcome to Yekaterinburg this summer!
When walking in the center of Yekaterinburg you can see a red line drawn in the middle of the pavement. Some locals still think it’s a divider for pedestrians or a lane for bicycles. But the truth is the red line is a guideline for tourists. Just find it on Prospect Lenina and go down the line and in three hours you’ll get back to the starting point with photos of all the main sites in your camera!
The Red Line project started in 2011 as a blog by Dmitry Kalaev. The Internet users were voting for the best sites in the center of Yekaterinburg. Eventually, 35 historic objects were chosen including the Church on the Blood, Opera Theatre, the Beatles monument, QWERTY monument, Literary Quarter etc. The Red Line was drawn on June 18 2011. Its length is 6.5 kilometers.
This summer (2012) activists of the Red Line project are planning to draw QR codes for each site along the line, to print maps and to add full descriptions of the objects on the webpage www.ekbredline.ru
You can walk along the Red Line on your own or get a guided tour to learn more about the historical places. Sometimes there are free excursions arranged by volunteers for special events.
As a manager of the English newspaper Your Yekaterinburg, I invited the readers of the paper to take a guided tour down the Red Line when the annual Night in the Museum event took place in Yekaterinburg. It took us 2.5 hours to do the whole tour. The weather was great and so was the company! The photos for this post were taken during our tour and you can see me with a yellow scarf
I made this video two years ago. It looks like I've put on a few kilos since that while the city hasn't changed at all. Enjoy and come for a visit this summer!
Russian Germans (Russkie Nemtzy) is a generalized term used in the Russian language to name the people whose forefathers moved to Russia before the Revolution or were sent to labour camps during the Great Patriotic War in the USSR. Many of them migrated to Germany in 1990s but some decided to stay. For instance, my elderly neighbor babushka Anna said she was too old to integrate into the western society. Assuming that she lived in the industrial town of Nizhni Tagil, she had probably been a victim of Stalin repressions but she never spoke about it.
There are about 600 000 Russian Germans living in Russia today, over 20 000 of them live in Middle Urals. The Festival of German Culture in Russia was held for the first time in November in Yekaterinburg. About 200 of Russian Germans came from different parts of the Urals to share what they have preserved: folk songs and dances, national costumes and German quisine. By the way, the first Governer of Sverdlovskaya Oblast , Eduard Rossel is Russian German too. Other famous Russian Germans in the Urals are fellow artists Lew Weiber and Michail Distergeft.
Both were sent to Gulag and spent their youth working in coal mines in Karpinsk (Northern Urals). They were released After the Second World War. Weiber studied at the college of Arts in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg). Distergeft did the same in Nizhni Tagil. Of course, they were ‘ne vyezdnie’ (not permitted to travel abroad). There was a term Inner Emigration in Soviet artists’ lexicon in 1960s. It meant that looking for harmony the artists preferred to retreat to nature in order to create something for themselves and for a close circle of friends.
Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art (www.uralgallery.ru) exhibited the paintings of Weiber and Distergeft as a part of the Festival of German Culture. The exhibition was called “The nature of memory. The memory of nature” It had Weiber’s landscapes of the Urals and graphic works by Gistergeft who portrayed the life of the Germans in labour camps. The graphic works were made in 1990s when Distergeft lived in Oranienburg, Germany.
Innoprom 2011 is an international Ural exhibition and forum of industry and innovations held in July 14-17 in a newly built Yekaterinburg Expo near Koltsovo Airport
President Medvedev stated in May at the Skolkovo innovation centre that innovative infrastructure should be applied in other regions. Sverdlovskaya oblast is one of these regions. The list of participants includes Russian Railways, Ltd. "Gazprom Transgaz Ekaterinburg" and the Swiss Association of Mechanical Engineers Swissmem, as well as collective expositions of Germany, Israel, China, Poland, Canada, Austria and Vietnam.
Apart from industrial objects there is an interesting exhibition of Contepmporary Art
and a must-see for families with kids TechnoDrom - a project of a scientific museum for children which, I really hope, will be opened in the Urals one day...
Innoprom is opened daily 9-19. There are free shuttle buses running every 20 min from the main train station and from the metro station Ploschad 1905
p.s. Innoprom is now held every year in middle July
This summer you don't need to go far in order to explore Russia. Just pay a visit to Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts on Vainera st. 11
All Russian annual photo project ‘Best of Russia ‘10’ arrived at Yekaterinburg. The photo exhibition with 365 best photos of the year was brought from Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow.
The idea is to show the life of the whole country during one year viewed by Russian citizens and to discover most talented photographers. The organizers received 26 000 photos from 570 Russian settlements created by professional and amateur photographers.
365 project’s best photos were chosen by the authoritative jury committee. The exhibition is divided into five sections: architecture, nature, style, people, events and everyday life. There is only one rule – photos have to be created in Russia.
The exhibition is held in Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Art on Vainera 11 until September, 4. Entrance fee 150 R
Yekaterinburg is already proud of the first monument to the Beatles in Russia (read about it: http://askural.com/2010/09/new-monuments-of-yekaterinburg/) Now the city has a sculpture of Michael Jackson too!
Local fan club of the King of Pop gathered money to erect a sculpture in the city centre. Michael, who had never been to the Urals, appeared on Vainer St. in front of Greenwich Shopping Mall on June, 25th - 2nd anniversary of Jackson’s sudden death.
Michael Jackson gave his first concert in Russia in 1993. The main difficulty for the Moscow organizers was to find 8 computers for the show. Those days few Russians could afford them. Due to high ticket prices and heavy rain the stadium was only half full and Michael refused to start the show. At the last moment the organizers had to open the gates and let passersby enter for free.
This week Yekaterinburg is celebrating the 80th anniversary of Boris Yeltsin’s birth. A big man from the Urals started his political career in Sverdlovsk, then was promoted to Moscow in 1985 and became the first president of Russia. Now his statue is the first monument since the Soviet era erected to a political leader.
The monument is made of 15 ton marble pieces. It’s 10 metres tall - Boris’s height was 1.87m., much taller than his followers Putin and Medvedev (1.70 and 1.62 respectively). No wonder, the monument was erected on the Street named after Yeltsin. In the Soviet times the central street used to be a neglected area with shabby barracks. It was thanks to Yeltsin that the ugly barracks were demolished and people were moved to the new apartment buildings. Yeltsin also ordered to build a Drama theatre on this street. In the future there will be a presidential centre on Yeltsin Street too with a library and a museum. The museum will have an exact replica of Yeltsin’s office in the Kremlin.
2011 is also the 20th anniversary of the failed coup arranged by the Communists in August 1991 when Yeltsin climbed up onto a tank outside the Russian parliament and called for a general strike. On 23 August Yeltsin banned the Communist party in Russia. The photo exhibition of those events is now held in the Museum of History in Yekaterinburg. The exhibition is called ‘Yeltsin – Yes!’
There are very different opinions in Russia of Yeltsin’s presidency. The 90s are remembered as years when few men became billionaires while pensioners lived in poverty. Gangsters and mafia controlled the cities, it was especially characteristic for Yeltsin’s home city Yekaterinburg. The president was famous for his drunken speeches. I heard a lady from Moscow saying on the radio about Yekaterinburg: “Everything is wrong in your city – you killed the Tsar and failed to raise a president.”
By the way, it was Yeltsin who ordered to demolish Ipatyev House – the place of the Tsar’s murder in 1978. Though later he would say the order arrived from the Kremlin and he couldn’t disobey. However, Boris always had a huge support in Yekaterinburg. 95% of the Yekaterinburgers supported him in 1991 and the recent celebration events show that most of the Ural citizens don’t have a grudge against him.
Another interesting exhibition took place on Lenin Avenue. Local contemporary artists erected a carton monument to letter E. It is the most important letter for the city as both Yekaterinburg and Yeltsin start with ‘E’ in Russian. The citizens could bring the photos of the prominent people whose names start with E. The photos were then glued to the monument.
On the first day of winter Russian director Rinat Timerkaev presented his new animated film I Love You. The film shows his native city Yekaterinburg in spring and based on Marina Chengikmakher's poetry.
More info about the film on Rinat's blog (in Russian) http://timerkaev.livejournal.com/
Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art as usual holds an interesting photo exhibition Our Shots this October. The most curious photos of the famous Russian newspaper Kommersant present top Russian personalities in a very peculiar way.
If you happen to stay in Yekaterinburg do visit it on Krasnoarmeyskaya 32. More information about the gallery is here (the web-site is in English) http://www.uralgallery.ru/en-index.php
And some photos from the exhibition are here: