Discover the best of Ekaterinburg
Visitors to the beautiful Russian city of Ekaterinburg are spoiled for choice with the city’s range of historic and cultural attractions. Discover more about the history and culture of Ekaterinburg by visiting some of the most remarkable tourist attractions this vibrant city has to offer.
The Church on the Blood
The Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg marks the location of the brutal end of the House of Romanov.
It was there on 16 July 1918, at the house of engineer Ipatiev, that the Romanov family were executed by Bolsheviks. Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar, his wife Alexandra, and children Tsarevitch Alexis and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia were killed in the basement. The house was ordered to be destroyed in 1977 on orders from Boris Yeltsin, then leader of the Ural Communists.
The land was given to the church, and on 16 July 2003 the Church on the Blood was consecrated. The basement forms the ground floor of the church, and goes through the story of the family.
Over Easter, you can arrange a tour of the Church and ring the bells of Church on the Blood with a professional bell ringer. Every year in July ‘Tsar Days’ are held at the church, commemorating the murder of the Romanov family, and attracting pilgrims from around the world. The Tsar Days also take in the monastery of Ganina Yama.
Monastery Ganina Yama
The monastery site of Ganina Yama is another beautiful Ekaterinburg attraction dedicated to the Romanov family.
After their gruesome murders in Ipatiev’s house, the bodies of the Tsar and his family were transported 15km north of Ekaterinburg. They were thrown into a disused mining shaft, Ganina Yama, and later removed and destroyed with acid. Some remains were retrieved in the 1970s, and there is now a monastery on the site.
The Ganina Yama monastery is made up of 7 decorative churches to symbolise the 7 members of the family executed by the Bolsheviks. The wooden buildings are ornately carved with green rooftops, and set among the trees. Monks make bread and drinks at the monastery for visitors to purchase.
Visitors and groups can book a tour to visit Ganina Yama and learn more about the Romanovs.
Square of 1905
In the heart of Ekaterinburg visitors will find the Square of 1905. Originally known as the central Cathedral Square of Ekaterinburg, the square was renamed after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
In 1905 the Square was the setting for a civilian revolution which led to many deaths. A renovation of the Square in 2008 led to the discovery of bodies and artefacts from the time of the revolution.
Now, the Square of 1905 is an excellent place for visitors to Ekaterinburg to discover differing styles of architecture from the city’s history. The Square features the imposing Empire-style City Hall and a monument to Lenin, and sometimes houses open air markets. The Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre can also be found near the Square of 1905.
During the winter months, the Square of 1905 is transformed with a Christmas tree, lights and ice sculptures. The comfortable Park Inn by Radisson Ekaterinburg Hotel is a short walk from the Square and many other historic sites in Ekaterinburg.
Rastorguyev-Kharitonov Estate and Park
In the centre of the city, near the Church on the Blood, the Rastorguyev-Kharitonov Estate and Park make for an elegant place to visit.
Rastorguyev and Kharitonov were rich merchants in Ekaterinburg prior to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. The estate has been used as a house, prison, high court and in the time of the Soviets was known as the ‘Palace for Children’.
The grounds were Ekaterinburg’s first public park, and house a pretty rotunda an artificial lake, as well as monuments.
Next to the estate of Rastorguyev-Kharitonov is the Church of Ascension, the oldest church in Ekaterinburg. The church was founded in 1792 and built in the baroque style, with elegant walls of white and light-blue, topped with golden domes.
The Church of Ascension and other Ekaterinburg highlights can be booked as part of a group walking tour around the city.
What sight would you most like to see in Ekaterinburg?