A guide to the arts in Ekaterinburg
The thriving Russian city of Ekaterinburg is like a piece of art in itself. Home to awe-inspiring feats of architecture and design, visitors to Ekaterinburg will uncover a wealth of Ural culture and history in some of the region’s finest art museums and sculptural installations.
Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts
The Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, with its iconic collection of European masterpieces, is a must-see in Ekaterinburg. Set in the historic square, this impressive museum itself is a sight to behold. Visitors can explore Russia’s rich cultural heritage in pieces that date as far back as the 14th century, and marvel at the museum’s forward-thinking Russian avant-garde collection of the 1910s.
Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art
The largest private art gallery in the Ural region, the Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art exhibits works that span traditional painting to graphic design. The museum famously showcases work by local artists, so stepping into one of its dozen yearly exhibits offers a glimpse of the city’s distinct character. The gallery’s permanent exhibit details a century’s worth of Ural art, from 1910 to 2010, providing a comprehensive view of the region’s many artistic traditions.
The Keyboard Monument
If you’ve seen the huge FAO Schwarz piano in the Tom Hanks movie Big, there’s no question that you’ll want to see the Ekaterinburg version. This kind of keyboard won’t make music, but the monument – a concrete QWERTY computer keyboard built in 30:1 scale – is still undoubtedly impressive. Don’t go without taking your turn at the local legend: “type” in your wishes and hopes, then press Enter – your dreams just might come true.
Black Tulip War Memorial
The Black Tulip War Memorial serves as a haunting reminder of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The stark statue portrays a lone, seated soldier holding his rifle and bowing his head. Since posture and expression hit home the futility of war, and the surrounding pillars emblazoned with the names of the fallen depict the cost of the conflict. It’s a tasteful, sobering spot to pay your respects.
Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre
The frolicking melody accompanying Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and the racing strings of the overture in Verdi’s La forza del destino – these are the sounds that emerge from the Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theater, only a five-minute walk from our Park Inn by Radisson Ekaterinburg Hotel. Since opening in 1912, this theater has played host to several famous masters of Russian performance, including Ivan Kozlovsky and Sergei Lemeshev. Among the oldest theaters in Russia, it’s a sonic celebration of the music of the region and the wider world.
Vaynera Street sculptures
A shopping district with a difference, a stroll down Vaynera Street in downtown Ekaterinburg evokes a museum-like experience. The avenue – one of the city’s most popular shopping streets – is dotted with sculptures that celebrate the ordinary as well as the exceptional dwellers of the city’s past. The likenesses pedestrians will encounter here include Efim Artamonov, the inventor of the bicycle, a traditional street vendor of yore, and a man driving a vintage car. Past and present mingle on Vaynera Street as everyday shoppers weave through whimsical sculptures depicting figures from Ekaterinburg’s bygone days.