Saturday 29/07 – Yekaterinburg

We started, with our guide Yulia, by the visit of the Church on the blood, built between 2000 and 2003 on the site of the Ipatiev House (whose demolition was ordered by Yeltsin in 1976), where the Tsar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, and his family were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918 during the Russian Civil War. The church commemorates the Romanovs sainthood. The interior is impressive.

Before going to the other site commemorating the Romanovs, we stopped quickly at a memorial for Stalin victims during the Great Terror/Purge (a place where they discovered 18,000 bodies in a common grave) and at the (new and kitsch) Euro-Asia marker.

We then went to the Monastery of the Holy Martyrs, in Ganina Yama where 7 attractive wooden churches were built (in 2001) around the spot where the Romanovs’ bodies were originally disposed of in an abandoned mine.

The sites related to the Romanovs that we visited this morning are touching and give a good insight on the tragic destiny of Nicolas II family. Ludivine seems interested by their fate and would like to find a book about it.

We had a nice lunch in a Russian-Ukrainian restaurant in the historical center, with some now-usual pelmeni (and salads).

We then went to the “historical” Euro-Asia border, marked by an obelisk near Pervouralsk (40km to the west of Yekaterinburg). The Ural Mountains are indeed regarded as the border between Europe and Asia.

We finished our day by a walk in the historical centre of the city and along the Islet river.

Taxi from the hotel to the train station, where we took pizza slices (at Pizza Mia) before our 10pm train to Tobolsk.

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