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City Hunter: Fourteen Must-See Yekaterinburg Monuments
October 5, 2011 15:22

Michael Jackson Monument in Weiner St, Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg is truly regarded as Russia's Manchester. Not only was it one of the birthplaces of Russian rock, it also boasts a splendid selection of graffiti and unique monuments - pre-requisite elements of popular culture. Below is a selection of unique monuments and constructions you can stumble upon, while wandering around the third capital of Russia...

1. Beavis and Butthead (or, The Father-Founders of the City, Vasily Tatischev and Wilhelm de Gennin)
Considering that one guy wears a hat and another - shoulder-long hair, it is hard to say "who is who". Is the famous Russian historian Tatischev a Beavis or a Butthead? No idea? No worries. The monument is best approached from the park below - nothing beats the view that opens, as you walk up the stairs to the statues.
2. A Monument to a Credit Card
Arguably, you cannot walk past it - the red hand with a red credit card stands just outside the bank. This is a rare example of acknowledging the importance of virtual money in our everyday life. Read our news report on the subject.
3. A Monument to a Keyboard
QWERTY rules our lives - and this is the proof, in case you had doubts. Read our news report on the subject.
4. A Monument to a Bicycle Inventor
The first Russian bicycle was presented to the future emperor Alexander I in 1801 by a clever peasant from Nizhny Tagil. His statue now graces a pedestrian Weiner St in the city centre, and regularly draws tourists who climb the bloke to take a photo.
5. A Monument to a Street Peddler   
Just a few yards away from the bicycle guy in the same Weiner St another bloke sells jewellery and other stuff from his shoulder bag. Needless to say, you are welcome to take a picture with him. Read about the Russian traditions of trade and advertising.
6. Alexander Pushkin Monument
The greatest Russian poet occupies a small space in the so-called Literary Quarter, not far from the Cathedral on the Blood, the museum of the author Mamin-Sibiryak, and the Architecture Academy. Pushkin never visited Yekaterinburg, however is evidently depicted in the impassioned moment of contemplating the beauty of the Urals.
7. Yakov Sverdlov Monument
Since you are likely to see the Ural State University, you may as well learn who is pointing at the building with his finger. It is Yakov Sverdlov, one of the outstanding figures of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. It was after him that Yekaterinburg was named Sverdlovsk, the name the city carried until 1991.
8. The Monument to Michael Jackson
And back to Weiner St. In 2011 here was unveiled the monument to Michael Jackson whose untimely passover shocked millions of people across the world, Russian fans being no exception. Read our news report on the subject.
9. The Beatles Wall
Still on the subject of Music: if you turn from Malyshev St into the Garden of Love and walk along the river bank, on the opposite side you will see the so-called Beatles Wall. The Magnificent Four is depicted next to an inscription "The Love You Take Is Equal to the Love You Make". In other words, "all you need is Love..." Read our news report on the subject.
10. The Eiffel Tower
If you are in Paris, you have the real treat. If you are in Blackpool in the U.K., you have a quality copy. When you come to Yekaterinburg, you will see something that well suits the pop-cultural status of the city: a blue Eiffel Tower, about 7 times smaller than the original, sitting next to a small pond. But well... how many cities have an Eiffel tower anyway?
11. Vladimir Vysotsky Monument
The famous Russian actor and bard (a poet-singer-composer), Vladimir Vysotsky casually reclines with a guitar in his hands, while his beloved Marina Wladi sits next and gazes at him adoringly. The group is located outside Antei Business and Shopping Centre. And if you decide to go to the observation desk atop Antei, on the ground floor you can see a small exhibition showing some things associated with Vysotsky: a sweater he wore playing Hamlet; a stage model for Hamlet (directed by Yuri Lyubimov); and a mirror table from Vysotsky's make-up room at Taganka Theatre.
12. A Monument to the Komsomol of Sverdlovsk
Image-wise, the monument was clearly inspired by the famous Worker and Peasant-Woman by Vera Mukhina. What needs to be noted, is that the monument now stands right across the road from the Cathedral on the Blood that marks the spot of Ipatyev House where the Imperial Family had been shot. That's something to remember, if you wish to contemplate how different historical epochs permeate one another on the city planning level.
13. The Romanov Family commemoration cross
The cross stands in front of the Cathedral on the Blood and alludes to the status of the new martyrs that the murdered members of Nicholas II family had acquired recently. Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their 5 children, 4 daughters and 1 son are depicted around the cross, as per idea of dying on the cross. Read more about the Romanov Dynasty and the Emperor Nicholas II.
14. The Discobolus
Yes, Myron's famous sculpture can be seen in Yekaterinburg. Moreover, it stands in the Dinamo Underground Station on Yekaterinburg Metro. There may be other reasons for Yekaterinburg citizens to visit the British Museum, but as for Discobolus, they have their own. 

...and a small treat. There is a belief in Russia that you can stroke a bronse statue (or its part) to make your dream come true. On the corner of Weiner St and Pushkin St, next to the cats and dogs shop there stands a curious group: a rough Russian man, a horse and a dog. The dog's nose is polished to perfection with the hands of believers. So... when you are in Yekaterinburg, why not stroke the dog and make a wish? 

Image courtesy: author; RIA Novosti.

Julie Delvaux

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian tourism the Urals region Russian monuments Yekaterinburg sightseeing City Hunter 

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