Founded in 1723, Yekaterinburg is on the border of Europe and Asia and is not only the economic, scientific and cultural center of the Urals, but also a city of secrets concealing many unique attractions.
The Big Dip Cave located in Deer Springs. Photo: Deer Springs Park
More than 150,000 foreign guests from all over the world come to Yekaterinburg annually, with many of them arriving on business trips. Seeing all the sights of Yekaterinburg during a short business trip is impossible, yet one can capture the city’s special atmosphere by following these selected routes.
An aerial view of Yekaterinburg
Catch Yekaterinburg from the air at the observation deck of the skyscraper “Vysotsky,” Siberia’s tallest building. The 54-story, 188-meter skyscraper is the northernmost skyscraper in the world. From its platform it is possible to see the beautiful panorama of the Iset River; the Church of All Saints, built on the execution site of the Romanov family; and Yekaterinburg’s old and new neighborhoods. From here it is also possible to see an unfinished 219-meter television tower. Before construction plans were put on hold in the early 1990s, it was to reach 400 meters, which would have made it the second largest such tower in the country.
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Krasnaya Liniya - The Red Line
Taking a tour of the “Krasnaya Liniya” (The Red Line) is a good way to spend an afternoon. The route is marked by bright red paint on the sidewalk for visitors and goes through the center. This 6.5-kilometer route includes 35 of the city’s most popular attractions all within walking distance of each other. Walking along the “Red Line,” you can see classical palaces from the 19th century side-by-side with examples of Constructivist architecture of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as contemporary buildings.
Along the route you can see the world’s only monument dedicated to a keyboard, beautiful pre-revolutionary aristocratic mansions, several museums (including one dedicated to Alexander Popov, the inventor of the radio), the campus of the city’s largest university and unusual folk sculptures in the city’s old literary quarter. Taking this route you will also cross the city’s main pedestrian street (affectionately called “Our Arbat,” in reference to its analogue in Moscow) and the embankment of the Isetsky Lake, one of the city’s oldest streets.
For more information see: http://www.ekaterinburgguide.com/i.php?to=Red_line_tourist_route
The border of Europe and Asia
A key place for tourists is any spot marking the border of Europe and Asia. Yekaterinburg and the surrounding region are located in two different continents and there are eight monuments indicating this unique boundary. The most popular stands at the 17th kilometer of the New Moscow highway in a forested area near the city. It is possible to buy souvenirs here, arrange a horse ride or dog sled depending on the season or have a picnic. Skiing and snowboarding are also popular forms of recreation here. Coins commemorating your visit with the symbol of Yekaterinburg and a facetious certificate designating you a “border trespasser” are available at the site. Stones are laid out at the base demarcating Cape Roka, the extreme edge of Europe and Cape Dezhneva, the extreme edge of Asia.
The Uktusskiye Mountains are a rural corner of paradise just a 20-minute journey from the center. They are covered in ancient pine forests containing trees many hundreds of years old and pre-glacial plants have been preserved on its slopes. It is possible to rent a mountain bike or roller skates, go skiing and fire up a grill. There are six different kinds of Russian baths here and a hotel is located near the mountains’ base. The main tourist complex is located at 27 Zimnyaya Street and can be reached at 7 (343) 256-75-75.
The most popular nature park in the northern Urals, at Deer Springs one can see the enchanting beauty of the nature of the Urals here with its beautiful forests, rivers, lakes, caves and cliffs. The symbol of the park is the sculpture, “Angela Edinoi Nadezhdy” (the Angel of United Hope) on the banks of the Serga River. Designed by Swedish artist Lena Edvall, it was installed here on September 17, 2005 along with identical statues in Australia, Canada, Peru, Mali, Vanuatu and the U.S. and was inspired by the 2004 terrorist attack on the Madrid subway. Travelers believe that the Angel fulfills the wishes of those that touch its wings. The park is located on the banks of the river Serga, 120 kilometers west of Yekaterinburg. There are several options for hiking, with the longest hike being 14 kilometers in length.
Berezovsky Gold Mine
Berezovsky, a suburb 15 kilometers from the center, is the birthplace of Russian gold. Gold was found here 150 years earlier than the famous California gold rush immortalized by Jack London. Actually, the world’s first gold rush occurred here at the beginning of the 19th century. The longest operating gold mine in the world is located here and has sustained the coffers of Russia for more than 260 years. It is possible to see the rich collection of minerals and rock samples of gold and descend into the mines. Additionally, in the summer one can learn the secrets of artisanal craftsmanship and pan for gold in the gold-rich sand of the River Iset. Thrill-seekers can descend down a real mine shaft with a vertical depth of 512 meters.
Contact Aurum travel agency in Berezovsky at 63 Lenina Street or 7 (343) 694-47-11 for help in organizing excursions.