© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 April, 2014
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 April, 2014
For the past 7 years, the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg has played host to the Star of Bethlehem Ice Sculpture Festival.
This year's theme marked the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in which 11 teams took part. Each team created a sculpture of the Holy Royal Martyrs from ice.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 11 January, 2013
Since the fall of the Soviet Union the skyline of Ekaterinburg has changed dramatically. Many historic buildings dating from the Tsarist period have been torn down to make way for modern office towers and luxury condominiums.
Once a "closed city" to foreigners during the Soviet years, the city has taken advantage of its geographical position to become a hub for business between east and west in post-Soviet Russia.
The unique image above is a GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) which depicts the Ekaterinburg skyline as it looked in 1909, then changing to depict it as it looks today. The transformation is astonishing. Dominating the right-hand side of each image is the Ascension Church (which was situated across the road from the Ipatiev House), and dominating the left-hand side of each image is the Rastorguyev-Kharitonov Palace (also situated across from the former Ipatiev House). The dominating building in the 2012 image is of course the Church on the Blood which was built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where the last tsar, Nicholas II and his family were all murdered on July 17th, 1918.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 September, 2012
The religious festival Tsar Days (also referred to as Royal Days) opened today in Ekaterinburg and the surrounding Sverdlovsk Region. The event is now in its 11th year is dedicated to the memory of the Tsar-Marytyrs.
The aim of the event is to inform people about the truth of the history of the family of the last Russian tsar, who were all murdered by the Bolsheviks on July 17th, 1918.
Each year thousands of pilgrims come to Ekaterinburg to venerate the saints, visit the places associated with the final days of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
The culmination of the festival will be the traditional nighttime procession on the eve of July 16/17 which begins at the Church on the Blood (built on the site of the former Ipatiev House). Following a memorial liturgy the pilgrims form a procession and walk the 21-km route from the cathedral to Ganina Yama.
Ganima Yama or Ganya's Pit was a 9-foot deep pit at the Four Brothers Mine located near the village of Koptyaki, situated about 15 km north of Ekaterinburg. In the early morning hours of July 17th the bodies of the tsar and his family were secretly transported to Ganina Yama and thrown into the pit.
Last year the event welcomed more than 50,000 people from across Russia, as well as other countries. Organizers are expecting an even larger numbers this year.
The Tsar Days at Ekaterinburg runs from July 12-20.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 July, 2012
A magnificent bronze bell depicting the Royal Martyrs: Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, Tsesarevich Alexei, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. The bell rings proudly from the Church on the Spilled Blood, a memorial church built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where the members of the last Russian Imperial family were murdered in 1918 by the Bolsheviks at Ekaterinburg.
Members of the Orthodox faithful in Ekaterinburg began raising funds to finance the bell in 2004. The giant bell was cast in Kamensk-Uralsk and installed in the famous church in July 2010.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 March, 2012
An exhibition featuring photos of Nicholas II and his family, titled With Love to Russia, has opened in Yekaterinburg in the Urals.
A source in the Yekaterinburg eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church told the ITAR-TASS news agency that the collection features rare photos of the last Russian emperor and members of his family.
Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg on 17 July, 1918.
© ITAR-TASS. 27 February, 2012
A series of murals depicting important events in the history of the Urals can be seen in the old railway station at Ekaterinburg.
Of particular interest is a painting depicting the Russian Civil War, 1917-1922. The Red Army on the left, the White Army on the right, the central event being the murder of the Emperor Nicholas II and his family at the Ipatiev House in 1918.
The railway station was built in 1878, and underwent an extensive restoration in 2002 at which time the murals were painted in the central hall.
© Royal Russia. 20 June, 2011
The monument to Tsar Nicholas II and his family in front of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg
Ekaterinburg's Church on the Blood has been vandalized for the second time, in less than a month.
The latest act took place on the night of May 16th, in which vandals plastered posters containing offensive language against the Russian Orthodox Church on the cathedral.
A prior act of vandalsim took place on April 25th (Easter night), whereby a six-foot image of Jesus Christ was erected opposite the church. The lifesize black and white image depicted Christ with his hands raised to Heaven while making an obscene gesture with his middle index finger.
A shocking and disrespectful act of vandalism
Several days later, Evil, a local anti-religion group claimed responsibility after posting a video on the internet. The cowardly vandals covered their faces in the video for anonymity.
These shocking and disrespectful acts of violence have outraged the citizens of Ekaterinburg, members of the church, and monarchists across Russia. Police are still investigating the video along with tips provided by the public, with an arrest expected any day.
The Church on the Blood was built on the site of the former Ipatiev House, where Tsar Nicholas II, along with his family and four faithful retainers were all murdered on July 17, 1918.
© Royal Russia. 16 June, 2011
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