Yekaterinburg is probably best known as the death place of the Romanov family. In 1917 Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, their children, some family members and some servants were taken prisoner by the Bolsheviks and transported to Yekaterinburg from St. Petersburg. Here they were held in captivity for two months until Lenin gave the order to eliminate them all. They were taken to the basement and shot. Some of the women had sewn jewels into their clothing so they were not killed by the first shot so were shot again and stabbed by bayonets. The bodies were taken into the nearby woods, dismembered, thrown down a mine shaft and sulfuric acid poured on them and set a fire. Even their dogs were killed. The Bolsheviks were hoping to cover their deed but were seen. It was not until sometime later that the bodies were recovered. No one knew for sure until the 1990s when DNA testing was done and the identities of the bodies confirmed. Subsequent to their deaths the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the family.
Today we went to the various sites of the Romanov's last sad days.
We also toured a mass grave of thousands of ordinary people killed by Stalin's police. These souls were likely shot point blank and pushed into a large grave. As this site covered a few years, one can see several large mounds were people were buried.
On an upbeat note, Yekaterinburg is where Europe meets Asia. Our guide Mary brought a bottle of champagne, glasses and chocolate for us to celebrate our being at this important geographical point.
Tomorrow Mary takes us on a walking tour of the city.....