Explore Chelyabinsk in winter? Let’s go! 🙂
The city opened a cool new museum last fall: Центр исторического наследия Южно-Уральской железной дороги (Historical Heritage Center of the South Ural Railway). Take a look inside the museum here! It’s probably a wonderful place to be when it’s -25C… but you like cold weather, right? Good, me too. Let’s stay outside. There’s something even cooler just down the street.
This is the экспозиционная площадка of the Музей истории Южно-Уральской железной дороги (History Museum of The Southern Ural Railroad).
The line of trains stretches waaaay back – we didn’t even get to the end before having to turn around! Somewhere way back there is an eye-catching wooden bakery train car, my favorite.
At the entrance of the экспозиционная площадка is a snow-buried quote from a Soviet poet:
«Из одного металла льют. Медаль за бой, медаль за труд…»”
A medal for battle and a medal for labor are forged from the same metal.”– Алексей Иванович Недогоно
But it sounds much more poetic in Russian. 😉
On the way back to the actual вокзал (train station), you’ll walk by the Автовокзал “Южные ворота” (“Southern Gate” bus station).
These buses take people to small towns with long names, like Yemanzhelinsk and Pervomaysky.
Next to the автовокзал is Chelyabinsk’s most recognizable shopping center.
This is the Синегорье shopping center, which opened in 2002.
The inside: discount stores, a shoe store, a jewelry store, pet food kiosks, part of the bus station, and a 25-ruble public restroom.
The outside: просто вау! According to Wikipedia, the design is supposed to imitate the Ural mountains… but in a high-tech way.
The actual train station is next to the mall. The architect was definitely not going for a high-tech look in this case.
However, the inside of the train station is pretty neat, especially if you like stained glass.
There are two more impressive sights on today’s tour of Chelyabinsk. The first is just to the side of the train station. Here you can walk right up to a (fake?) train and stop by this little church.
The other spot is just across the street. It’s impossible to miss as you walk out of the train station.
This 12-meter monument is called Сказ об Урале (“Tale of The Urals”). It was built back in the 1960s and is now considered one of the country’s cultural heritage objects.
On the front: «Урал — опорный край державы, её добытчик и кузнец».
“The Urals is the stronghold of the country, her provider and her blacksmith.”
Fun fact: 10 years ago, the city made a huge Дед Мороз costume for the statue. The outfit was massive enough to qualify in «Книга рекордов России» as the largest Santa outfit in the world. See it here!
They did it again the following year, that time tacking on a 74-meter-long beard. (The number 74 is associated with the Chelyabinsk region.)
And…. somehow I completely missed this!😭… it happened again this very winter! The local news covered it here: Памятник «Сказ об Урале» на привокзальной площади вновь превратился в Деда Мороза. Pretty awesome photos!
Santa statues aside… Chelyabinsk isn’t touted as one of the wonders of Russia. It’s definitely a bit more rugged, less gilded. Even within Russia, people joke about this city being суровый (harsh, ruthless, tough). I think there are a lot of interesting things to see here but fewer visitors = harder to find out about these places. Do you know of another cool place to visit in Chelyabinsk? Are you drawn to industrial cities like this or do you prefer exploring places that aren’t quite so суровый?