St. Nicholas II?

We are parked in a delightful free car park in Yekaterinburg in the shadow the magnificent church recently built to commemorate the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife and family by the Bolsheviks in July 1918. (56.844948°N 60.606275°E). Near the cinema and casino overlooking the "lake".

The church itself is well worth a visit but be sure you are correctly dressed and take no notice of the fit young men with short hair and two-way radios who patrol the church to make sure everybody is enjoying themselves. I feel I must be missing a whole sub-plot here.

The notice at the door clarifies the churches position on the Romanovs (as well as transvestism, cosmetics and substance abuse):

Dear brothers and sisters please pay attention.

THIS IS A HOLY PLACE, consecrated by the holy blood of the royal martyrs who died for God's truth and for Orthodox belief.

And God said: "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for this place where you stand is holy ground." (Ex. 3:5)

Beloved brothers and sisters, act respectfully and modestly, and please follow the rules below. The established Church rules have their origins in the Scriptures and are set by God.

As we stand before Him always and in all places, we ought to keep this covenant always and in all places, and wear clothes appropriate for our sex, clothes that are traditional to our people who have always sought to check their lives against the Gospel.

The revelation of the Old Testament reads: "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God." (Deut. 22:5)

Dear sisters, if you do not wish to be an abomination to the Lord, according to His Own word, step into the temple of God with your head covered and in clothes appropriate for a woman. "Woe to that person by whom the offense comes" (Matt. 18:7).

In his First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul the Apostle wrote : "But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head ... a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man." (1 Cor. 11:5,7)


  • With their heads covered in any way.
  • Wearing shorts.


  • With their heads uncovered, in trousers, shorts, or miniskirts.
  • With painted lips (for lipstick may leave stains on icons, which is a blasphemy and an outrage against sacred objects).

When you come to the icons and relics of saints, cross yourself two times, kiss the object of worship with due respect, then cross yourself a third time and bow respectfully.

People must not come to the temple of God in any state of intoxication. "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much." (Luke 16:10)

Icons showing the Romanovs as "saints" are available for $1.20USA in the church gift shop. I bought ten.

The rest of Yekaterinburg seems very relaxed (with mini-skirts, lipstick, roller-blades and drunks in evidence). Unfortunately most of the museums and the circus are closed for a variety of inexplicable reasons. Tomorrow we will head west towards Moscow across the Urals and out of Siberia.

Stephen Stewart.

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