View Full Version : perm

01-09-2008, 18:34
Are there any people from Perm?

Am heading there for the longterm business-trip so would be glad to get to know somebody!

Any information (what to do and what to see) is appropriate as well :)

Hope to hear from you soon :)

Transparent Theatre
01-09-2008, 19:22
I go to Perm around once a year. It's a small, rather conservative, neatly-kept city in the Urals. Perm' features in the book "Dr Zhivago" as the setting for most of the events - it's the city which Pasternak (fictitiously) titled "Yuriatin" in the novel. There are quite a few places connected with Pasternak in the city - like many of the soviet intelligentsia he was evacuated there for some time in WW2. The "Reading Room" where Yuri meets Lara for the first time is the Public Library now on Sibirskaya ul - one of the streets which border the huge Central Square of the city, at the centre of which is the Opera and Ballet theatre.

Perm' was the city from which the Great Siberian Tract began - the road which predated the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Prisoners bound for Siberia would be brought to Perm' by boat from Moscow and St Petersburg - at Perm' they would be shackled hand and foot, and their long chain-gang march to Siberia would begin. Dostoevsky must have passed through Perm' in this way, although there is no mention of it in the city.

The Trans-Siberian Railway was begun from Perm'. (Remember, it was the railway which crossed Siberia - railways as far as the Urals already existed, so it was originally only the new part of the track eastwards that was called "the Trans-Siberian". The Old Railway Station is still there, but it was closed for massive renovation (as a Musem of the Trans-Siberian Railway - trains now leave from the New Station instead) when I was there in Spring.

Theatre, ballet and opera are very advanced in Perm. The opera company is famous for commissioning new and exciting works, and the ballet company have been a leading troupe since the Bolshoi was evacuated to Perm' during WW2 (several chose to settle in Perm' after the war, thus keeping the Ballet School on tip-top Moscow standards). The Drama Theatre have a great musical "Dr Zhivago", premiered two years ago, which is a spectacularly good show and extremely well staged (I can't say I really liked the songs, but the rest of it is excellently done).

Nearby excursions - the Kungur Ice Caves are worth a visit. It's a "visitor attraction", not a potholing expedition - you can go in your regular city clothes and shoes, you walk along concreted paths through the caves with a guide who turns on the electric lighting down there... some very pretty stalactite formations. Take a warm sweater though - they're not called "the Ice Caves" for nothing. In the same direction there is a very attractive Cathedral on the top of a hill, about one hour from Perm'. It marks the occasion when the young Tsar Nicholas II was saved from assassaination in Turkey. It's in ruins after soviet-era desecration, but the building work is proceeding at a fast pace. The views all around are magnificent. Continuing in the same direction (you can do all this in one day if you are well-organised and have a car and driver who knows the way) you can reach Perm-22 - the last surviving Soviet Gulag, now operated as a Museum of the Gulag Victims by former inmates. There is a short film in English about the history of the camp, but it's not very informative (it drones on and on about the injustice of the soviet system, but never says anything about the camp you are in, who was imprisoned there, or why). You would be best to get a guide if you want to see and understand anything. There are two sites, 2km apart - one was for the "politicals", the other for the "common criminals" - you can visit both. A fire damaged one of the two sites quite badly in 2007, restoration is ongoing.

There's the usual clutch of City Museum, Art Gallery, War Museum etc you find in any ex-soviet city - none of them are anything very special, although the Art Gallery has a few good pieces.

There are restaurants and some nightlife in Perm', but in this respect its strongly in the shadow of Ekaterinburg - the city's big rival in the Urals, which is nearly three times the size.

I like Perm, and always enjoy my visits there :)

14-09-2009, 20:49
Hello, are there any people from Perm' here? I've been living in Perm for nearly a year and started work about 3months ago. There doesn't seem to be many foreigners around, so if you are it would be cool if you got in touch.

17-09-2009, 18:36
Interesting information in the above piece, but on behalf of the people of Perm' I would like to point out that Perm' is a lot bigger than Ekaterinburg ( 799 sq km compared to Ekaterinburg's 491 sq km) and is hardly what I would call a compact city, in fact it stretches 70 kilometres along the Kama River and is the third longest city in Russia. I have been to Ekaterinburg recently and enjoyed it very much as it seems that it was more foreigner friendly (although the tap water was terrible, how that is relevant i dont know!). Also the political repression camp is Perm'36 not 22. I live in Perm' and feel that it is a much misunderstood city and people seem to write a lot about it without knowing all the facts. :10189: