When the time came to build the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Perm was the obvious spot to begin. The part of the railroad officially titled ‘The Trans-Siberian Railway’ began from Perm’ – you can see the Old Railway Station in Perm, where it began. Perm’ was also a major transit centre for deporting convicts to Siberia.

By a strange irony, Perm is world-famous under a literary pseudonym. In the famous novel Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, the city appears under the fictional name of ‘Yuriatin’, and is the main setting for the action of the story – it’s where Yuri Zhivago meets Lara, and where their famous romance takes place against the background of the Russian Civil War.

During the Soviet period, the armaments industry around Perm was so secret that it was a ‘closed city’ – not even Russians could visit without special permits. This made it a perfect area in which to conceal ‘Gulag’ prison-camps.

The Kungur Ice Caves. A visit to an underground system of stalactite caves, with spectacular formations and dramatic lighting effects. No clambering is required! The entire (guided) visit is through former mining shafts which have been equipped with modern concrete paving and handrails

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