In its early history, the house was a lavish home to a famous merchant. But as the events in imperial Russia unfolded, this place became the scene of a darker happening and a mystery that remains unsolved to this very day. The house itself was built towards the end of the 1880s on the same spot where once stood the country house of Vasily Tatishchev, the renowned Russian geographer, and historian.
It was Ivan Redikortsev that this luxurious house was built for. The house had two floors and a 30-meter façade. From Redikortsev the house was passed on to one Sharaviev, who ha a negative public reputation.
In 1908, and Nikolai Ipatiev decided to buy himself a house. He purchased this very residence and converted the first floor of the house into his workplace. Little did he know that the house would go down in history as the “last palace of the last Tsar” as was written by the Russian newspapers.
In 1918, Nikolai Ipatiev was invited to the headquarters of the Ural Soviet where he received some bad news. He was ordered to pack his things and leave the house for this was to become a “house of special purpose.”
And so Nikolai, having no choice, did what was asked of him. The next residents of this house, however, were the Romanov family, the dynasty that ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917. Their beginnings can be traced all the way back to 1340s to Andrei Kobyla, a Boyar in that period. And so the Romanovs kept their power until the “February Revolution” of 1917.
One year later in 1918, on August the 30th the whole Romanov family (four daughters, one son, Alexandra Feodorovna and Nicholas Romanov) plus the cook, their physician Yevgeny Botkin, the chambermaid Anna Demidova, and the valet Alex Trupp were taken to the Ipatiev House. There they would spend their last 78 days of their lives. There were 11 people in total in this house not counting the guards that occupied the first floor of the house.
In charge of the whole operation of keeping the Romanovs locked was Yakov Yurovsky, a Bolshevik and part of the Ural Soviet. Under the watchful eye of the guards, the royal family was allowed some fresh air and sun in the garden for the windows of the house were painted over, effectively cutting them off from the rest of the world. The guards even built a tall wooden barrier that separated the house from the street that was just in front of it.
Thus the Romanovs were completely unaware of what was happening on the outside. Then in 1918, on July the 16th or 17th, Yurovsky went to the room of Dr. Botkin. Inside, the doctor was wide awake and doing some writing on a piece of paper. Hurriedly, he was ordered to awake the royal family as well as the rest and inform them that they must instantly leave and evacuate.
There was already some shooting on the streets. They took half an hour in total to pack and went downstairs. They got out into the courtyard and down into the basement.
Once there, Alexandra Feodorovna asked for a couple of chairs and was given two. The rest were standing behind them, except for the youngest who was sitting on his father’s lap. After an intense period of waiting, Yurovsky entered the basement together with the firing squad.
What should have been a quick execution ended as a bloody slaughter that took around 30 minutes to kill all the family members, including the children. The Romanovs went down in history as the last rulers of Russia.
Today there is nothing left of this house, for it was demolished in September 1977. On this very spot, now stands the Church on the Blood, a spot of pilgrimage honoring those who were killed brutally on that dark day in July many years ago.