Keyboard Made of Stepping Stones: One Weird Russian Monument

Yekaterinburg (Ekaterinburg) is the 4th largest city in Russia after Moscow and the only one in the world (at least so far) that can claim a monument dedicated to the peripheral QWERTY keyboard. The capital of the Urals region, this city was founded by Peter the Great in the 1700s as a metallurgical factory and by the 20th century became one of the country’s largest and most important financial, industrial and cultural centers. Named after St. Catherine which was also the name of the tsar’s wife and future Empress, Catherine I, this city also sadly marks the site of the assassination of the Romanovs in July of 1918 although the summer palace where the murders occurred is no longer standing.


According to news sources, this odd monument is actually a keyboard layout of concrete stepping stones, but most of the strange Cyrillic characters of the alphabet are missing, either rubbed off by so many feet walking over them or perhaps never even there in the first place. Some engraved letters remain, such as “Q” and “SHIFT.” From a distance, it looks like white stones scattered across a large lawn, but close up its resemblance to a keyboard is unmistakable. Located to the south of the Historical Garden on the bank of the Iset River near the metro station, this is easily the city’s weirdest monument. No one is saying (if indeed anyone knows) exactly who created these strange keys molded of concrete.

Perhaps it is they who created the ancient pyramids or the Druids from Stonehenge on holiday? Do they live again in mystery and seclusion?

Who knows?

The QWERTY Shadow, that’s who!