EUROTOUR | work in progress

In 1842, by the order of Nicholas I of Russia, more than 1,200 families of baptized Tatars (Nagaybaks) were forcibly deported over the Ural mountains, where they served on the southern frontiers of the country. Nagaybaks were involved in military operations on the western and southwestern borders of the Russian empire. In particular, even before their resettlement, they participated in the battles against Napoleon’s invasion in 1812−1814. In memory of these victorious battles in Europe, a number of Ural villages received the names of European cities and toponyms: Paris, Berlin, Kassel, Arcis, Leipzig, Varna, Warsaw, Port Arthur, Trebbia, Fère-Champenoise and others — almost 20 settlements.

Legends about the military glory of the ancestors and the European roots of these small villages still continue to be part of their local identity and in some places as a pride. Located on the conditional border between Europe and Asia, today these settlements are the most accessible Europe for most Russians, about 75% of whom have never been outside the country and don’t even have a passport for travel abroad.

The Eurotour project is both an escape and a journey deep into this inner Europe as a source of the dream of opening a big world, the accessibility of which is being pushed back by new geopolitical, economic, and social realities.