Saturday, 19 January 2008

Building the Siberian Railroad, 1895

In a previous blog post, I threatened to include even a Central Asian Italian, just to make sure nobody mistakes this for an exclusive site for Turkoman-worshipping. Of course, we enjoy more than a bit of Pan-Turanic bonding, but Central Asia is a melting-pot. You wouldn't enjoy a nice hot stew as much if you had to eat all the raw ingredients separately, would you? Or a nice minestrone soup?

"Evviva la Siberia!" Even Italians have done their share to connect the far ends of the great Eurasian continent. These Friulians (probably skilled engineers) came to the Russian empire in the 1890's "per un grande e nobil progetto del Zar". Italian engineers participated in the construction of the railroad bridge over Yenisey River, among other projects. The oldest cinema of Irkutsk, Cinema Don Otello, used to belong to an Italian engineer who worked at the Circumbaikal line! Some became very rich on the deal, only to lose it all during the Great War.

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