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Vladivostok: Millionka
October 28, 2017 15:04


A district in the historical center of Vladivostok, bounded by the streets of Pogranichnaya, Semyonovskaya, Admiral Fokin, and the Aleutskaya (sometimes, the borders of Millionka also includes other nearby streets) is called as Millionka. A few old (the turn of the XIX-XX centuries) quarters in the center of the city, built-up houses of red brick with distinctive arches, gateways, balconies, labyrinths, openwork bars, courtyards-wells.

Why Millionka got this name? There are two versions. According to the first, Millionka was originally nicknamed a multi-residential building on Semenovskaya Street: at the beginning of the 20th century, there lived not a million, but several thousand unpretentious Chinese - on bunks in two tiers. According to another version, the poor inhabitants of local slums were ironically called "millionschiki".

Old Millionka was a fun and eerie place. The laws of the Russian Empire here were practically non-existent, the ball was ruled by the Chinese diaspora. It was a spontaneously established tea-town – the attempts of the city authorities to allocate the official Chinese quarter of Vladivostok were unsuccessful. There were concentrated various sorts of fleshpots in Millionka: brothels, gambling houses and opium smoking rooms. Smugglers, counterfeiters, stolen merchants, drug addicts, prostitutes and other representatives of the city's bottom were constantly there. Chinese robbers – hunghuts were hiding from justice.

Among the Vladivostok people there are still legends that there is a whole city with secret passages and labyrinths underground. In 1936, a socially and sanitarily dangerous quarter was liquidated after several special operations by NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). But the the quarter has not lost its peculiar charm of the exotic urban "bottom" until now, although it is more a kind of a decoration now. Today Millionka is a popular place for walking and one of the symbols of the Vladivostok center.


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Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Vladivostok     

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