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A Tour of the Lonely City: 10 Rubles (Russia, 2004)-Article

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

This Russian banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the Second Ruble Series 1998. It depicts landmarks, of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. It should be noted that this 10 Ruble note is based on 10,000 Ruble note, of the previous First Ruble (1992-1998).

All Second Ruble were printed in 1997, with design based on First Series notes. The 10 Ruble note was printed on unused/blank 10,000 Ruble templates. Therefore all 10 Ruble notes are marked 1997, regardless of actual issue date. Additionally the 10 Ruble note was last issued in 2010, making them rare to nonexistent in day-to-day circulation.


It's observe features an illustration of the Kommunalny Bridge, which spans the Yenisei River. The center depicts the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel, which was built on the site of a Tartar temple. The text below the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel translates to “Krasnoyarsk”. The upper/lower right text reads, “БИЛЕТ БАНКА РОССИИ” and “ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ”. This translates to “NOTE OF THE BANK OF RUSSIA” and “Ten Rubles”, respectively.

The note's value is restated 5 additional times, predominately on the Kommunalny Bridge illustration. And along the lower corners of the note, once on the lower left. With a triple engraved stamp, located near the lower right. The Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation is depicted on the upper left. The notes serial number is printed twice, once on the center-left and upper right.

The overall note features a number of recycled cotton fibers. They appear as red and green “treads”, while under white (regular) light. They are easily spotted under ultraviolet light, appearing as florescent “streaks”, randomly scattered across the note's surface.


The reverse features a portrait of the Krasnoyarsk Dam, which was once the largest power station in the world (1972-83). To the left of the portrait is the pea section of a “pea pod and wheat” light puzzle/registration element. A window security strip forms a stem-like section, for the wheat. Ultraviolet light analysis shows the “pea pod” section, be highly luminescent. It's in fact the only intentionally luminescent element on this note.

To the lower left is the text “ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ”, it translates to Ten Rubles. There are 3 number “10”s, one “10” on the lower right corner of the portrait. There are 2 additional number “10”'s, the note's upper corners, they are both decorated with floral engraving. On the lower left is the year “1997”, unchanged from the last issue date of the 10,000 Ruble note. Note this date is false, as post-1998 10 Ruble notes were printed on unused/blank 10,000 Ruble templates. The watermark features the Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel.

The Lonely City

Krasnoyarsk was founded in 19 August 1628, by members of the Imperial Russian Service Class. Hereditary soldiers and administrators, paid by the Russian Czar in land and coin. They established a fort, representing furthest reach of the Russian South-Eastern frontier. Throughout the centuries the Russian Czars used the isolated city, as a place to exile political prisoners (a practice continued by Joseph Stalin (1878-1953)).

In 1895, city was linked by a railroad, motivated by the regions vasts mines. Bringing relative prosperity to the city. Under the Soviet Union (1922-19991), the city was home to some of the largest industrial project of their time. The Soviet government also used the city's isolation to hide covert military projects.

Today Krasnoyarsk is the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. Located on the Yenisei River, with a population of 1,035,528. The city serves as an important junction for the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of aluminum. The city and the neighboring region its power powered by the massive Krasnoyarsk Dam.

Typical for Siberian cities, Krasnoyarsk is isolated and extremely self-reliant. It governs an area of 2,339,700 sq km (903,400 sq mi), rougly1/4th the size of Canada. The Russian capital Moscow is 3,352 km (2,083 mi), accessible by a 52 hour drive, via highway E22.The nearest major city is Kemerovo, 424 km (263.46 mi) away. Similar to Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo is the administrative center (of significantly smaller) Kemerovo Oblast (95,500 sq km/36,900 sq mi). Its industry is heavily centered on coal, as opposed to aluminum.

Despite this physical isolation, the city has a thriving culture, complete with local annual holidays. Thanks to modern technology, this historic isolation has been greatly diminish. The city's highly developed communications network, allows it's citizens to contact the wider world, via broadband. The city is home to the world-renowned Krasnoyarsk Children' Choir, which tours globally. The city was regarded by world-renowned Russian author Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), to be the most beautiful city in Siberia.

Kommunalny Bridge

The Kommunalny (Communal) Bridge connects Novosibirsk's Kirovsky, Leninsky and Oktyabrsky districts, across the Ob River. The bridge opened on October 20, 1955 and was construction at an expense of 128 million rubles ($32 million). The bridge spans 127m (416.67 ft) and is 24m (78.74 ft) wide. The bridge's total road length is 896m (2939.63 ft).

Paraskeva Pyatnitsa Chapel

Paraskeva Pyatnitsa (Friday) Chapel is a Russian Orthodox Chapel, built at the summit of of Karaulnaya Mountain, in Krasnoyarsk. The chapel is dedicated to St. Paraskevi of Iconium, better known as Paraskeva Pyatnitsa in Russia. Paraskevi (Greek for Friday) was named such because she was baptized on a Friday, the day of Christ's Passion. Among Russians she is venerated as the patroness of traders, fairs, and marriage.

Prior to the arrival of the Cossacks, the location was the site of a Tartar temple. The cossacks re-purposed the site as a watchtower to warn neighboring peasants about impending raids. There are 2 stories regarding the history of the original chapel. One stating a wooden chapel was built in 1805, by a wealthy merchant named Novikov. In gratitude for being saved by the locals from a whirlpool. The alternative story states it was built by the locals themselves. Due to an act of deliverance by their ancestors, against their enemies.

In 1852 the Bishop of Tomsky approved the construction of a stone chapel. The chapel was constucted from 1852-1855, by architects Ya. Alfeev and Ya. Nabalov. Using funds said to be provided by a wealthy gold mine baron and patron of arts. During the Soviet-era (1922-1991) the chapel was abandoned, although was maintained as a historical landmark.

In 1973 a restoration project was approved, the chapel restored by A.S. Brusnikin from 1973-1975. After the fall of the Soviet Union the chapel returned back to use as a religious site. Usually as a place of pilgrimage by locals and visitors, the chapel is also a popular location for weddings. In 2014 the chapel was repainted to its historical green color.

Krasnoyarsk Dam

Constructed from 1956 to 1972, Krasnoyarsk Dam is a massive feat of Soviet engineering. With the activation of it's 10th turbine, in April 1971. Krasnoyarsk Dam became the world's largest power plant, until completion of the Grand Coulee Dam (Washington state, USA) in 1983. On its completion the dam output 6,000 MW of energy, supplying the city of Krasnoyarsk and its industry with power.

The dam is located on Yenisey River, largest river flowing into the Arctic Ocean and 5th longest in the world. The dam's massive reservoir is informally known as the Krasnoyarsk Sea. The reservoir covers 388 km (281 mi) at it's longest reach and 15km (9.32 mi) at its widest point. The reservoir has an average depth of 36.6 m (120.1 ft) and is 105 m (344 ft) at its deepest point.

The Krasnoyarsk Dam is so large that its spillway significantly effects the local climate. The dam release water year-round preventing the immediate river from freezing during the Siberian winter. This unfrozen zone spans 200 km (120 mi) to 300 km (190 mi), downstream from the dam. The warm river water interacts with winter air, shrouding Krasnoyarsk and the surrounding downstream area in fog.

Another notable feature of the dam is the Krasnoyarsk Ship Lift. The worlds largest and Russia's only ship lift. Constructed from 1976-1982, the lift has an estimated load capacity of 1,500 metric tons (1653.47 standard tons). The lift consist of an outer harbor, with 9m (29.53 ft) wide railway track (the world's largest), and turntable. The lift can transport a ship within 90 minutes.

Ultraviolet Gallery

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 150 × 65 mm, the same as the 10,000 Ruble note (1995).

  • The Russian Monetary Reform of 1993, lead to the creation of the Second Ruble.

  • All new Rubles were revalued, by a factor of 1,000. (Ex. 10,000 Rubles=10 Rubles)

  • While this currency has not been issued since 2010. It's still considered technically active and should be treated as such. Legal precautions should be considered in regards to this this note.

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