Leaning Tower of Nevyansk

Donat Sorokin/TASS
An hour's drive from Ekaterinburg towards Nizhny Tagil is the town of Nevyansk. This town played a key role in the 18th and 19th centuries as part of an industrial empire belonging to the Demidovs, an influential Russian dynasty.

The city's principal landmark is the 57.5-metre (189-foot) Leaning Tower of Nevyansk, built in the first half of the 18th century at the behest of Akinfiy Demidov, a renowned Russian industrialist. The tower housed various official entities, including the Treasury, the Chancellery and the local prison. Legend has it that in the cellar below the tower Demidov had workers toiling to mint false coins that were indistinguishable from the genuine article. Rumours of his activity reached the imperial court and Akinfiy Demidov, on learning of the imminent inspection, ordered the basement flooded with the workers still in it.

One of the tower's features is its "acoustic room" with unusual properties. Standing in one corner of the room you can hear sounds coming from the opposite corner which are inaudible from any other point in the room.

The Leaning Tower of Nevyansk also has a unique English clock that cost Demidov more than the construction of the whole tower. The chime mechanism plays 18 different melodies eight times a day, while ten bells mark every quarter of an hour.