Dominated by heavily trafficked avenues and concrete blocks, Perm is a modern, industrial city that most travellers could bear to miss. Its chequered history, however, draws them in to bear witness to the combined thousands of years that were lost by prisoners at the notorious labour camp Perm-36. and to discover what has become of the once-secret city of Molotov (named during the Soviet period for the foreign minister who was also the namesake of the explosive cocktail).
Today, Perm is not as menacing, but its reputation as a bland, provincial capital persists. (Chekhov used Perm as inspiration for the city his Three Sisters were so desperate to leave.) It is unfortunate, as the city boasts its fair share of cultural attractions, from a championship basketball team to the one-of-a-kind Prikamye art collection
Economically, the city is thriving. Evidence of its military history is everywhere, but so are signs of ongoing economic development, from shiny new bank buildings to sushi bars.