Yekaterinburg is the third largest cities of the Russian Federation. It is an administrative capital of the Sverdlovsk Region and the Ural Federal District. Nowadays the city is an important centre of industry, transport, finance, science and culture.
The city was founded in 1723 and is situated in the heart of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia and in the middle of the Ural Mountain Range. It is located on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains along the Iset River (the tributary of the Tobol River).
The city is at 1667 kilometers' distance away from Moscow and at 7635 kilometers' distance away from Vladivostok. The time zone of Yekaterinburg is UTC+6 (two hours ahead of Moscow and six hours ahead of Greenwich). A flight from Moscow to Yekaterinburg takes two hours, while a train trip takes 25 hours.
Yekaterinburg was built as the capital of the mining region, spread on a wide area on both sides of the Ural mountain range on the territory of two continents – Europe and Asia. In the early years of its existence, Yekaterinburg plant was ahead of all other metallurgical enterprises not only the country but also the world in the matter of technological equipment.
Empress Catherine I gave the name to Yekaterinburg, and Empress Catherine II gave it the status of the city in 1781. Тhe main road of the Russian Empire was built through a young city. Yekaterinburg became the key city to vast and rich Siberia, "a window to Asia", just as St.Petersburg was Russia's "window to Europe".
Since the 1830s, Yekaterinburg became the center of mechanical engineering. Since the beginning of 19th century Yekaterinburg became a city of gold and precious stones. In 1824, 85 t precious metal deposits were open in "Yekaterinburg golden valley" as it was called.
Ural artists' works on the stone became famous around the world. For example, Yekaterinburg masters made the map of France out of precious stones for the opening of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
The fact that in the last quarter of the XIX century, Russia has witnessed a boom of railway construction played an important role in trade and economic development of the city. Yekaterinburg in particular became the place where roads to provincial Perm and industrial Nizhniy Tagil met, and through the trade city, called Chelyabisk, Yekaterinburg got access to the world's longest Trans-Siberian Railway.
In autumn of 1923 Yekaterinburg became the administrative center of the Ural region. In 1924, the city was renamed to Sverdlovsk in honor of one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Party. The process of socialist industrialization transformed the metallurgical capital of the Urals in many ways. This is where the world's largest metallurgical and engineering plants started working. Almost simultaneously with the construction of new buildings of the plant the construction of a large-scale house-communes for workers started. This project embodied an image of an ideal city.
One of the most tragic pages of the Russian history linked with Yekaterinburg. In 1918 the last Russian Emperor Nikolas II and his family spent their last days in Yekaterinburg, before they where shut to the death and buried outside of the city. In 2003 the Cathedral on the Blood was erected on the site where the Royal Family had been murdered, the Monastery and the Memorial – on sites, where they were buried.
In period of World War II, Sverdlovsk promptly turns into the centre where a large number of evacuated enterprises were established. Art funds of the kept priceless works of art from Hermitage and Moscow Kremlin museums. Thousands of wounded soldiers were treated and healed in the hospitals of the city. Residential areas for workers of evacuated enterprises were built on the outskirts of the city during and after World War II. During the war years Sverdlovsk becomes the largest industrial center of Russia.
In the postwar period, the city continues to hold a leading position in the key sectors of the state economy. In the 1960s, new large settlements grew around the large industrial enterprises of the city. Modern buildings and new residential areas considerably changed the face of the Ural capital. In 1967, the number of citizens exceeded one million, thus Sverdlovsk became one of the first Russian cities with over a million dwellers. In 1991, the city regained its historical name – Yekaterinburg.
There are 12 theatres, 2 philharmonic societies, 50 museums, 25 galleries and exhibition halls and a circus in Yekaterinburg. The history of the Opera House began back in 1912, and it is one of the oldest theatres in Russia.
To know more http://www.ekaterinburg.com/city/
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