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Aquamarine apartment complex

Yekaterinburg ( , also romanized Ekaterinburg), formerly Sverdlovsk ( ) is a major city in the central part of Russiamarker, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain rangemarker, it is the main industrial and cultural center of the Urals Federal District. Its population of which is down from 1,364,621 recorded in the 1989 Census, makes it Russia's fifth largest city. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was known as Sverdlovsk ( ), after the Bolshevik party leader Yakov Sverdlov.


An old church (built 1792-1818)

The city was founded in 1723 by Vasily Tatischev and named after Saint Catherine, the namesake of Tsar Peter the Great's wife Empress Catherine I (Yekaterina). The official date of the city's foundation is 18 November 1723.

Soon after the Russian Revolution, on 17 July 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexei were executed by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev Housemarker in this city. In 1977 the Ipatiev House was destroyed by order of Boris Yeltsin, who later became the first President of the Russian Federation. President Yeltsin represented the people at the funeral of the Tsar in 1998.

On 24th August 2007 BBC England reported Russian archaeologists found the remains of two children of Russia's last Tsar, executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. The remains found in 2007 were in ground close to the site in Yekaterinburg where the tsar, his wife and their three other daughters were found in 1991 along with the remains of four servants. The 2007 discovery are thought to be those of Prince Alexei and his elder sister Maria. Archaeologist Sergei Pogorelov said bullets found at the burial site indicate the children had been shot. He told Russian television the newly unearthed bones belonged to two young people: a young male aged roughly 10-13 and a young woman about 18-23. Ceramic vessels found nearby appear to have contained sulphuric acid, consistent with an account by one of the Bolshevik firing squad, who said that after shooting the family they doused the bodies in acid to destroy the flesh and prevent them becoming objects of veneration. The Tsar's remains were given a state funeral in July 1998.

In the 1930s, Yekaterinburg became a large industrial center of Russia. It was the time when the famous Uralmash was built, becoming the biggest heavy machinery factory in Europe.

During World War II, many government technical institutions and whole factories were relocated to Yekaterinburg away from the war-affected areas (mostly Moscow), with many of them staying in Ekaterinburg after the victory. The Hermitage Museummarker collections were also partly evacuated from Leningradmarker to Sverdlovsk in July 1941 and remained there until October 1945.

In the 1960s, in the days of Khruschev's government, a number of lookalike five-story apartment blocks sprung up all over the city. Most of them still remain today in Kirovsky, Chkalovsky, and other residential areas of Yekaterinburg.

On 1 May 1960 an American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers while under the employ of the CIA, was shot down over Sverdlovsk Oblast. The pilot was captured, put on trial, and found guilty of espionage. He was sentenced to seven years of hard labour, though he served only about a year before being exchanged for Rudolph Abel, a high-ranking KGBmarker spy, who had been apprehended in the United States in 1957. The two spies were exchanged at the Glienicke Bridgemarker in Potsdammarker, Germany, on 10 February 1962. Since the end of World War II, the Glienicke Bridge was the most popular captive-trading place when the west and the east felt it necessary to negotiate.

There was an anthrax outbreak in Yekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk) in April and May 1979, which was attributed by Soviet officials to the locals eating contaminated meat. However, American agencies believe that the locals inhaled spores accidentally released from an aerosol of pathogen at a military microbiology facility. Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov's account of the Sverdlovsk anthrax leak in his book Biohazard agrees with the American agencies' view. In 1992 Boris Yeltsin admitted that the anthrax outbreak was caused by the military. In 1994, a team of independent American researchers led by Matthew Meselson concluded based on a number of sources of evidence that it was conclusive that the illnesses were a result of an anthrax release from the Sverdlovsk-19 military facility.

During the 1991 coup d'état attempt, Sverdlovsk, a home city of President Boris Yeltsin was selected by him as a reserve capital of Russian Federation in an emergency if Moscow would became dangerous for the Russian government. A reserve cabinet headed by Oleg Lobov was sent to the city, where Yeltsin enjoyed a strong popular support at that time. Shortly afterwards the failure of the coup and followed USSRmarker dissolution, the city got its historical name (Yekaterinburg).

Geography and climate

Yekaterinburg is situated in Asia, 1,667 km (1,036 miles) east of Moscow, on the eastern side of the Ural mountainsmarker on the Iset river. It is surrounded by partially-wooded plains, mainly cultivated for agricultural purposes, and small lakes. The winter lasts for about 5 months — from November until the middle of April — and the temperature may fall to minus 45 degrees Celsius (minus 49 Fahrenheit), though rarely lower than minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 4 to minus 13 Fahrenheit). The summer in the Urals is short and lasts an average of 65–70 days with an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). Due to the city's location "behind" the mountain range and to differing winds, the weather is quite changeable from day to day and from year to year.

Economy and education

The main areas of the region's industry are machinery, metal processing, and ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy.

The Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciencesmarker ( UB RAS) and numerous scientific research institutes and establishments are situated in Yekaterinburg. With its 16 state-owned universities and educational academies, as well as a number of private higher education institutions (as of 2005), Yekaterinburg is considered the leading educational and scientific center of the Urals. These institutions include Ural A.M. Gorky State Universitymarker, Ural State Technical Universitymarker, Ural State Pedagogical University,Ural State University of Forestry, Ural State University of Mines, Ural State University of the Railways, Russian State Vocational Pedagogics University, Ural State University of Economics, Military Institute of Artillery, Ural State Conservatory, Ural State Agricultural Academy, Ural State Academy of Law, Ural State Academy of Medicine, Ural State Academy of Performing Arts, Ural Academy of Public Service, and Ural Academy of Architecture.

Transport and accommodation

Old railway station.

Yekaterinburg, still called by its Soviet name Sverdlovsk in rail timetables, is an important railway junction on the Trans-Siberian Railway, with lines radiating to all parts of the Urals and the rest of Russia. As the economy grew stronger after the slump of the 1990s, several European airlines started or resumed flying to the city's Koltsovo International Airportmarker (SVX). These include Turkish Airlines, Lufthansamarker, Malév, Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines and Finnair.

Yekaterinburg is also served by the smaller Yekaterinburg Aramil Airportmarker.

Yekaterinburg's public transit network includes the Yekaterinburg Metro which opened in 1991, and many tram, bus, trolleybus, and Marshrutka routes.


The city has several dozen libraries, including the V. G. Belinsky Scientific Library, which is the largest public library in Sverdlovsk Oblast.

Yekaterinburg is famous for its theaters, among which are some very popular theater companies: the Yekaterinburg Academic Ballet and Opera Company, the Sverdlovsk Academic Theater of Musical Comedy (a notable company known in Russia and in ex-Soviet republics as Свердловская музкомедия - Sverdlovskaya muzkomedia), the Yekaterinburg Academic Dramatic Theater, the Yekaterinburg Theater for Young Spectators, the Volkhonka (a popular chamber theater), and the Kolyada Theater (a chamber theater founded by Russian playwright, producer and actor Nikolai Kolyada). Yekaterinburg is the center of New Drama, a movement of the contemporary Russian playwrights Nikolai Kolyada, Vasily Sigarev, Konstantin Kostenko, the Presnyakov brothers, and Oleg Bogayev. Yekaterinburg is also often called the capital of contemporary dance for a number of famous contemporary dance companies residing in the city: the Kipling, the Provincial Dances, the Tantstrest, and a special department of contemporary dance at the Yekaterinburg University of Humanities.

A number of popular Russian rock bands, such as Urfin Dzhyus, Chayf, Chicherina, Nautilus Pompilius, Nastya, Trek, Agata Kristi and Smyslovye Gallyutsinatsii, were originally formed in Yekaterinburg (Ural Rock is often considered as a particular variety of rock music; Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburgmarker are considered to be the main centers of rock music in Russia). Also, some famous opera singers - Boris Shtokolov, Yuri Gulyayev, Vera Bayeva - graduated from the Urals State Conservatory. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra (currently conducted by Dmitry Liss), founded by Mark Paverman and located in Yekaterinburg, is also very popular in Russia and in Europe, as well as the Ural Academic Popular Chorus, a famous folk singing and dance ensemble.

There are more than 30 museums in Yekaterinburg, including several museums of Ural minerals and jewellery, art galleries, one of the largest collections anywhere of Kasli mouldings (a traditional kind of cast-iron sculpture in the Urals), and the famous Shigirskaya Kladovaya (Шигирская кладовая), or Shigir Collection, which includes the oldest wood sculpture in the world: the Shigir Idol, found near Nevyanskmarker and estimated to have been made about 9,000 years ago.

Yekaterinburg also has a circusmarker building, and one of the tallest incomplete architectural structures in the world, the Yekaterinburg TV Towermarker.


SKA Sverdlovsk plays in the highest division of the Russian Bandy League.

International relations

The largest city in the Urals and one of the top five in Russia, Yekaterinburg has a number of consulates of major countries. For people wishing to make a visa application and needing to attend interview, this can easily take a half-week off the traveling time to get to the interview (in the event that there are internal flights to Yekaterinburg, they may only be once per week).


  • United States Consulate—15 Gogol Street; the first consulate with a visa section in the Urals, established in 1994.
  • United Kingdom Consulate—-established 1997 as a full consulate with a visa section, on 15a Gogol Street.
  • The Federal Republic of Germanymarker Consulate—-a full consulate with a visa section, on 44 Kuybysheva St.
  • Czech Republic Consulate—general—consulate with a visa section, on 15 Gogol Street.
  • Kyrgyzstanmarker Consulate—general—consulate on 105 Bolshakova Street.
  • Bulgariamarker Consulate—general—consulate on 74 Lunacharskogo Street.
  • The People's Republic of Chinamarker Consulate—general—consulate with a visa section on 52 Mamina-Sibiryaka Street.
  • The Republic of Hungarymarker Consulate—-a full consulate with a visa section, on 15a Gogol Street.
  • The Republic of Austriamarker Consulate—-honorary consular representation on 16 Turgeneva Street / 13 Pervomayskya Street.
  • The Republic of Armeniamarker Consulate—-honorary consular representation.
  • The Italian Republicmarker Consulate—-honorary consular representation on 28 Kirov Street.
  • The Socialist Republic of Viet Nammarker Consulate—general—consulate on 22 Karl Libknehta Street.
  • The French Republicmarker Consulate—-a full consulate with a visa section on 22 Karl Libknehta Street.
  • Spanish Visa Application Center, 36 Gogol Street.

Twin cities

Yekaterinburg is a sister city of

Notable citizens

This is a short list of the most notable citizens of Yekaterinburg/Sverdlovsk:


A ballistic missile submarine of the Project 667BDRM 'Delfin' class (NATO reporting name: Delta IV) has been named "Ekaterinburg" (K-84/'807') in honor of the city.

The asteroid 27736 Ekaterinburg was named in the city's honor on 1 June 2007.

See also


External links and sources

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