A construction of the hugest ironworks of Russia began at the Iset River in spring of 1723 according the decree of Peter the Great. A free river stream was partitioned with a dam. Sections of the plant and a church went up on the shore, straight streets ran away from here. A new settlement was surrounded with mighty defensive construction. The plant-castle was named Yekaterinburg in honor of the Empress Yekaterina I and patroness of mining St. Yekaterina. November 18, 1723 became a birthday of the city, the date when a trialstart of hammers took place in the shopfloors of the plant. The technological equipment of the plant was the best one among the other metallurgical factories all over the world.
Originally Yekaterinburg was founded as a capital of metallurgical region, extended on the vast territory from both sides of Ural Edge in European and Asian parts of the continent.
In 1725 a mint was opened here which supplied Russia with copper coins for one and half centuries. A lapidary factory was opened in 1726. It became then a main supplier of St. Petersburg and many other European capitals with products and articles made of Ural semi-precious stones.
In 1781 Yekaterina II gave Yekaterinburg a status of a city. A main railroad of Russian Empire (TransSiberian Railroad) crossed the city at that time. The part leading to Moscow called Moscow Tract (Highway) and to the east - the Great Siberian Tract (Highway). So Yekaterinburg became an idiosyncratic key to the endless and rich Siberia, a window to the Asia as St. Petersburg - a window to the Europe.
In 1807 Yekaterinburg was the only mining city of Russia. Later it became a center of mechanical engineering. The production of the mining and metallurgic equipment, water turbines, steam engines was set up on the state and private mechanical factories.
At the beginning of the XIX century Yekaterinburg became a city of gold and precious stones. The gold was under the feet everywhere. Semi-precious stones were of a huge size and everywhere too. In 1831 a famous emerald delf at Tokovaya River was opened. Ural emerald mines turned out to be very rich.
Here in the Urals land the Russian popular hero, Yemelian Pugachev, recruited the army to fight against the tzar.
Now Yekaterinburg is one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Russia. Established by supporters of Peter the Great, a prominent Russian geographer, Vassily Tatishchev and De Ghennin, as plant-city it's a capital of Ural region now. It's the center of science, education and culture: you find here the Presidium of the Department of Ural Region of Russian Academy of Sciences, research and development establishments, institutions of Higher Education, museums, exhibition halls and galleries, theaters, circus, concert halls, state philharmonic, Zoo, botanical gardens,
tree nursery (or arboretun). The students from Australia, USA, Belorussia, Germany, China, Mongolia, Japan, Ukraine and many other countries study here. The largest metallurgical plants known all over the world work here such as Uralmash, Uralhimmash, Uralelektrotyazhmash.
The location of the city is unique: it stands on the meeting of the Asian and European parts of the continent. The excursion to the Europe-Asia Obelisk (Needle) is one of the most popular excursions among the guests of the city. They are going to make a complex here including a conference-hall, hotel, museums, bars, restaurants, center of the entertainment, souvenir and gift shops, stores.
The architecture of the city is various. You'll see the examples of classicism, electicticism, modern, costructivism, neo-classicism, bright and numerous examples of industrial epoch.
Yekaterinburg is a center of stone-cutting handicrafts. Kasly castings (named after the town of Kasly), Златоустовская гравировка на металле, Nevyanskaya Icon (named after the school of icon-painting in Nevyansk town), Нижнетагильский подносный промысел, - that is all a business card of Ural Region.
Many outstanding writers, dramatists, artists and sculptors, scientists, musicians, politicians, sportsmen lived here in different periods of time. They are V. Tatischev, V. Gennin, V. Glinka, A. Popov, N. Mamin-Sibiryak, P. Bazhov, V. Vereschagin, Boris Yeltsin and the others.
Tsar nicholas II and his family were killed here in 1918 in the cellar of the house of Ipatev where they had been held.
You are welcome to Yekaterinburg!