Yekaterinburg city, Russia

The capital city of Sverdlovsk oblast.

Yekaterinburg - Overview

Yekaterinburg or Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk in 1924-1991) is the fourth most populous city in Russia (after Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk), the administrative center of the Ural Federal District and Sverdlovsk Oblast.

This city is one of the country’s largest transport and logistics hubs, as well as an important industrial center. It is unofficially called the “capital of the Urals.”

The population of Yekaterinburg is about 1,493,600 (2022), the area - 468 sq. km.

The phone code - +7 343, the postal codes - 620000-620920.

Ekaterinburg city flag

Ekaterinburg city flag

Ekaterinburg city coat of arms

Ekaterinburg city coat of arms

Ekaterinburg city map, Russia

Ekaterinburg city map of Russia

History of Yekaterinburg

Foundation of Yekaterinburg

The territory along the Iset River, which served as a convenient transport route from the Ural Mountains deep into Siberia, has long attracted settlers. The oldest of the currently discovered settlements on the territory of present Yekaterinburg was located next to the Palkinsky Stone Tents rock massif and dates back to the 6th millennium BC.

From the 7th-3rd centuries BC, ancient metallurgists who mastered the smelting of copper lived in this settlement. Copper figures of birds, animals, people, arrowheads, various household items were found here. Later they learned how to make iron products. All discovered settlements were destroyed as a result of fires, possibly during raids of the conquerors.

The territory occupied by present Yekaterinburg became part of Russia in the middle of the 17th century. At that time, it had practically no permanent population. The first Russian settlements were founded in the second half of the 17th century. At the beginning of the 18th century, the first ironworks were built here.

In the spring of 1723, by decree of Emperor Peter I, the construction of the largest iron-making plant in Russia began on the banks of the Iset River. Construction began on the initiative of Vasily Tatishchev (a prominent Russian statesman). He was supported by Georg Wilhelm de Gennin (a German-born Russian military officer and engineer), on the initiative of which the fortress plant was named Yekaterinburg in honor of Empress Catherine I (Yekaterina in Russian), the wife of Peter I.

More Historical Facts…

The historic birthday of Yekaterinburg is November 18, 1723. On this day, a test run of the plant equipment was carried out. Its main products included iron, cast iron, and copper. In 1725, the Yekaterinburg Mint began production on the territory of the fortress and became the main producer of copper coins in the Russian Empire. Until 1876, it produced about 80% of the country’s copper coins. In the 1720s, the population of Yekaterinburg was about 4,000 people.

Yekaterinburg - one of the economic centers of the Russian Empire

In the middle of the 18th century, the first ore gold in Russia was discovered in this region, which was the beginning of the gold industry in the country. As a result, Yekaterinburg became the center of a whole system of densely located plants and began to develop as the capital of the mining region, which spread on both sides of the Ural Range.

In 1781, Catherine II granted Yekaterinburg the status of a county town in the Perm Governorate. The population of the town was about 8,000 people. In 1783, the town received a coat of arms depicting an ore mine and a melting furnace, which symbolized its mining and metallurgical industries (similar images are depicted on the current coat of arms and flag of Yekaterinburg).

In 1783, the Great Siberian Road was opened - the main road of the Russian Empire that passed through Yekaterinburg. It served as an impetus for the transformation of Yekaterinburg into a transport hub and a center of trade. Thus, Yekaterinburg, among other towns of the Perm Governorate, became the key town for the development of the boundless and rich Siberia, the “window to Asia”, just as St. Petersburg was the Russian “window to Europe.”

In 1808, the Yekaterinburg plant was closed, and the history of the town entered a new stage related to the development of a large regional center with a diversified economy. At the beginning of the 19th century, the gold mining industry flourished. At the same time, deposits of emeralds, sapphires, aquamarines, diamonds, and other precious, semiprecious, and ornamental stones were discovered in the Urals. Yekaterinburg became one of the world centers for their artistic processing.

After the abolition of serfdom in 1861, the mining industry of the Urals experienced a severe crisis, a number of plants were closed. In 1878, the first railway was constructed across the Urals and connected Yekaterinburg with Perm. In 1888, the Yekaterinburg-Tyumen railway was built, and in 1897 - the railway to Chelyabinsk, which provided access to the Trans-Siberian Railway. Yekaterinburg became a major railway junction, which contributed to the development of the local food industry, especially flour milling. In 1913, the population of Yekaterinburg was about 69,000 people.

Yekaterinburg in the first years of Soviet power

On November 8, 1917, Soviet power was established in Yekaterinburg. On April 30, 1918, the last Russian emperor Nicholas II and his family members with a few servants were transported from Tobolsk to Yekaterinburg. They were placed in the “House of Special Purpose”, the mansion of engineer Nikolai Ipatiev requisitioned for this purpose, and transferred under the supervision and responsibility of the Ural Regional Soviet.

In July 1918, units of the White Siberian army approached Yekaterinburg, under this pretext the leadership of the Ural Regional Soviet decided to shoot the imperial family. On the night of July 16-17, 1918, it was done in the basement of the Ipatiev House.

10 days later, units of the Czechoslovak Legion entered Yekaterinburg. Over the next 12 months, it was under the control of anti-Bolshevik forces. On July 14, 1919, the Red Army reoccupied the city. Soviet authorities and the Yekaterinburg Province with a center in Yekaterinburg were restored. In 1920, the population of the city was about 94,400 people.

The political center of the Urals moved from Perm to Yekaterinburg. In 1923, Yekaterinburg became the administrative center of the vast Ural Oblast, which in size exceeded the territory of the present Ural Federal District of Russia. In 1924, the city council decided to rename the capital of the new region to Sverdlovsk - in honor of Yakov Sverdlov, a Bolshevik party administrator and chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.

Sverdlovsk - a Soviet industrial giant

During the years of Stalin’s industrialization, Sverdlovsk was turned into a powerful industrial center. The old factories were reconstructed and new large factories were built, including giant machine-building and metal processing plants. In 1933, the construction of the future flagship of Soviet engineering (Uralmash) was completed. The population of Sverdlovsk grew by more than 3 times, and it became one of the fastest growing cities in the USSR.

January 17, 1934, Ural Oblast was divided into three regions - Sverdlovsk Oblast with a center in Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast with a center in Chelyabinsk, and Ob-Irtysh Oblast with a center in Tyumen. By the end of the 1930s, there were 140 industrial enterprises, 25 research institutes, 12 higher educational institutions in Sverdlovsk. In 1939, the population of the city was about 425,500 people.

Along with other Ural cities, Sverdlovsk made a significant contribution to the victory of the USSR in the Second World War. In total, more than 100,000 residents of the city joined the Red Army. 41,772 people didn’t return from the war: 21,397 - killed in battles, 4,778 - died from wounds in hospitals, 15,491 - went missing, 106 - died in prisoner of war camps.

Sverdlovsk became the largest evacuation point, more than 50 large and medium enterprises from the western regions of Russia and Ukraine were evacuated here. During the war years, industrial production in Sverdlovsk grew 7 times.

After the war, this city became the largest center for engineering and metalworking in Russia. During the Cold War, Sverdlovsk, as a key center of the defense industry, was practically closed to foreigners. In 1960, in the sky above the city, Soviet air defense shot down the U-2 spy plane of the US manned by Francis Gary Powers.

On January 23, 1967, a millionth resident was born in the city and Sverdlovsk became one of the first Russian cities with a population of more than 1 million people. In 1979, Sverdlovsk was included in the list of historical cities of Russia.

On October 4, 1988, a serious accident occurred at the Sverdlovsk railway station. The train carrying almost 100 tons of explosives rolled downhill and crashed into a coal freight train. An explosion occurred, aggravated by the proximity of a large warehouse of fuels and lubricants. The funnel at the site of the explosion had a diameter of 40-60 meters and a depth of 8 meters, the shock wave spread 10-15 kilometers. The explosion killed 4 people at the station and injured more than 500 people. About 600 houses were severely damaged.

Yekaterinburg - one of the largest cities of the Russian Federation

On September 4, 1991, the Sverdlovsk City Council of People’s Deputies decided to return the city its original name - Yekaterinburg. The population of the city was about 1,375,000 people. The restrictions on foreign visitors to the city were also lifted, and soon the first consulate general was opened here - the United States of America (in 1994).

The transition to a market economy led to a reduction in production at industrial enterprises, inert giant plant found themselves in a particularly difficult situation. In 1991, the construction of the television tower was stopped. The city was flooded with chaotic small retail trade in temporary pavilions and markets. These years were the heyday of organized crime, Yekaterinburg became one of the “criminal capitals” of Russia. The economic situation began to improve by the end of the 1990s.

In 2000-2003, the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land was built on the site of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. In 2008-2009, the Koltsovo Airport was reconstructed. In June 15-17, 2009, SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and BRIC (Brasilia, Russia, India, China) summits were held in Yekaterinburg.

In 2015, the Presidential Center of Boris Yeltsin, the first president of Russia, was opened in Yekaterinburg. On March 24, 2018, the abandoned unfinished television tower was dismantled. It was the tallest building in the city (almost 240 meters) and became one of the symbols of Yekaterinburg. 4 matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 were played in Yekaterinburg.

Today, Yekaterinburg is the largest center of attraction not only of Sverdlovsk Oblast, but also of the surrounding regions. By some socio-economic indicators, this city ranks third in Russia, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. Along with the development of trade and business, the city lost the status of the country’s largest industrial center.

On the streets of Yekaterinburg

Soviet-era apartment buildings in Yekaterinburg

Soviet-era apartment buildings in Yekaterinburg

Author: Alex Kolm

In the central part of Yekaterinburg

In the central part of Yekaterinburg

Author: Serg Fokin

Yekaterinburg street view

Yekaterinburg street view

Author: Krutikov S.V.

Yekaterinburg - Features

Yekaterinburg is located in the floodplain of the Iset River on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals in Asia, near its border with Europe, about 1,800 km east of Moscow. Since the Ural Mountains are very old, there are no significant hills in the city.

This relief was a favorable condition for the construction of the main transport routes from Central Russia to Siberia (the Siberian Route and the Trans-Siberian Railway) through Yekaterinburg. As a result, it has become one of the most strategically important centers of Russia, which still provides a link between the European and Asian parts of the country.

Yekaterinburg is located in the border zone of temperate continental and continental climates. It is characterized by a sharp variability in weather conditions with well-defined seasons. The Ural Mountains, despite their low height, block the way to the masses of air coming from the west from the European part of Russia.

As a result, the Middle Urals is open to the invasion of cold Arctic air and continental air of the West Siberian Plain. At the same time, warm air masses of the Caspian Sea and the deserts of Central Asia can freely enter this territory from the south.

That is why the city is characterized by sharp temperature fluctuations and the formation of weather anomalies: in winter from severe frosts to thaws and rains, in summer from heat above plus 35 degrees Celsius to frosts. The average temperature in January is minus 12.6 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 19 degrees Celsius.

The city has a rather unfavorable environmental situation due to air pollution. In 2016, Yekaterinburg was included in the list of Russian cities with the worst environmental situation by this indicator. Car emissions account for more than 90% of all pollution.

Yekaterinburg ranks third in Russia (after Moscow and St. Petersburg) in the number of diplomatic missions, while their consular districts extend far beyond Sverdlovsk Oblast, and serve other regions of the Urals, Siberia, and the Volga region.

In terms of economy, Yekaterinburg also ranks third in the country. It is one of the largest financial and business centers of Russia. The main branches of production: metallurgical production and metalworking, food production, production of electrical equipment, electronic and optical equipment, production of vehicles, production of machinery and equipment, chemical production.

Almost all types of urban public transport are presented in Yekaterinburg: buses, trolleybuses, trams, subways, taxis. Yekaterinburg is the third largest transportation hub in Russia: 6 federal highways, 7 main railway lines, as well as Koltsovo International Airport, one of the country’s largest airports. The location of Yekaterinburg in the central part of the region allows you to get from it to any major city of the Urals in 7-10 hours.

Yekaterinburg has an extensive scientific and technical potential, it is one of the largest scientific centers in Russia. The Presidium and about 20 institutes of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 66 research institutes, and about 30 universities are located here.

This city is a relatively large tourist center. A significant part of tourists visit it to honor the memory of the last Russian emperor and his family killed by the Bolsheviks in the basement of the Ipatiev House in 1918.

There are about 50 different museums in Yekaterinburg. One of the world’s largest collections of constructivist architectural monuments has been preserved here. In total, there are over 600 historical and cultural monuments in the city, of which 43 are objects of federal significance. The City Day of Yekaterinburg is celebrated on the third Saturday of August.

Interesting facts about Yekaterinburg

  • It was founded by the decree of the first Russian Emperor Peter I and the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II was shot here;
  • In 1820, the roof of the UK Parliament building in London was made of roofing iron produced in Yekaterinburg;
  • Ural steel was used in the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris;
  • Ural copper was used in the construction of the Statue of Liberty in New York;
  • During the Second World War, Sverdlovsk was the center of broadcasting in the USSR;
  • Equipment for the world’s deepest borehole (Kola Superdeep Borehole, 12,262 meters) was produced in Yekaterinburg;
  • Boris Yeltsin, the first president of Russia, began his political career in Yekaterinburg;
  • Minor planet #27736 Yekaterinburg, discovered by the Belgian astronomer Eric Elst on September 22, 1990, was named in honor of this city;
  • Two most northern skyscrapers in the world are located in Yekaterinburg: the Iset residential tower (209 m) and the Vysotsky business center (188 m), they are the tallest buildings throughout Russia east of Moscow.

Pictures of Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg city view

Yekaterinburg city view

Author: Andrey Zagaynov

Modern architecture in Yekaterinburg

Modern architecture in Yekaterinburg

Author: Yury Baranov

The territory of the central stadium of Yekaterinburg before reconstruction

The territory of the central stadium of Yekaterinburg before reconstruction

Author: Sergey Likhota

Main Attractions of Yekaterinburg

Sevastyanov House - a palace of the first quarter of the 19th century built in the architectural styles of pseudo-Gothic, Neo-Baroque, and Moorish traditions and painted in green, white, and red tones. Today, it is the most beautiful building in Yekaterinburg and one of its symbols. The house stands on the promenade of the Iset River, very close to the city dam. Lenina Avenue, 35.

“Plotinka” - the dam of the city pond on the Iset River built in the 18th century. From an architectural point of view, it is an ordinary bridge. However, it is of particular importance for the residents of Yekaterinburg since the construction of the entire city started from this place. Today, this is the main place for festivities in Yekaterinburg. Lenina Avenue.

Observation Deck of the Business Center “Vysotsky” - an open-air observation deck on the 52nd floor at an altitude of 168 meters. From here you can enjoy the views of all of Yekaterinburg. On the second and third floors of this skyscraper there is the memorial museum of Vladimir Vysotsky - a singer, songwriter, and actor who had an immense effect on Soviet culture. Malysheva Street, 51.

Vaynera Street - the central avenue of Yekaterinburg, the so-called “Ural Arbat”. One of its parts from Kuibysheva Street to Lenina Avenue is a pedestrian street. This is one of the oldest streets in Yekaterinburg laid in the middle of the 18th century. Along it, you can see merchant mansions, shops, administrative buildings, most of which were built in the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.

Rastorguev-Kharitonov Palace (1794-1824) - one of the most valuable architectural manor and park ensembles in Yekaterinburg, an architectural monument of federal significance built in the classical style and located in the city center. Karla Libknekhta Street, 44.

Church of the Ascension (1792-1818) - one of the oldest churches in Yekaterinburg located next to the Rastorguev-Kharitonov Palace. This beautiful building combines the features of baroque, pseudo-Russian style, and classicism. Klary Tsetkin Street, 11.

Yeltsin Center - a cultural and educational center dedicated to the contemporary history of Russia, as well as the personality of its first president, Boris Yeltsin. The museum dedicated to his life is one of the best museums in Russia. Borisa Yeltsina Street, 3.

Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts - the largest art museum in the Urals housed in two buildings. This museum is best known for its unique collection of Kasli art castings and the world-famous Kasli cast iron pavilion - a participant in the 1900 Paris World’s Fair.

The following collections can also be found here: Russian paintings of the 18th - early 20th centuries, Russian avant-garde of 1910-1920, Russian porcelain and glass of the 18th - 20th centuries, Russian icon painting of the 16th-19th centuries, Western European art of the 14th-19th centuries, stone-carving and jewelry art of the Urals, Zlatoust decorated weapons and steel engraving. Voevodina Street, 5; Vaynera Street, 11.

Museum of the History of Stone-Cutting and Jewelry Art. A unique collection of this museum consists of gem minerals, works of jewelers and stone-cutters of the Urals, and products created at the Ural lapidary factory. The museum has Malachite and Bazhov halls, the Emerald Room, and several exhibition galleries where visitors can see works made of colored stone and metal created by local artists. Lenina Avenue, 37.

Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore. At first, its collection consisted of four departments: mineralogical, botanical, zoological, and paleontological. Later, numismatic, ethnographic, and anthropological sections were added. Today, there are more than 700 thousand exhibits here. Lenina Avenue, 69/10.

Museum of the History of Yekaterinburg. This museum occupies a historic building of the 19th century. In addition to the main exhibition, you can see the wax figures of Peter the Great, Catherine II, Nicholas II, the Ural manufacturers Demidov, and the founders of Yekaterinburg.

Old Railway Station of Yekaterinburg - one of the most beautiful and picturesque buildings in the city built in 1878. In 2003, after a large-scale reconstruction, the Museum of the History of Science and Technology of the Sverdlovsk Railway was opened here. Vokzal’naya Ulitsa, 14.

Yekaterinburg Circus. Visible from a lot of points of the city, the building of the Yekaterinburg Circus is known for its amazing dome consisting of trellised openwork semi-arches, which is not typical for circuses in Russia. 8 Marta Street, 43.

White Tower (1929-1931) - a former water tower 29 meters high located at a certain distance from the center of Yekaterinburg, an architectural monument of Constructivism. Today, it is used as a cultural site. Bakinskikh Komissarov Street, 2?.

Keyboard Monument - a contemporary art object made on a scale of 30:1 in 2005. This 16x4 meter concrete keyboard consists of 104 keys spaced 15 cm apart. From here the famous tourist route “Red Line” begins (a self-guided tour of the historic city center). The monument is located on the embankment of the Iset River next to the House of the Merchant Chuvildin (Gorkogo Street, 14A).

Ekaterinburg city of Russia photos

Places of interest in Yekaterinburg

Sculpture of talking townspeople in Yekaterinburg

Sculpture of talking townspeople in Yekaterinburg

Author: Pichugin Mikhail

Old buildings in Yekaterinburg

Old buildings in Yekaterinburg

Author: Andrew Golovin

Wooden Church of the Holy Martyr Arkady in Yekaterinburg

Wooden Church of the Holy Martyr Arkady in Yekaterinburg

Author: Kutenyov Vladimir

Street transport of Yekaterinburg

Tram in Yekaterinburg

Tram in Yekaterinburg

Author: Andrey Permyakov

Bus in Yekaterinburg

Bus in Yekaterinburg

Author: Per Heitmann

The questions of our visitors

John asks: If I earn 50,000 RUB in Yekaterinburg, how much money I need to pay as tax per month? A university of Yekaterinburg offer me a postdoc position.
Expert's answer:
In Russia, foreigners can have two statuses: a resident (with an income tax rate of 13%) and a non-resident (30%). A resident is a foreigner who stays in Russia for more than 183 days in a calendar year. So at first your income tax will be 30% and after you become a resident - 13%.
John asks: I am planning to move in Yekaterinburg with my family this November. Is 50,000 rubles enough to live with 3 family members in Yekaterinburg?
Expert's answer:
As of August 2022, this amount will be barely enough for a family of 3 members to live in Yekaterinburg. Renting an apartment with 1 living room will cost you at least about 15,000-20,000 Rubles per month. The rest will be enough for very basic food and utilities and that's all. Most people working in this city earn about 25,000-40,000 Rubles per month, so this is enough, if you don't have to rent an apartment.
sylvie courtade asks: Where can one find the date and place of death of a family who lived in Uralmach in Sverdlovsk in 1936?
Expert's answer:
You should contact the State Archives of the Sverdlovsk region.

The comments of our visitors

Joe Siverinac
I am writing to a young woman who lives in Ekaterinburg and would like to say it is charming clean and wonderful looking city. I live in the United States

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