Ekaterinburg is 284 years old. Originally established by the Russian Emperor, Peter the Great, as a major industrial and administrative centre and it has remained so for nearly three centuries.
The glory of the foundation of Ekaterinburg is shared by two "fledglings of Peter's nest" - Captain Vasilij Tatishchev who determined the location of the plant/fortress, and the engineer and general of artillery, William de Gennin, who later put the plant into operation. On November 7 (18), 1723 two iron-forging hammers were put into operation in the hammer-forging shop of the plant. This event was registered as the official date of birth of the town named after the Saint Martyr Catherine (Ekaterina in Russian), the patroness of mining crafts, and after the reigning empress who had been baptized Catherine by the Russian Orthodox Church.
At the same time, Ekaterinburg was turning into a centre of non-mining industries and banking business. The discovery of Siberian gold brought about a fabulous wealth to the city and stimulated its growth. For a long time the mining of this gold was the monopoly of the Ekaterinburg merchants - the Ryazanovs, Rastorguyevs, Balandins, and others.
Situated on the border between Europe and Asia the town also played an important mediating role in trade. Initially, one part of the fortress, and then of the town, was called a "Trade" part. In 1843 the State Commercial Bank opened its branch office in Ekaterinburg; the "Siberian", the "Volga-Kama", and the "City Community Banks" began operating here early in the XXth century.
Despite its provincial character, the town was a major cultural center. It had a mining school, a mining research society, and a mining museum. 1843 was the year of the establishment of the town's first theatre company, for which, four years later, the citizens constructed a theatre building on Glavny Prospect (Main Street). In 1870, the Ural Society of Science Enthusiasts was established whose members published works about the Ural region and organized expeditions. The national crisis caused by World War I, the February revolution and the October upheaval radically changed the fate of the town. On October 26, 1917 Soviet Power was proclaimed in Ekaterinburg.
Before the civil war Ekaterinburg became a regional centre, and in 1923 it was granted it's rights, and in 1923 it was granted the rights of the administrative centre of the huge, newly established Ural region.
In 1924 the name of Ekaterinburg disappeared from the map of the country. As the totalitarian regime grew stronger it gave the names of its leaders to all places, big and small. Thus, Ekaterinburg was renamed "Sverdlovsk" and in 1934 it became the main city of the region bearing the same name.
Throughout the 1920s - 1930s Ekaterinburg preserved its significance as an industrial and cultural centre of the Urals. The construction of huge plants brought about a threefold increase in its population. The Sverdlovsk builders constructed dozens of industrial buildings, blocks of flats, schools, shops and hospitals. In 1925 the city got its first water supply line and first bus routes. In 1929 the first tram appeared on its streets and a broadcasting station was put into operation. High-rise buildings became the sign of the time.
In 1940, the city had 12 institutions of higher learning, 30 technical schools, 100 secondary schools, 166 libraries, 7 museums, and 5 theatres.
Sverdlovsk was turning into a city of big science. In 1932 the USSR Academy of Sciences opened its branch here. During the years of World War II the city was turned into a powerful arsenal of military equipment and armaments. The leading enterprises of the city were converted to military production. Sverdlovsk gave refuge to the People's Commissariat of Nonferrous Metallurgy, the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Air-Force Academy, the Central Theatre of Soviet Army, the famous Moscow MHAT theatre, and the unique collections of the Hermitage.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ekaterinburg Juli 2004 - Yekaterinburg, Russia, Ural, Екатеринбург, Россия, ViXXeN.NL
Ekaterinburg, Yekaterinburg, Jekaterinburg, Russia, Ural, Россия, Ekaterinburg, Februari, 2007, Yekatrinburg, Russia, Ural, Sverdlovsk, Екатеринбург, Россия, ViXXeN, ViXXeN.NL,