Ekaterinburg is the largest city on the land border of the Old World's two parts — Europe and Asia. Having 1.5 million of population, it is at the same time the fourth largest megalopolis of Russia; it is a modern industrial, business, science, and trade city proud of its rich history and cultural traditions.

8th of March street. Photo by A. Marushin

Ekaterinburg was founded as a fortress and plant in the year 1723 during the period of industrial developing of Ural and Siberia. The plant was built under the direct supervision of two statesmen: Vasiliy Nikitich Tatishchev (historian and geographer) and Georg Wilhelm de Gennin (Henning), lieutenant-general, specialist in mining engineering and metallurgy. The fortress plant was named Ekaterinburg in honor of protectress of mining Saint great martyr Catherine of Alexandria and empress Catherine I.

Historical panorama of Ekaterinburg

Since its foundation Ekaterinburg developed very fast. In the 19th century it was the only "mining city" in Russia, a state within a state. The metal produced on Uralian works was used in creating well-known architectural erections and constructions all over the world. In Soviet period, the city (bearing the name of Sverdlovsk from 1924 till 1991) grew into an industrial heart of the country: new large plants were built including famous UralMash. Besides, Sverdlovsk declared itself to be one of the leading educational, science, and industrial centers.

The history and character of Ekaterinburg have been formed under the influence of various contradictory events, ideas, emblematic persons and even whole nations. The last life days of Russian Emperor Nicholas II are related to that city. In 2003, on the place of Tsar family's tragic death, the Church on Blood in Honor of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land was erected. In the years of Great Patriotic war, just from Sverdlovsk, the legendary announcer Yuriy Levitan went on air with his front-line reports. Among the prominent Ekaterinburg citizens, there are writers Dmitriy Mamin-Sibiryak and Pavel Bazhov, film director Grigoriy Aleksandrov, scientist and designer Nikolay Semikhatov, painter Vitaliy Volovich, poet Boris Ryzhiy, hockey player Pavel Datsyuk and many other figures in culture, science and sport.

The first president of Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin started his public life just in Ekaterinburg.

Boris Yeltsin. Photo by Yeltsin Center

Ekaterinburg of the early 21st century is the capital of Ural Federal district, a discussion area for influential diplomatic and political figures of all levels, a center for trade and finances, communications and information technologies, culture and tourism.

Modern Ekaterinburg, at every step, is notable for its various appearances and inimitable air of discoveries. Walking through the city would give the lovers of architecture true enjoyment since there are few cities in Russia where the masterpieces of classicism period of the early and mid-19th century, buildings in the style of Russian wooden modern, the most brilliant monuments of constructivism of 1920–1930s, Stalin's "neoclassicism", re-erected temples, and mirror-like fronts of present-day buildings co-exist in such a harmony. 

The Church on Blood. Photo by A. Marushin

In many respects, the image of Uralian capital is formed by small architectural shapes, legal graffiti, and various genres of street-art. Well-known by its creative spirit, Ekaterinburg conducts the international festival of street art and graffiti "Stenograffia" every year since 2010 — the largest in the country thematic action having become an integral part of the city culture.

The monument to a keyboard. Photo by V. Kon'shin

The culture space of Ekaterinburg is a combination of Eurasian historical heritage and modern infrastructure. There are more than 600 historical and cultural memorials, of which 43 are of federal value. Among the most interesting exhibits are the Shigir Idol, 9500 years of age, and unique Kasli cast-iron moulding pavilion made by Uralian craftsmen and won Grand Prix in Paris in 1900. The Opera and Ballet Theater, Philharmonic hall and other theaters of Ekaterinburg are well-known across all Russia and abroad.

The Sevastianov's house. Photo by S. Krylov

Ekaterinburg is a global city capable to join two continents and the whole world. Ekaterinburg unites Europe with Asia, innovations with historical heritage, academical science with modern art. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is the unique occasion to receive unforgettable impressions of the football festival and to make your personal acquaintance with Ekaterinburg.

Ekaterinburg at night. Photo by A. Marushin