Yekaterinburg

This article is about a major city in Russia. For the ballistic missile submarine, see Russian submarine K-84 Ekaterinburg.
Yekaterinburg (English)
Екатеринбург (Russian)
Sverdlovsk (1924-91)
-   City [1]  -
Ekb collage.jpg
Views of Yekaterinburg, Top left:Yekaterinburg Administration hall, Top right: Church on Blood in Honour of all Saint Resplendent in the Russian land, Center: Iset River and Visotsky business area, Bottom left:A monument of Tatischev and de Gennin, Bottom right:Sevastyanov's House
Map of Russia - Sverdlovsk Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Sverdlovsk Oblast in Russia
Yekaterinburg is located in Sverdlovsk Oblast
Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg
Location of Yekaterinburg in Sverdlovsk Oblast
Coordinates: 56°50′N 60°35′E / 56.833°N 60.583°E / 56°50′N 60°35′E / 56.833; 60.583
Coat of Arms of Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk oblast).svg
Flag of Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk oblast).svg
Coat of arms
Flag
City Day 3rd Saturday of August[ citation needed]
Administrative status (as of 2011)
Country Russia
Federal subject Sverdlovsk Oblast [1]
Administratively subordinated to City of Yekaterinburg [2]
Administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast, [1] City of Yekaterinburg[ citation needed]
Municipal status (as of June 2009)
Urban okrug Yekaterinburg Urban Okrug [3]
Administrative center of Yekaterinburg Urban Okrug [3]
Head [4] Yevgeny Roizman [4]
Representative body City Duma [5]
Statistics
Area 495 km2 (191 sq mi) [6]
Population ( 2010 Census) 1,349,772 inhabitants [7]
Rank in 2010 4th
Population (2015 est.) 1,428,042 inhabitants [8]
Density 2,727/km2 (7,060/sq mi) [9]
Time zone YEKT ( UTC+05:00) [10]
Founded November 18, 1723 [11]
City status since 1796[ citation needed]
Previous names Yekaterinburg (until 1924), [12]
Sverdlovsk (until 1991) [12]
Postal code(s) [13] 620000
Dialing code(s) +7 343 [13]
Official website
Yekaterinburg on Wikimedia Commons

Yekaterinburg ( Russian: Екатеринбу́рг; IPA:  [jɪkətʲɪrʲɪnˈburk]), alternatively romanised as Ekaterinburg, is the fourth-largest city in Russia and the administrative centre of Sverdlovsk Oblast, located in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia. [14] [15] At the 2010 Census, it had a population of 1,349,772. [7]

Yekaterinburg is the main industrial and cultural centre of the Ural Federal District. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was named Sverdlovsk (Свердло́вск) after the Communist party leader Yakov Sverdlov.

History

Snow-covered statue of Yakov Sverdlov

Imperial Russia

Vasily Tatishchev and Georg Wilhelm de Gennin founded Yekaterinburg in 1723 and named it after the wife of Tsar Peter the Great, Yekaterina, who later became empress regnant Catherine I. [11] The official date of the city's foundation is November 18, 1723. [11] It was granted town status in 1796.[ citation needed]

This photo by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky from 1910 shows the tallest building in the pre-revolutionary Urals, the Great Zlatoust bell tower

The city was one of Russia's first industrial cities, prompted at the start of the eighteenth century by decrees from the Tsar requiring the development in Yekaterinburg of metal-working businesses. The city was built, with extensive use of iron, to a regular square plan with iron works and residential buildings at the centre. These were surrounded by fortified walls, so that Yekaterinburg was at the same time both a manufacturing centre and a fortress at the frontier between Europe and Asia. It therefore found itself at the heart of Russia's strategy for further development of the entire Ural region. The so-called Siberian highway became operational in 1763 and placed the city on an increasingly important transit route, which led to its development as a focus of trade and commerce between east and west, and gave rise to the description of the city as the "window on Asia". With the growth in trade and the city's administrative importance, the ironworks became less critical, and the more important buildings were increasingly built using expensive stone. Small manufacturing and trading businesses proliferated. In 1781 Russia's empress, Catherine the Great, nominated the city as the administrative centre for the wider region, which led to a further increase in the numbers of military and administrative personnel in the city.[ citation needed]

The Tsar's family

Following the October Revolution, the family of deposed Tsar Nicholas II were sent to internal exile in Yekaterinburg where they were imprisoned in the Ipatiev House in the city. In the early hours of the morning of July 17, 1918, the deposed Tsar, his wife Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexei were executed by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev House. Other members of the Romanov family were killed at Alapayevsk later the same day. On July 16, 1918, the Czechoslovak legions were closing on Yekaterinburg. The Bolsheviks executed the deposed imperial family, believing that the Czechoslovaks were on a mission to rescue them. The Legions arrived less than a week later and captured the city.

In 1977, the Ipatiev House was demolished by order of Boris Yeltsin, to prevent it from being used as a rallying location for monarchists. Yeltsin later became the first President of Russia and represented the people at the funeral of the former Tsar in 1998. [16]

Cathedral on the Blood stands on the site of the Ipatiev House, where the Romanovs—the last royal family of Russia—were executed

On August 24, 2007, the BBC reported that Russian archaeologists had found the remains of two children of Russia's last Tsar. The remains were discovered in the ground close to the site in Yekaterinburg where the former Tsar, his wife, and their three other daughters were found in 1991 along with the remains of four servants. The discoveries in 2007 are thought to be those of Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess 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 sulfuric 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. [17] The Tsar's remains were given a state funeral in July 1998. [18]

1930s and World War II

During the 1930s, Yekaterinburg was one of several places developed by the Soviet government as a centre of heavy industry, during which time the famous Uralmash was built. Then, during World War II, many state technical institutions and whole factories were relocated to Yekaterinburg away from cities affected by war (mostly Moscow), with many of them staying in Yekaterinburg after the victory. The Hermitage Museum collections were also partly evacuated from Leningrad to Yekaterinburg (known as Sverdlovsk during Soviet times) in July 1941 and remained there until October 1945.[ citation needed]

1960s

The lookalike five-story apartment blocks that remain today in Kirovsky, Chkalovsky, and other residential areas of Yekaterinburg sprang up in the 1960s, under the direction of Khrushchev's government.

On May 1, 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. He was captured, put on trial, found guilty of espionage and sentenced to seven years of hard labour. He served only about a year before being exchanged for Rudolf Abel, a high-ranking KGB spy, who had been apprehended in the United States in 1957.

Anthrax outbreak

There was an anthrax outbreak in Yekaterinburg (then called Sverdlovsk) in April and May 1979, which was attributed to a release from the Sverdlovsk-19 military facility. [19] [20]

1991 coup

During the 1991 coup d'état attempt, Sverdlovsk, the home city of President Boris Yeltsin, was selected by him as a temporary reserve capital for the Russian Federation, in the event that Moscow became too dangerous for the Russian government. A reserve cabinet headed by Oleg Lobov was sent to the city, where Yeltsin enjoyed strong popular support at that time. [21] Shortly after the failure of the coup and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union, the city regained its historical name of Yekaterinburg on 4 September 1991. However, Sverdlovsk Oblast, of which Yekaterinburg is the administrative centre, kept its name.