Yekaterinburg is an administrative center of Sverdlovsk region. It’s also allocated with the status of the center of Ural federal district. The city is located on east slope of the Ural Mountains, on the Iset’ River. There is even a memorial in Verkhne-Isetsky district of the city which symbolizes a border between Europe and Asia.
Yekaterinburg ranks fourth most populous city in Russia (after Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk). The Yekaterinburg agglomeration is also the fourth in size in the country (after Moscow, St. Petersburg and Samara-Togliatti). Satellite towns of Yekaterinburg are Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Sredneuralsk, Berezovsky, Aramil, Pervouralsk, Revda, Polevskoy, Sysert, Novouralsk.
The city was named after the empress Ekaterina the First. It was renamed Sverdlovsk in 1924. The name of Yekaterinburg was returned to the city in 1991.
The history of Yekaterinburg began in 1723 when Peter the Great ordered to construct iron works on Iset’ River banks. It’s interesting that the framework of the American Statue of Liberty is made of the Yekaterinburg metal. The Verkhne-Isetsky Steel Works remains to the present time the largest producer of high-quality transformer steel in the country.
Yekaterinburg is the beautiful modern city in which various architectural styles are successfully combined. Buildings of pre-revolutionary construction as well as the houses of the Soviet period and construction of present time neighbour on each other here. Rastorguyev-Haritonov's mansion is one of the most valuable architectural monuments of the city. It was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century in style of classicism. There is a park with the man-made lake behind the house. Under the estate, except a cellar, the whole network of underpasses runs which was immured in Soviet period. Now the palace of children's and youth’s creativity is located in the mansion.
Sevastyanov's house is not less beautiful architectural monument of Yekaterinburg. The house is also the representative of classical style with elements of neo-Gothic and baroque. Now the building is the Yekaterinburg residence of the president of Russia. The image of Sevastyanov’s house can be seen also on the memorable silver coin of 3 Rubles released by the Central Bank of Russian Federation in 2008.
The estate of Tarasov is one more interesting architectural sight. It was constructed in classical style with elements of eclecticism. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city as it already appeared in plan of Yekaterinburg in 1804. The main two-storeyed house, the southern one-storeyed outhouse and a stone fencing with gate remained to our time. The building of the estate is today a part of an architectural complex of the governor’s of Sverdlovsk region residence.
One more mansion built at the beginning of the 19th century is located opposite to the Tarasov’s house. It is constructed in style of classicism. This is a two-storeyed house with an attic, the main facade is turned to a pond. Alexander the Second and his tutor, the Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky, stayed here in 1837. Now the regional hospital No. 2 is located in the building.
It should be noted also Oshurkov's estate, the architectural monument of the end of the 19th century. A facade of the building is decorated with a stucco molding. Now here the library and some showrooms are situated now in building of the estate.
Ryazanov's estate, also called the big ryazanovsky house, is one more architectural monument of the 19th century built in classical style. The estate represents the two-storeyed house and wings. There is a small ryazanovsky house nearby, which is also the bright representative of classicism. To Soviet period it was assigned to the Ural department of Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Both houses were connected with each other by a tunnel.
The culture sphere is well developed in Yekaterinburg. Seven electronic library centers have been created in the city. About 50 museums are also opened in Yekaterinburg; some of them take part in annual international action Museum Night. Yekaterinburg ranks third in Russia by number of theaters (after Moscow and St. Petersburg). There is Sverdlovsk film studio in the city which is only in the country outside Moscow and St. Petersburg producing not only documentary, but also feature films. Yekaterinburg has also 18 movie theaters.
Yekaterinburg is glorious by a large number of gardens and squares. One of the biggest in Russia exhibitions of exotic fishes is located in Aqua-Gallery.