Ekaterinburg, the fourth largest Russian city with its population of more than 1.5 million, is the administrative centre of Sverdlovsk Oblast and is located on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals near the border of Europe and Asia. Whereas Ekaterinburg is in 1,667 km (1,036 miles) east from Moscow the local time here is 2 hrs ahead of the Russian capital. A cascade of ponds was constructed in the XVIII century on the Iset River which is the main one in Ekaterinburg.
The city was founded in 1723 as a metallurgical industrial hub by order of Peter the Great. The city was named after Peter the Great’s wife, Catherine I of Russia. During World War II, the city grew rapidly as many industrial companies and people were relocated to the East to escape the war and safe their lives. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was known as Sverdlovsk.
Today Ekaterinburg is a large industrial and research centre. Its heavy transport and chemical engineering plants, non-ferrous metallurgy and machinery industry enterprises occupy a leading place in the national economy. The main city of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences that includes dozens of research institutes has also more than 20 institutions of higher education including the Ural Federal University which is the largest.
Ekaterinburg is a major business centre in Russia. Its financial and banking institutions take an active part in Russian economy, making a substantial contribution to the development of cooperation with foreign countries. More and more foreign companies are successfully operating representative offices and joint ventures here. Ekaterinburg's unique geographical position on the border of Europe and Asia offers broad opportunities for assuming the role of an important centre of cooperation between East and West.
The city is a large junction of seven railway routes including The Trans-Siberian Railway. The daily life of the city is provided for by its developed infrastructure. Its numerous shops, public catering facilities, trams, trolleybuses, buses, and metro (a subway) render services to its residents and visitors. The Koltsovo International Airport located 18 km southeast of the city centre serves ca. 5 million passengers per year and is the largest regional airport in the country. Over 30 Russian and foreign airlines connect Ekaterinburg with more than 120 cities world wide.
The city and surrounding areas offer a variety of tourist attractions. There are over 600 historical and cultural monuments around the city, and 43 of them are considered to be top national monuments because of their special significance. The city has preserved a large number of baroque, classical and Art Nouveau architectural monuments from the XVIIIth to early XX centuries as well as many constructivism buildings of the 1920s. The Vysotsky Tower and the Iset Tower opened in 2011 and 2016 in Ekaterinburg with the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg are the northern-most skyscrapers in the world.
The city has dozens of public libraries, cinemas, concert halls, music and art schools. Its Opera House, Drama Theatre, Musical Comedy Theatre, Theatre of Youth, Puppet Shows Theatre, Philharmonic Society, and Circus are well known in Russia. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra is a professional full-size orchestra located in Ekaterinburg and is one of the leading domestic orchestras which is known abroad. Starting with early 2000-s the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra gave dozens of concerts in Germany, Austria, France, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, United States, the Netherlands, South American countries, and received many favorable mentions by listeners and in the press. The Orchestra participated in numerous international festivals such as the Music Biennale Zagreb, the Cannes Music Festival, the Europalia Russia Festival in Belgium, the Festival International de Piano à la Roque d’Anthéron and La Folle Journée in France, Spain, Russia, and Japan. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra performed the opening of the Mariinsky Theatre’s new concert hall in 2007, and since then has presented its own season concert series there. The museums of Ekaterinburg are famous for their unique mineralogical, archaeological, and fine arts collections.
A considerable distance from Ekaterinburg to the Atlantic Ocean and the city's proximity to Siberia result in a continental climate. Despite being situated at the same latitude as the European Russia to the west, the city experiences longer and colder winters, greater differences in night and day temperatures, and lower humidity. Winter lasts for about 5 months—from November to mid-March. The average temperature in January is –12 ºC (though it may easy drop down to –25 ... –30ºC). Summer in the Urals is warm, but rather short, lasting 3–4 months with an average July temperature of 20ºC (though it can be as hot as 30 ... 33ºC). Due to the city’s location in the heart of the Eurasian landmass and in the Eastern Urals, climatic conditions can vary widely from year to year.
For the last few years, Ekaterinburg was marked among the ten most popular Russian cities for foreign tourists.
Ekaterinburg will host games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in June and July 2018.
The Urals is a common geographical name of the area around the Ural Mountains. It is a vast territory extending for over 2000 kilometers from the Polar Urals in arctic area to the Southern Urals touching on Kazakhstan, forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. The Ural mountains are among the oldest mountains on Earth and are generally not very high and are relatively easy to access. The region has a lot to offer to a traveller in search of long hikes and contact with nature. Each part of this beautiful mountain range has something unique to visit and see.
Created / Updated: 26 January 2018 / 3 September 2018
IFS2018 Local Organizing Committee
Ural Federal University
19 Mira Ul., 620002, Ekaterinburg Russia