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Photograph of snow-covered Yekaterinburg
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Yekaterinburg's "Church on the Blood," built on the spot where the Tsar and his family were murdered.

Yekaterinburg (also transliterated as Ekaterinburg or Jekaterinburg) (Russian: Екатеринбу́рг) is a major city in central Russia, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the Asian side of the Ural mountain range, at Template:Coor dm It is the main industrial and cultural center of the Ural region. Its population of 1,300,000 (2002) makes it Russia's fifth largest city. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was known as Sverdlovsk (Russian: Свердло́вск), after the Bolshevik leader Yakov Sverdlov.



The city was founded in 1723 by Vasily Tatischev and named after Saint Catherine, the namesake of tsar Peter the Great's wife Catherine (Yekaterina). It was renamed Sverdlovsk after the Bolshevik party leader and Soviet official Yakov Sverdlov from 1924 to 1991.

Soon after the Russian Revolution, on 17 July, 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexei were murdered by Bolsheviks in this city.

In the 1920s Yekaterinburg became a large industrial center of Russia. Heavy machinery plant Uralmash, the biggest in Europe, was built.

During World War II, many government technical institutions and the whole plants were evacuated to Yekaterinburg from the war-affected areas (mostly Moscow) and many remained in Yekaterinburg after the war was over.

In the 1960s, during the Khruschev government, many similar five-storey apartment blocks were built all around Yekaterinburg. Most of them remain until today in Kirovsky, Chkalovsky, and other residential areas of Yekaterinburg.

On May 1, 1960, an American spy-plane U-2, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot over Yekaterinburg. The pilot was captured and later exchanged for Rudolph Abel, a Russian spy, in the United States.

There was an anthrax outbreak in Yekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk) in April and May 1979, which was attributed by Soviet officials to the locals eating contaminated meat. However, American agencies believe that the locals inhaled spores accidentally released from an aerosol of pathogen at a military microbiology facility. Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov's account of the outbreak in his book Biohazard agrees with the American agencies' view.


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Yekaterinburg from space, October 1994

Yekaterinburg is situated 1,667 km east of Moscow.


The city produces heavy machinery, steel, chemicals, tires, and petroleum. Gem cutting is a well-developed light industry.


The city is the leading cultural center of the Urals and has numerous institutions of higher education, including the Urals A.M. Gorky State University (founded 1920), a conservatory, and polytechnic, mining, forestry, agriculture, law, medicine, and teacher-training institutes. The Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and many scientific-research establishments are also located there.

Transportation and accommodation

Yekaterinburg is an important railway junction, with lines radiating to all parts of the Urals and the rest of Russia. As the economic slump subsided, several European airlines started or resumed flying to the city's Koltsovo international airport (SVX). These include Lufthansa, British Airways and CSA Czech Airlines.

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International relations

The largest city in the Urals and one of the top five in Russia, Yekaterinburg has a number of consulates of major countries. For people wishing to make a visa application and needing to attend interview, this can easily take a half-week off the travelling time to get to the interview (in the event that there are internal flights to Yekaterinburg, they may only be once per week).

Yekaterinburg is a sister city of San Jose, California, U.S.A.


da:Jekaterinburg de:Jekaterinburg et:Jekaterinburg eo:Jekaterinburg fr:Ekaterinbourg it:Ekaterinburg nl:Jekaterinenburg ja:エカテリンブルク pl:Jekaterynburg pt:Yekaterinburg ru:Екатеринбург uk:Єкатеринбург


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