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Chelyabinsk is the major industrial, scientific, and cultural center of the southern Urals. The city is located on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains (5503'-5519' north latitude, 6108'-6117' east longitude) along the banks of the Miass River and bordered by pine forests to the west and to the north.
The city is slightly hilly in the west, gradually descending to the east and sectioned by the Miass River Valley, lakes, and marshes. The Miass flows past the Shershni reservoir, which lies in the southwest of the city, and its' banks are lined by trees and shrubs. In addition to these bodies of water, Chelyabinsk is surrounded by three lakes: Pervoye to the northeast, and Smolino and Sineglazovo to the south.
As a result of Russian colonization of the southern Urals, Chelyabinsk first appeared as a military fortress in 1736. In 1781, Chelyabinsk gained status as a city, and in 1934 status as the capital of Chelyabinsk Oblast.

Chelyabinsk is one of major industrial centers of Russia. Metal products made here are well-known in all regions of the former Soviet Union. They are purchased by about 100 countries throughout the world. This city produces nearly one-fifth of the Russian output of big-bore pipes, one-third of smelted ferroalloys and ball-bearing steel, over 60 per cent of stainless steel, and about 40 per cent of road-building machines. During World War II, famous Katyusha's and T-34 tanks were produced only in Chelyabinsk (which was named "Tankograd" at that time).
Chelyabinsk has five state and four municipal theaters, a philharmonic hall, an organ hall, a municipal jazz center, a modern art center, an art gallery, several museums, several local television and radio stations and nineteen movie theaters.

Chelyabinsk is a major transport junction. It is crossed by the railway line Moscow - Samara - Irkutsk - Vladivostok. Highways connect the city to the Central Ural Region, the Bashkir Autonomous Republic and Kazakstan.
For the majority of Russian commoners, Chelyabinsk became visible with the launching of the trans-Siberian railroad. At this time, a settler's town grew around the train station complete with a church, hospital, and living quarters. Reflecting a new role, as an important intermediate point of traffic, Chelyabinsk was actively supported by the state.

Chelyabinsk was primarily a merchant city until the 1917 Revolution. Four trade fairs per year passed through Chelyabinsk and there were functioning bazaars and shops. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Chelyabinsk was ranked second in the Russian Empire in the tea trade. The prominent Russian tea firms, Vyisotskyi and Co., A. Kyznetsov heir to Gybkin, and others operated in Chelyabinsk. Additionally, there was developed trade in grains, buckshots and agricultural equipment. Banks were also well represented in Chelyabinsk including the State, Russian Trading-Industrial, United, and Northern banks. Gold mining began to develop by the mid-nineteenth century.

Now Chelyabinsk is one of the basic industrial centres of Russia.
The city produces approximately the fifth part of pipes of the big diameter made in the country, 1/3 of ferroalloys and hire, more than 60 % of stainless steel and about 40 % of road machines.

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