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 (55°03'-55°19'
north latitude, 61°08'-61°17' east longitude) along the banks of
the Miass River and bordered by pine forests to the west and to
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
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.