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Metallurgical Ekaterinburg
Metallurgical Ekaterinburg
In spring of 1723 by decree of Peter the Great the construction of Russia's largest iron works started on the banks of the river Iset. Free flow of the river was blocked by the dam, factory shops, a church and straight lines of houses appeared next to it. Powerful defense constructions encircled the new settlement.

November, 7(18), 1723 became the date of the city birth, when a test run of battle hammers was conducted in the shops. This factory-fortress got the name Ekaterinburg in honor of Empress Catherine I.
All construction in Ekaterinburg was carried out according to the general plan, developed by Kutuzov M.S. The first general plan of Ekaterinburg suggests that the development of the city on the Iset was carried out according to the best examples of fortification craft of Germany, the Netherlands and France. European character of the city was reflected not only in its name (the German "burg" means - "the City" in the Russian language), but also in the layout.

Ekaterinburg was built as the capital of the mining region, spread on a wide area on both sides of the Ural mountain range on the territory of two continents - Europe and Asia. In the early years of its existence, Ekaterinburg plant was ahead of all other metallurgical enterprises not only the country but also the world in the matter of technological equipment.

In 1725, Mint Place was opened in Ekaterinburg.For 1,5 centuries it provided Russia with copper coins. In 1726 a lapidary factory was built and it became the main supplier of products made from the Ural gems in sovereign St Petersburg and many European capitals.

Empress Catherine I gave the name to Ekaterinburg, and Empress Catherine II gave it the status of the city in 1781. During the reign of Catherine II the main road of the Russian Empire was built through a young city. To the west of Ekaterinburg this road was called the Moscow highway, and to the east - the Great Siberian. Thus, Ekaterinburg became the key city to vast and rich Siberia, "a window to Asia", just as St. Petersburg was Russia's "window toEurope".

In 1807, the status of the capital of the mining region was confirmed by assigning it the official status of Russia's only "mountain city". Up until the 1863 Ekaterinburg remained subordinate to the head of the Ural mountain range plants, the finance minister and the Emperor himself, that is why it enjoyed considerable freedom from governor's power. Since the 1830s, Ekaterinburg became the center of mechanical engineering. Production of mining and metallurgical equipment, water turbines and steam engines was established at state and private mechanical factories.

Since the beginning of XIX century Ekaterinburg became a city of gold and precious stones, gold Mecca, the new Eldorado, the capital of the region, where the gold semi-precious stones lie under the feet. In 1802, Yartsov A.S., one of the specialists of the mining business on the Urals, who managed all the mines and factories, claimed that gold in Ekaterinburg can be found everywhere.

In 1824, 85 t precious metal deposits were open in "Ekaterinburg golden valley" as it was called by Mr.Yartsev. The richest deposits were situated in the upper reaches of the Iset River, actually in the city itself. Since 1844, annually acted gold -digging groups, led by experts in mining business, operated in Ekaterinburg. Successful operation the active mines was noted in reports as well as the discovery of new deposits.

According to the testimony of aide-de-camp Yurkevich S.A., who in 1837 accompanied Crown Prince Alexander, it was "a truly golden edge of Russia": "At a distance of 200 miles, I have to say, we were going through the gold placer, on both sides of the road we constantly saw gold-bearing sands, the road itself was gold" .

In 1831, Jacob Kokovkin opened famous emerald mine in the currents of the river Tokovaya. The Ural emerald mines appeared to be incredibly rich: only during first ten years of the Urals mines existence, Peterhof Lapidary Factory faceted Ural emeralds on 5000 carats. And by 1862 (30 years of operation) 2,227 kilograms of emeralds were extracted on the mines. Ekaterinburg factory only in 1835, sent 550 emeralds and 1,120 sparks to the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty.

Since then, deposits of sapphires, aquamarines, diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones were found in Ekaterinburg in addition to gold and emerald deposits of the Urals. Then one of the world centers of art processing of colored stone was established here.

Ekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Factory grew out of lapidary workshop established by Tatishchev V.N. in 1726 and attached to Iron Plant. It became famous because of a variety of products - from jewelry to fine plastic: mouthpieces, handles of knives, daggers, snuff boxes, pads for horse harness, etc. Local craftsmen, stonecutters knew dozens of methods of technological stone dressing, they worked out even their special way, so-called "Ekaterinburg facet."

Ural artists' works on the stone became famous around the world. For example, Ekaterinburg masters made the map of France out of precious stones for the opening of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. A reviewer of exhibition wote the following: " On the Square in front of The National Residence of the Invalids, in one of the buildings a huge crowd always stands in front of the map of France, made in Ekaterinburg out of the Ural precious stones. Map is built into the frame of gray jade and is of a square shape of 1.5 feet wide and length (about 97 centimeters). The sea surrounding France is presented by plates of light gray marble, and separate departments -by jasper of different colors. There are 105 cities of France on the map. Paris is marked with a large ruby, Le Havre - with emerald, Rouen - with sapphire, Lille - phenacite ... Others cities are marked with amethysts, tourmalines and rock crystal. The cities' names are inscribed in gold, rivers are marked with interspersed into jasper platinum veins."

And before that, in 1873, at the Vienna World Exhibition, the world admired golden nugget of amazing beauty (weighing 624 grams). And this nugget, shown in the Russian section of the exhibition, was not the largest. Some nuggets found in the Urals weighed from 328 to 1574 grams.

Established as a city-factory, Ekaterinburg to the XX century became a grand industrial, commercial and financial center.

The fact that in the last quarter of the XIX century, Russia has witnessed a boom of railway construction played an important role in trade and economic development of the city. Ekaterinburg in particular became the place where roads to provincial Perm and industrial Nizhniy Tagil met, and through the trade city, called Chelyabisk, Ekaterinburg got access to the world's longest Trans-Siberian Railway. With theseconnectionsthe city managed to establish permanent economic relations with other parts of the country, and Ekaterinburg proved itsstatus of the capital of the Urals. In autumn of 1923 Ekaterinburg became the administrative center of the Ural region. In 1924, the city was renamed to Sverdlovsk in honor of one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Party. The process of socialist industrialization transformed the metallurgical capital of the Urals in many ways. This is where the world's largest metallurgical and engineering plants started working. Enormous intellectual and industrial potential is concentrated in the city. Image of Sverdlovsk of that period is primarily associated with the industry giants that capture the imagination of their contemporaries in their scopes: Uralmash, Uraltransmash, Uralkhimmash, Uralelectrotyazhmash - plants, that even now are known far beyond Russia.
In 1928,construction of an industrial giant - Ural Heavy Machinery Plant, called Uralmash, started on the northern outskirts of the city. Almost simultaneously with the construction of new buildings of the plant the construction of a large-scale house-communes for workers started. This project embodied an image of an ideal city. Construction of cities in such a short time and on a single plan are really rare in the world construction practice. Later, following this example, the construction of communes started in areas of such enterprises as Vtorchermet (1929), Elmash (1932), Himmash (1934). At the same time the city old factories and plants were reconstructed. After just a decade since the beginning of industrialization in Sverdlovsk there were 140 industrial enterprises, 25 research institutes and 12 higher educational establishments. In 1934, during the division of the Ural region Sverdlovsk became the capital of the homonymous region.

In period of World War II, Sverdlovsk promptly turns into the centre where a large number of evacuated enterprises were established. Art funds of the kept priceless works of art from Hermitage. Thousands of wounded soldiers were treated and healed in the hospitals of the city. Residential areas for workers of evacuated enterprises were built on the outskirts of the city during and after World War II. During the war years Sverdlovsk becomes the largest industrial center of Russia.

In the postwar period, the city continues to hold a leading position in the key sectors of the state economy. In the 1960s, new large settlements grew around the large industrial enterprises of the city. Modern buildings and new residential areas considerably changed the face of the Ural capital. In 1967, the number of citizens exceeded one million, thus Sverdlovsk became one of the first Russian cities with over a million dwellers.

In 1991, the city regained its historical name - Ekaterinburg.

Последнее изменение 25 марта 2013 16:33

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