Ekaterinburg, the administrative center of Sverdlovskaya Region, is located 1667 km east of Moscow on the border between Europe and Asia. It is one of Russia's largest cities, with a strong industrial base, great cultural and scientific potential, and considerable financial resources.
Ekaterinburg has a subway and two airports, one for local air traffic and the other for cargo and passenger service in Russia and the CIS (38 routes), as well as for international flights.
Ekaterinburg is one of Russia's leading financial centers. Thirty-one independent commercial banks and 20 branches of intercity banks currently operate in the city, as well as the Ural Regional Currency Exchange, where more than 50 banks take part in trading.
An unusual combination of architectural and historical rarities distinguishes Ekaterinburg's cultural legacy and gives the city its own unique character. With more than 600 historical and cultural monuments, Ekaterinburg has earned the right to be included among Russia's historic cities. City residents are especially proud of the many museums and theaters.
Ekaterinburg is also a major scientific center. The Ural Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 16 higher state educational institutions, and more than 100 industrial research and development organizations are located here. About 1000 Doctors of Science and 5000 Candidates of Science are engaged in scientific activities. Given Ekaterinburg's large number of higher educational institutions, it is justifiably considered a student city.
Sverdlovskaya Region has 18 414 rivers with a total length of more than 68 000 km. There are also 2500 lakes with a surface area of 1100 km2.
Forests cover 12.6 million hectares, or 65.6% of the region's territory; coniferous forests make up 63.5% of the forested area. Logging has been going on here for more than 300 years, and the southern and central districts are into their fourth cutting cycle.
Forty species of mammals, not counting mice and other similar species, inhabit the region. Squirrels, varying hares, and moose are often encountered in the forests. There are also 210 species of birds, including 30 species of waterfowl and 57 species of game birds. As a result of continuous logging, and for other reasons, the populations of many fur-bearing animals have decreased significantly, especially marten, muskrat, mink, sable, and beaver.
The region's fishing reserves comprise lakes (65 090 hectares), reservoirs and artificial lakes (34 980 hectares), and rivers. Commercial fish in these reserves include pike, various species of carp, tench, pike perch, bream, and perch.
Ekaterinburg is a city of theaters, museums, and talented writers, artists, film makers, architects, musicians, and jewelers.
The city enjoys a rich cultural life, which is only natural, since the history of Ekaterinburg's cultural life goes back to the first years of its existence. A mining and metallurgical school opened here in the 18th century; and the first library and printing press opened in the early 19th century. A mining engineering society was organized in 1825; and on its initiative, a mining museum was opened in 1834. Over time, the museum became one of Russia's largest repositories of mineral specimens. A meteorological observatory, whose activities were of great practical importance, was established in Ekaterinburg around the same time.
In 1843, P.A. Sokolov arrived in the city with his theater company, and a few years later a special building was constructed for it on Glavny Prospekt (now the Oktyabr movie theater). Arts such as cast iron sculpture, graphic arts, and stone cutting flourished.
Resorts of Sverdlovskaya region
The main healing feature is low-sulphide chloride-natrium water which is used as table water. Sapropelic mud treatment is offered in the health centre. The health centre “Nizhnie Sergi” stands in a thick needle-fir forest. There runs a river Serga and a distributary Bardy near it. Picturesque lime-shaly rocks of 30-40 meters high stand along the banks of the river. Here you can combine treatment and unusual traveling. For instance, you can take a trip to a cave Katnikovskaya which is 230 meters long. The entrance to the cave is a shallow gaping 100 meters of the river Serga on its right bank. A short path leads to a low grotto Central with caved covered in singer pellicle massifs. A small gallery connects the grotto with a labyrinth Beautiful, the surface of which is covered in calcite dropstone but unfortunately tourists have barked this beauty.
Another cave “Friendship” is 20 km of Nizhnie Sergi town. You can ford a river near it. The entrance to the cave is an arch in a ledge rock. The structure of the cave is complicated – a row of corridors and grottos is about 500 meters long; underground lakes and springs.
There are other interesting caves in the Serga’s valley, for instance, a cave Gap, or a Glacier of the mountain Orlovaya, and Arakaevskie caves as well.
There is located a mountain ski centre near the health centre, It is one of the most picturesque places in the Urals. The mountains are covered in slender firs and needles. There are two routes forming one at a lower station of a lift; they are 800 meters long and up to 100 meters in elevation changes. Skiing is simple just in the upper part and the steep is 20 degree. The routes are equipped with a modern draft rope way and are regularly tolled by snowcats.
There is situates a balneological resort area - the resort of Irgin – near Krasnoufimsk. The main remedial feature is sulphide water with sulphiretted hydrogen. Various skin disease, gynecopathy, neuropathy are treated here. The forests are full of berries and mushrooms in summer. There are organized tours to Alikaev Stone, Ovechij (Sheep’s) Stone, Seven Brothers and Marjin rock.
The main therapeutic agent in a Samozvet (Semi-precious) resort is sapropelic mud and a hydropathical establishment “Lipovka” is based on thiocyanogen water field. Indications for treatment are: peripheral nervous system disease, primaty hypertension, thrombophllebitis, osteochondrois and skin disease. These resorts are located in Alapaevsk outskirts.
A famous resort Tavda with iodide-bromine water, a resort Turinsk (with the same health factors), a resort Glyadeny (sapropelic mud of Goluan Lake is used), a resort Obukhovo ( hydrocarbonate water is effective in treating organs of digestion, liver, urinary tracts) a resort Kurji (iron-containing water) and other resort are well-known.
Hundreds of architectural monuments are evidence of Ekaterinburg's complex history. Many of these monuments are considered masterpieces of world architecture and town planning. The outstanding architectural solutions of the 19th and 20th centuries are also worth seeing.