Turinsk, Verkhoturye, Nevyansk, Irbit are the towns with a rich historical past. In the old days Turinsk had a grim reputation of the place of exile for the Decembrists. Irbit, on the contrary, was famous for its bustling and colorful fairs which stood second to the Nizhny Novgorod fairs in the volume of commodities turnover. Great fur auctions were held at the junction of Europe and Asia. Verkhoturye is known as the father of all Ural towns - today only an ancient citadel, the former seat of voivode, and several churches, the remarkable monuments of Russian architecture, have been left from those distant times. Nevyansk was the center of the vast Demidoff's empire. The Nevyansk watchtower, a sister of the Leaning Tower in Pisa, is still standing. From this tower Demidoff's agents kept watch of the works territory, so that no "alien eyes" could know of their secrets. Severouralsk is often called "Venice of the North" because of the channels that pierce the town. Krasnoturyinsk has been built to the plans and designs of St Petersburg. Alapaevsk is the town where P. I. Tchaikovsky, our prominent composer, spent his childhood.
Among the most outstanding people that made their contribution to the treasure house of history of the Urals are: D. N. Mamin-Sibiryak and P. P. Bazhov - the famous Russian writers, A. P. Karpinsky - a scientist, an outstanding representative of Russian geological school, N. K. Chupin -a historian and many others.
And, of course, history of the land of the ancient ridge started from Ekaterinburg. Ekaterinburg, the centre of Sverdlovsk region, is situated 1667 kilometers away from Moscow. The population of Ekaterinburg consists of more than 1210 thousand people (and here one can mention the original national composition of Sverdlovsk region: 73,1% of Russians, 9,8% of Tatars, 7,4% of Ukrainians, the others are Bashkirs and Udmurts).
The bird-eye view of Ekaterinburg reveals contrasts in its architecture. One-storeyed houses of old Ekaterinburg stand next to the modern multi-storeyed buildings.
The Historical Square shows the city's cradle - there it started - with an old time-honored dam, the mint and the mechanical works. Now there you can see the Fine Arts museum where "the Ural wonder", the unique Kasli pavilion is.
Ekaterinburg is generally recognized as the centre of machine-building industry. Mining school brought up brilliant experts, Ivan Polzunov being one of them.
And today Ekaterinburg is a cultural centre - it unites cinemas, theatres, museums, libraries, sports and recreation facilities and stadiums and etc.
Visitors to Ekaterinburg are always warmly welcomed by citizens and can visit a lot of places of interest, such as the Museum of Regional Ethnography, the Geological Museum, the Opera House, the Drama Theatre, the Circus etc.
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