Chelyabinsk is the administrative center of Chelyabinsk Oblast (region) and seventh among Russian cities with a population over a million. It is located in the center of Eurasia, on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains, 1,879 km away from Moscow.
City of Metallurgists
Russians have many jokes about Chelyabinsk, which imply that its inhabitants are rather rough. This is not surprising, as many people there work in production, since Chelyabinsk is a major industrial center, including metallurgy, machinery manufacturing and metalworking, instrument manufacturing, and chemical, light and food industries. However, the primary product of the city is metal (high-quality alloys and stainless steel), including zinc and various heavy machinery and pipes. Today, the city has about 150 large plants.
City between Siberia and Europe
It is interesting to note that, from the geological point of view, half of Chelyabinsk is located in Siberia, since it stands on sedimentary rocks, while the other half stands on the granite typical for the Urals. The two parts are divided by the Miass River and connected by Leningradsky Bridge, which may be used by residents to travel from Europe to Siberia and back several times a day.
Chelyabinsk was founded in 1736 at the site of the Cossack fortress Chelyaba. Chelyabinsk's coat of arms bears a camel to remind that a trade route to India once passed through the city. Today, ancient buildings remain in the center only, and there are cobbled pedestrian streets. The rest of Chelyabinsk has Soviet-era buildings, though there are also modern business and shopping centers, hotels, and high-rises.
In spite of Chelyabinsk primarily being an industrial city, it has many parks and much landscaping. For example, a real forest is located right in the center of the city and forms part of Gagarin Central Recreation Park. One more popular place in the city is Aloye Pole (Scarlet Field) Park with hundreds of red tulips blossoming in spring.
City of Culture
Residents of Chelyabinsk not only work hard, but also enjoy culture. There are many museums, such as the Geological Museum containing samples of all minerals produced in the Urals. The city has a philharmonic orchestra, a circus, a jazz center, an opera house and a drama theater. Annually, Chelyabinsk hosts various cultural events, such as the Kamerata Chamber Theater Festival and International Organ Festival. In summer, the amateur singer festival gathers performers from all of Russia on the banks of Lake Ilmen in Chelyabinsk Oblast. In autumn, the "Incorrect Cinema" Festival screens art house films.
City of Sports
The city hosts various sports events, such as the 2012 European Judo Championship, when its guests praised the high level of organization. Also, Chelyabinsk has a tradition of conducting a New Years sports training session for youth. During this, high school and university students compete in six street sports.
City Where a Meteorite Fell
In 2013, the world heard the news of the meteorite (more precisely, only fragments of it) falling on Chelyabinsk. The impact was accompanied by a series of explosions which caused broken windows in several houses. This happened on February 15 and attracted much attention to the city. However, what amazed the world most was the reaction of the Chelyabinsk inhabitants – instead of running away in fear, many rushed right toward the meteorite, using their phones to shoot videos of the impact and commenting.