1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ekaterinburg

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EKATERINBURG, a town of Russia, in the government of Perm, 311 m. by rail S.E. of the town of Perm, on the Iset river, near the E. foot of the Ural Mountains, in 56° 49′ N. and 60° 35′ E., at an altitude of 870 ft. above sea-level. It is the most important town of the Urals. Pop. (1860) 19,830; (1897) 55,488. The streets are broad and regular, and several of the houses of palatial proportions. In 1834 Ekaterinburg was made the see of a suffragan bishop of the Orthodox Greek Church. There are two cathedrals—St Catherine’s, founded in 1758, and that of the Epiphany, in 1774—and a museum of natural history, opened in 1853. Ekaterinburg is the seat of the central mining administration of the Ural region, and has a chemical laboratory for the assay of gold, a mining school, the Ural Society of Naturalists, and a magnetic and meteorological observatory. Besides the government mint for copper coinage, which dates from 1735, the government engineering works, and the imperial factory for the cutting and polishing of malachite, jasper, marble, porphyry and other ornamental stones, the industrial establishments comprise candle, paper, soap and machinery works, flour and woollen mills, and tanneries. There is a lively trade in cattle, cereals, iron, woollen and silk goods, and colonial products; and two important fairs are held annually. Nearly forty gold and platinum mines, over thirty iron-works, and numerous other factories are scattered over the district, while wheels, travelling boxes, hardware, boots and so forth are extensively made in the villages. Ekaterinburg took its origin from the mining establishments founded by Peter the Great in 1721, and received its name in honour of his wife, Catherine I. Its development was greatly promoted in 1763 by the diversion of the Siberian highway from Verkhoturye to this place.