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The city of Chelyabinsk was founded in September 1736 on the banks of the river Myass. The settlement was a fortress, protecting the road from territories behind the Ural Mountains to Orenburg. Since 1743 Chelyabinsk was the centre of Iset province, and up to 1781 the town was a military settlement, most of which dwellers were Cossacks.

Over a hundred of years, up to 1917, Chelyabinsk was an unremarkable little town of Orenburg region. Cossacks have moved out of the settlement and founded their own villages in the surrounding territories. Some of these villages later became part of modern Chelyabinsk. At that time Chelyabinsk was known as a place, where political criminals were exiled to.

Chelyabinsk became famous in 1892, when the Samara-Zlatoust railroad connected the city with Moscow. In a matter of years Chelyabinsk became one of the largest Russian trade centres, where bread, meat, butter and tea were bought and sold.

In 1896 a railroad connected the city of Chelyabinsk with Yekaterinburg. During several years the population of the city grew several times many new settlements appeared near the railroad station, and the city added one third of its previous territory. Chelyabinsk became an important hub for traveling Russians and foreign visitors it was known as gates to Siberia. Industry boosted, and education never fell behind a gymnasium for girls, a college and religious school were opened, as well as a trading school.

During the war between Russia and Japan (1904-1905), Chelyabinsk played a significant role in servicing military troops. During the World War I, the city was one of the centres for training army reserves: three military settlements were responsible for teaching and training military troops.

In 1919 Chelyabinsk province was formed, which later, in 1924, became Chelyabinsk district. On January 1934 Chelyabinsk region appeared on the maps.

When the period in Soviet history, known as five-year plan, began, Chelyabinsk turned into one of the largest industrial centres of the Soviet Union. In 1919 only two industrial enterprises were operating in the city, while the following years saw opening of large plants: tractor works, abrasive plant, ferroalloy plant and machine-tool factory, etc. In the thirties of the twentieth century, the city was famous for its industrial giants. Later tens of industrial plants were working in Chelyabinsk.

During the Great Patriotic War (the World War II) Chelyabinsk had a great significance as a rear city. At that time the Ural region was the place, where many plants from the other parts of Soviet Union were evacuated. Plants of Chelyabinsk produced world-famous Katushas and T-34 tanks.

When the war ended, the city of Chelyabinsk kept growing. The cultural life of the city finally could develop freely new cinemas and museum were opened, many educational institutions started teaching art and culture. Chelyabinsk walked a long way from a small provincial settlement to the powerful industrial and cultural centre of the Urals.

During as much as almost 300 years, population of Chelyabinsk grew 1080-fold. First dwellers of the settlement were Cossacks, and now the city shelters representatives of almost 100 nationalities.




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  (Chelyabinsk Region)

Cities of the region


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