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The history of Chelyabinsk

The history of Chelyabinsk formation dates back to the 18th century. It was founded on 13th of September, 1736 on the Miass-river and was considered to be the fortress on the route from Trans-Urals to Orenburg. In 1743 Chelyabinsk turned into the Center of Istetsky province. There was Istetsky Provincial Office, Istetsky Cossack Administration, Religious Board and Guest House on the inner territory of the fortress. In 1781 Chelyabinsk got the status of the County Town.

Здание вокзала 1892 год

In the first half of 19th century trade & craft social group started to form among citizens. This group was destined to turn Chelyabinsk into the huge commercial and industrial center. To the middle of 19th century Chelyabinsk has already taken a strong position in the fair trade of Ural.

In 1892 Chelyabinsk acquired fame. At that time the construction of railway "Samara-Zlatoust" had been completed and the train service between Moscow and Chelyabinsk started. In 1896 the railroad onto the Ekaterinburg had been put into service and Chelyabinsk turned into significant transshipment point and so-called "Gates to Siberia".

In a few years the city turned in one of the largest trading centers and took leading positions in bread, butter, meat and tea sales. It took only several years for the population of the city to grow dramatically (1897-about 20 000 pp., 1910- more than 60 000 pp., 1917- about 70000 pp.). The territory of Chelyabinsk expanded by a third and many villages appeared around the railroad.

Industry and education jumped into the rapid development. At that time several educational institutions were opened such as religious school (1830), women’s Gymnasium (1870), non-classical secondary school (1902) and commercial school. People’s House and Railway Assembly were built. 
Chelyabinsk has been entering Russian and World Market really fast. There were about 1500 industrial and commercial companies with the annual turnover up to 30 million rubles each. A lot of trade agencies and administration offices of foreign companies specialized in machinery and equipment were opened.

After Russian revolution the authority of the Soviets of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies in Chelyabinsk was introduced in society in both armed and peaceful way. Only in second half of 1919 the public authorities such as Revolutionary Committee were finally recovered and the elections in Party Committees were held.
At the end of 1919 according to the decision of All-Russian Central Executive Committee Chelyabinsk became the center of new-created independent Chelyaninsky County which was reformed in Chelyabinsky district of Uralsky region in 1924. 17 January, 1934The city was named the center of Chelyabinsky district.

During first five-year plans Chelyabinsk transformed into one of the hugest in country industrial centers. 
If by 1919 there were only 2 enterprises then at the beginning of 1930s the production started at tractor, abrasive, ferroalloy, machine tool and zinc plants.

Chelyabinsk played an important role during the Second World War as a rear city. Its population increased from 270 up to 650 thousand people. On the base of evacuated enterprises that merged with local plants, the industrial giants were formed (Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant, Chelyabinsk forge and Pressing Plant, Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant). That’s why at the very beginning of the war Chelyabinsk has been unofficially named “Tanktown”. After 2 evacuated enterprises, Leningrad Metal Plant and Kharkov Engine Plant joined Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant that entire colossus switched into tank production. During the war 18 000 fighting machines were assembled at the plant that was the fifth part of all the tanks produced in the country. The people of Chelyabinsk provided the front with T-34 tanks, which later became recognized all over the world. And at Kolyuschenko plant the production of the BM-13 mount, famous “Katyusha” was mastered.

In the postwar period Chelyabinsk was also of the huge importance for the country. It became the “provider” of the equipment and human resources in recovery and reconstruction of Stalingrad, Donbass, Dneproges, and other territories of USSR. Industry grew rapidly, the city was built fast and the city boundaries were expanded. At the beginning of the 50s one-story buildings of the first five-year plans prevailed. But by 1947 the new development program was approved. It provided multistory buildings in the city center and sites adjacent to industrial area.

The industrial capacity was finally formed and it determined the structure of the modern economics of Chelyabinsk. The automation was introduced in enterprises actively and the production was upgraded. Thus, since 1954 machines with Kolyuschenko emblem mark entered the world market and was exported into 40 countries worldwide. In 1956 the first assembling line was put in the service in the largest electric-weld pipe workshop in the world. In decade the metallurgical plant had 18 new workshops activated and in 1958 the blast furnace №5 was set off. All that events summarized the All-Union shock Komsomol construction. At that period Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant became leader of iron industry in USSR.

The success in the industrial sector couldn't have been that noticeable unless Chelyabinsk had had its own engineers and scientists and the close combination of science and production in the top of it. In 1951 Chelyabinsk Mechanical and Machine Building Institute was transformed into Chelyabinsk Institute of Technology (now SUSU (South Ural State University)). Its graduated engineers were specifically valued as highly trained technical professionals. By 1960 there were about 15 000 students in Chelyabinsk.
The first Classical University in South Ural was founded in 1976.
By the 80s the capital of South Ural became the large scientific center of the country. There were 7 institutions of higher education and about 40 research and development institutes in Chelyabinsk..

The 70s became the years of public health care and education development in Chelyabinsk. The health and recreation resorts start receiving first callers, city student hospital appeared, the large health facilities were built. In the short time the north-west part of the city was built on. New blocks with multistory buildings arose nearby Chelyabinsk Tractor Works and in the north-east of the city. On 13 October 1976 the millionth citizen was born in Chelyabinsk.

By the 1980 the city enterprises produced more than a half of stainless steel of all national production, the fifth part of all home pipes, the third part of all ferroalloys and up to 40 % of all road machinery production in the country.

Торговый пассаж братьев Яушевых 1912-1913 годов

At that time the rapid development in the sphere of cultural life of Chelyabinsk could be noted out. A drama theatre with 1200 seats was opened. And Chelyabinsk puppet show acquired the wide fame. In 1986 Chelyabinsk celebrated 250 years since the day of its foundation. For that remarkable anniversary the Geological Museum, Chamber and Organ Music Hall and multiple monuments of public art were opened (Such as I.V.Kurchatov monument, "Step on the new path" and others).

The first half of 90s came as the toughest time for the whole country. There was the bankruptcy of enterprises, the overdue salaries, the underfunding of social programs. The implemented reforms have given results only in the second half of the decade. The production started again in Chelyabinsk, the budget revenues grew and the citizens' salaries were gradually raised. All those lead to a baby boom. 

The city held up the status of the large industrial center and despite the closing down of the whole row of enterprises stepped into the development of modern manufacturing processes. Many plants entered the World Market. By the level of telephone penetration Chelyabinsk made it into the top five among the largest Russian cities. The mobile and internet communications were growing wider. On the day of 260 years celebration of Chelyabinsk the opening of the zoo was held. And by 2004 the pedestrian street "Kirovka" was built up that occurred to be the favorite place for walking both Chelyabinsk citizens and guests of the city.

In the second half of 00s the full-size road reconstruction and expansion with the construction of modern road junctions started. The town council checked out for all the infrastructure of the city and accepted transfer of ownership for hundreds of kilometers of nets that had stopped to be serviced by enterprises and offices since before 80-90s. New social facilities of health care service and public education were built up and reconstructed. In 2008 the city passed the record number of housing that had ever been before, 880 thousands of square meters.

Chelyabinsk turned from the fortress into the powerful industrial and cultural Center of South Ural, into the city with millions of citizens of hundreds of different nationalities. For further information about modern Chelyabinsk you can refer to «Chelyabinsk today».