Chelyabinsk is the major industrial, scientific, and cultural center of the southern Ural. The city is located on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains along the banks of the Miass River (the inflow of Iseti) and has geographical coordinates: 61°08'-61°17' east longitude, 55°03'-55°19' north latitude, bordered by pine forest to the west and to the north.
Chelyabinsk's relief is slightly hilly in the west, gradually descending to the east and sectioned by the Miass River and narrows with lakes, and marshes. The banks of the Miass River are partly covered by woods and shrubs. The Miass flows past the Shershni reservoir, which lies in the southwest of the city. Other ponds surround Chelyabinsk: Pervoye to the northeast, and Smolino and Sineglazovo to the south. Ice bespreads rivers
from the beginning of November to the midst of April. Its thickness runs up to 80 centimeter to the end of winter. Forest and groves around the city are mixed, generally piny and birchen.
Chelyabinsk first appeared as a military fortress on the 13th (2) of September in 1736 in the course of Russian colonization of the southern Urals. In 1781 Chelyabinsk gained status as a city, since 1934 it has been the center of Chelyabinsk Oblast.
Nowadays Chelyabinsk is one of major industrial centers of Russia. Metal products made here are well-known in all regions and republics of the former Soviet Union. Many countries throughout the world purchase them. This city produces nearly one-fifth of big-bore pipes, produced in the country, one-third of smelted ferroalloys and ball-bearing steel, over 60 per cent of stainless steel, and about 40 per cent of road-building machines. During World War II, famous Katyusha's and T-34 tanks were produced in Chelyabinsk. Not without reason it was named 'Tankograd' at that time.
There are a lot of institutions of higher education in Chelyabinsk. The biggest of them are: South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk State University, the Agrotechnical and the Pedagogical Universities, the Medical Academy, the Institute of Culture and Arts, the Academy of Physical Education, Ural Social and Economic Institute, in which more than 50 thousand students study. There are 169 schools, lyceums and community colleges and 14 music and art schools in Chelyabinsk.
Citizens of Chelyabinsk have the opportunity to attend theatres, an art gallery, a philharmonic hall, an organ hall, a circus, several museums and 19 cinemas.
Chelyabinsk is a major transport junction. The railway line Moscow - Samara -Irkutsk - Vladivostok, crosses it. Highways connect the city to Kazakhstan, the Central Ural, Bashkiria and Siberia. Chelyabinsk Image : friends-partners.org