permanent exhibition
Ekaterinburg: From a Factory to a City (1781–1917)
The exposition is dedicated to one of the stages of the biography of Ekaterinburg which was especially eventful and replete with national reforms that significantly influenced the history of the city. The starting point was the assignment of city status to Ekaterinburg in 1781, while the year 1917 marked the end of the stage with the change in the social and political structure of the country.
In 1806–1863, Ekaterinburg had a dual status: While remaining a provincial town, it was the only place in the Russian Empire that could boast the status of a mining town. It was against this background that, despite the presence of a town council, the town was almost completely controlled by the mining authorities: first, by the head of the Ekaterinburg mining district, and then by the head of the Ural mining plants.

The unique status turned Ekaterinburg into the capital of the mining and metallurgical Urals and contributed to its comprehensive development, including the formation of state and private machine engineering, the establishment of a theater, a district school, and a school of mines. The discovery of the first alluvial deposits in Russia near Ekaterinburg and access to the development of gold mines in Siberia and Southern Urals transformed the city into the heart of Russian gold mining.

The reforms of Alexander II changed the life of the city forever. With the loss of the status of a mining town, which was one of the main highlights of Ekaterinburg, the influence of the mining administration gradually decreased: The powers and authority of the Ural Mining Administration changed, the Ekaterinburg Mining District was liquidated, the mechanical factory and the mint were closed, the lapidary works scraped along having rather scanty purchase orders.
However, Ekaterinburg was not willing to settle for the low profile of an ordinary provincial town and managed to overcome the crisis. Private enterprise played a huge role in the development of the city. The residents of Ekaterinburg kept on developing traditional industries: fat rendering, candle making, soap boiling, gold mining, and lapidary work. At the same time, they picked up distillation, brewery, flour milling, machine engineering, etc. Trade was flourishing. The transformation of Ekaterinburg into a major railway hub and the inclusion of the city into the Trans-Siberian Railway served as a powerful catalyst for its economic growth. As a result, Ekaterinburg joined the Russian national railway network.

The growth of commercial and industrial potential had a positive impact on urban improvement, charity, sports, medicine, public education, and culture. New schools, hospitals, and orphanages were established. Telecommunications were developing. The city witnessed the appearance of telephones, electric lighting, and cinemas, as well as the paving of major streets. A professional concert hall and a new city theater were opened. The residents of the city were fond of sports, so the first sports societies and facilities appeared—a racing track and a bicycle track.

By the beginning of the First World War, Ekaterinburg had overgrown "the tight coat of a provincial town" and had prospects for further development. However, the wheel of history took a sharp turn, and then, a completely different stage began in the biography of the city.

В оформлении страницы использовано фото Галины Соловьевой
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