The Chelyabinsk Region was founded in 1934. Its area is 88,529 sq. km; its population is 3.5 million persons, 81% are urban residents. The Chelyabinsk Region is located in the time zone MSK+2. The regional center is the city of Chelyabinsk, located 1,500 km from Moscow. The Region lies in the southern part of the Urals. A stone pillar stands in the territory of the Region, which marks the borderline between Europe and Asia. So some cities of the Region are situated in Europe, and some are in Asia. As for Magnitogorsk, it lies in the both parts of the world. The major rivers are the Tobol and the Miass. There are more than 200 protected areas in the Chelyabinsk Region.
History amateurs shall certainly visit the historical-archeological museum «Archaim» which has the remainders of the Bronze Age civilization, the contemporary to the Middle Egypt civilization. The Archaim is oriented by the starry heaven. It is older than Troy and was a part of the famous «the Kingdom of Cities», Gardariki. A horse is deemed to be originally tamed here. The most ancient metallurgic furnace was also found here. Archeologists also count that the civilization of Aryans, who created the religion of fire-worshippers, was originated here. 70 monuments from the Bronze Age, attributed to the civilizations of the Sarmatians, the Huns and the Bashkirs, remained unchanged. Houses were restored; technology of bronze smelting and stone treatment are shown in the museum of furnaces with operating models. Master-classes for osier platting and pottery take place in the museum.
Speleologist are attracted by caves in the area of the Sim River, the cavated town «Serpievsky». Here one can find coves of nearly all forms: horizontal, vertical, labyrinth, sinkholes and cavities, springs and blind creeks, karst arcs, stable holes and rock shelters, ground river beds. An old monk Ignatius lived and died in the Ignatius Cave.
The National Park «Zyuratkul» is located at the offsets of the Urals. Along with rich flora and fauna one can find historical monuments here: 10 dwelling sites from the Stone Age. The park is especially beautiful in autumn and winter. Beautiful mountain ridges cross the park; the Malas Satka River flows here. Tourist routes of various complexity are arranged in the park. You can walk along the bank of the Zyuratkul Lake or walk by «Bear Path» (a 5 km route) or make a many-day journey on foot across the highest mountain ridge in the Chelyabinsk Region. There are some ascent routes in the Iremel Mountain which are thought to be of less complexity. During a stop-over at the high-level tableland, you can make dozens of amazing shots of the Urals forests surrounding the mountain. The mountain tops Nurgush, Zigalga (hiding a mountain waterfall) are very marvelous. June is the best month for mounting.
Another national park «Taganai» is also very popular among tourists and local inhabitants. Its landscapes are called the «Russian Switzerland» and the «Ural Tirol». Eco-systems of tundra, meadows, sparse woods, old-growth forests are represented in the park. One of the sightseeing places in the park is the «Response Crest», where one can hear eight-fold echo. The highest top of the mountain ridge is the mountain Kruglitsa: its top is made of rocks of up to dozens tons weight. The collectors of minerals are attracted by the Stone River 100-800 m wide and 6 km long, an assemblage of goldstone pieces.
One of the oldest reserves of the Region is Ilmensky, originally founded as mineralogical. 11 minerals, namely ilmenite, miasskite, ushkovite, samarskite, were first found here. Rare black star corundums are also found here. 260 types of minerals are found in the reserve. Places of interest in the reserve include more than 30 lakes. A Diving Club is open at the bank of the Turgoyak Lake. There is a Natural-Scientific Museum of Mineralogy Institute in the territory of the reserve. Flora is very rich in the reserve: it includes more than 800 species of plants, a great deal of relic plants. The fauna of the reserve makes up 50 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, 14 species of fish.
Similar to Moscow, Chelyabinsk also has the Arbat Street, a pedestrian street downtown. There are monuments of architecture from the XIX — XX centuries, bronze figures, including the figure of Levsha, in this street. There is the children’s railway with children in the role of engine-drivers and trainmen in the Gagarin Park. There is a zoo close to the park. One of the leisure spots in the city is the Scarlet Ground arranged in the place of the former fairground.
The Chelyabinsk Local History Museum has more than 270 thousand exhibits, dedicated to the world of wild nature in the South Urals, the history of the Urals, the life of the South Urals settlers, starting from the Iron Age. In the museum you can see installations illustrating the ancient town, a peasant’s house, a merchant’s living-room, a fun-fair. There is a special children’s section in the museum.
Those who are interested in the history of Ural trades can visit the Decorative and Applied Arts Museum.
Art amateurs can visit the exhibition hall of the Painters’ Union, where personal, group and thematic exhibitions are held.
Along with Chelyabinsk, one should visit Zlatoust, the oldest town of armour-masters and «thin» metallurgy. The local museum exhibits the rarest patterns of armour art and other metal art articles.
Chelyabinsk was not all the time the biggest city in the Region. Before the revolution, Troitsk, an important town of trade with Kazakhstan and Middle Asia, was considered to be the largest. Nowadays Troitsk still has many old houses: shopping arcades, a passage, and merchants’ houses.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.