Reason №1: Border between Europe and Asia
The geographic border between two parts of the world is located only 17 km from the centre of Ekaterinburg! The place is very popular among tourists for the amazing chance to travel from Europe to Asia in just one step.
The scientific justification of the border based on the Ural rivers watershed was first introduced by one of the founders of Ekaterinburg Vasily Tatishchev – the first Russian historian, famous geographer, and outstanding statesman of the first half of the 18th century.
There’re several dozen geographic signs marking the border between Europe and Asia in the Urals. Tourists usually visit the monument opened in August 2004 at the 17th km of Moskovsky highway. The foundation of the monument contains two large rocks representing the synthesis of civilizations – one brought from Cape Roca (westernmost point of Europe), and the other brought from Cape Dezhnev (easternmost point of Asia).
Visitors of the unique tourist complex are entertained by professional artists. Sled dogs rides during winter and nice picnics in the pine forest during summer are available. The Ural blacksmith will help you hammer your own coin with Ekaterinburg symbols, and then award you with a traditional souvenir – a certificate of “border trespassing”.
Every year this amazing place becomes the epicentre of serious sports emotions while the traditional skiing marathon “Europe – Asia” takes place in March. It is the only sports contest to start in Europe (city of Pervouralsk) and finish in Asia (Ekaterinburg), with two points only 53 km apart. The marathon is considered one of the best skiing contests in the country; it is a part of the prestigious Skiing Marathons of Russia Cup and has become the face of winter sports in the Urals.
Europe-Asia Tourist Complex
+7 (343) 304-24-50
Reason №2: Industry and Innovations
Since its early days Ekaterinburg has always been an important centre of industry and machine-building. In the 19th century the Ural metal was considered the best in the world, it was used during the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, as well as to cover the roof of English Parliament in London and to form the inner frame of the Statue of Liberty in New York. The construction of Uralmash “plant of all plants” in the 20th century opened a new page in the history of the Ural industry. Plants and factories of Sverdlovsk played a significant role during the Great Patriotic War and WWII, and later on produced the most modern spacecraft equipment.
Industry is still one of the leading sectors of Ekaterinburg’s economy today, that’s why the city was chosen to host the largest in Russia International Industrial Fair INNOPROM. During the event leading companies from all over Russia and the world display their engineering inventions and new products. The forum includes plenary sessions, round tables, and business meetings bringing together businessmen, experts, scientists, and politicians.
International Industrial Fair INNOPROM is held annually in July in IEC Ekaterinburg-EXPO, 2 Expo Blvd.
Ekaterinburg’s industrial history defines the character of the city and its current development; it also naturally affects all the art created at the heart of the Urals. Ural Industrial Biennale demonstrates a new form of existence for contemporary art. Artists work both in operating and abandoned industrial facilities of Ekaterinburg – the city on the border between two parts of the world, at the junction of industrial and postindustrial economies.
The major goal of the Biennale is redefining the industrial space as a cultural object, integrating it into the sphere of art. One of the central locations of the event is the former building of the “Uralsky Rabochiy” print house, a constructivist giant at the very centre of Ekaterinburg. Selected facilities at the legendary Uralmash and Uraltransmash plants are also engaged in the project. The Industrial Biennale is a cultural event of nationwide and international importance.
Ural Industrial Biennale
+ 7 (343) 380-36-96 (Ekaterinburg branch of National Centre for Contemporary Arts)
Reason №3: Festivals
Theatre scene of Ekaterinburg is remarkably diverse and intense. There’re 15 professional theaters and over 30 studios and independent theatrical groups. Originality and success of local productions is proved by numerous awards of the “Golden Mask” festival – the main theatrical award in Russia. Musical Comedy Theatre has received the record breaking among all Ekaterinburg theatres number of these awards.
Since 2002 Ekaterinburg Puppet Theatre biennially hosts the International Puppetry Festival “Petrushka the Great”. The event every time turning our city into a national puppetry capital always includes costumes and stage design expositions, professional workshops, creative meetings. “Petrushka the Great” Festival is holding its international status, becoming one of the most influential puppetry events in the world.
Puppetry Festival “Petrushka the Great” is held biennially in Ekaterinburg Puppet Theatre, 143 Mamina-Sibiryaka St.
+7 (343) 350-30-05
For a few years Ekaterinburg has been successfully hosting the International Clown Festival. Ekaterinburg Circus and Russian state circus company bring together their friends from all over the world – the best professional clowns and circus performers, the most talented and well-known, awarded with many prizes and beloved by the public. Ekaterinburg is the first and only city in circus history to organize such a unique event.
International Clown Festival is held every fall in Ekaterinburg Circus, 43, 8 Marta St.
+7 (343) 251-41-41
Ekaterinburg was one of the first cities in Russia to join the traditional all-European Museum Night event. Every year in mid-May most of the city museums work together to create an unforgettable event showing their expositions from a new perspective and including performances, unique interactive programs, and contests. Museum Night is a wonderful opportunity to be introduced to and learn more about the cultural heritage of Ekaterinburg.
Museum Night is held annually in May.
+7 (343) 346-88-23
Stenograffia Festival of Street Art and Graffiti
Annual Stenograffia art project allows local and guest artists to paint concrete walls of construction sites and industrial areas, walls of buildings, technical facilities and subways, to creatively rediscover and change urban environment.
In 2010 the theme of the festival was “Ekaterinburg – City on the Border Between Europe and Asia”. In 2011 artists from all around the world brought to the capital of the Urals their “Images of Happiness”. In 2012 and 2013 the festival was dedicated to “The Global Mind”, And in 2014 – to “Images of Ekaterinburg” and “Football Corners”.
Hundreds of graffiti artists and teams from all over Russia as well as from foreign countries send their projects to participate in the festival every summer. During summer months new paintings appear on various objects in the central part of the city as well as distant neighborhoods, creating a curious street art route through the city.
It was in Ekaterinburg that for the first time in the history of the Russian Railroads street artists legally painted a city train car, unique “concrete graffiti” was created, and renowned masters of street art conducted open workshops.
Stenograffia events happen throughout the summer, but traditionally the busiest part of the festival falls on the first weekend of July.