Yekaterinburg,orEkaterinburg, Russia, a major industrial center and one of the largest cities in the nation. The city lies at the eastern edge of the Ural Mountains, some 850 miles (1,370 km) east of Moscow. Yekaterinburg is especially important for the manufacturing of heavy machinery and as the administrative center for the mining activities and metallurgical plants nearby. Located on key north-south and east-west railway lines, it is also a major transportation hub. In Yekaterinburg are the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Urals A. M. Gorkiy State University, and several research institutes.
Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723, on the site of a fort built two years earlier. The settlement was named in honor of Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great. By the early 1800's it had become a prominent metallurgical, mining, and trading center. In 1918, during the Russian Revolution, Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed here. The city was renamed Sverdlovsk in 1924, in honor of the Bolshevik leader Yakov M. Sverdlov. In 1991 the city's original name was restored.