Tourism in the Chelyabinsk Region


The Southern Urals, the inquisitive traveller’s mecca

About the Southern Urals Articles History
Why South Urals?

The Chelyabinsk Region is an unusual travel destination. And we will help you prepare for your new adventure. Here you will find the following:

  • the most interesting activities in the region;
  • the main attractions;
  • the history of the development of the South Urals.
The border between Europe and Asia

The Chelyabinsk Region is the geographical border between Europe and Asia. Every South Ural tourist can boast, without lying, that they travelled to Europe for a day. The border runs along the Ural Mountains. You can cross it in the vicinity of Zlatoust, Kyshtym and Magnitogorsk.

National Parks

There are three national parks in the Chelyabinsk Region! Do you want to see a real miracle, a river of huge boulders? Then you need to visit Taganay. Do you want to combine relaxation by a lake and walks in the mountains? Go to Zyuratkul. And untrodden paths, dense forests and swamps await you in Zigalga.

Thousand Lakes

Did you know that the Chelyabinsk Region is called the land of 3,000 lakes? There are indeed thousands of them! There is even the 'younger brother of Baikal' – the most beautiful and purest lake around, Turgoyak. And also Uvildy, Zyuratkul, Itkul and many other lakes, perfect places to relax, swim and sunbathe.

The forge of Russia

How are sweets and chocolates produced? How are huge rails and small bolts made? Is it true that there are pits so deep that huge BelAZ trucks look like toy cars? Get answers to these and many other questions yourself during excursions to the South Ural's plants and factories.

Ancient and Middle Ages The 18th and 19th centuries The first half of 20th century Our Times
Ancient and Middle Ages

People settled in the territory of the Chelyabinsk Region in the Palaeolithic era (about 70–80 thousand years ago). Scientists regularly find varied archaeological sites and artefacts from that time (ancient weapons, ritual objects, tools and jewellery). The sites of Bogdanovskaya and Troitskaya I as well as the traces of sites of ancient people in the Buranovskaya and Klyuchevskaya caves on the banks of the Yuryuzan river belong to the Middle Palaeolithic era. A collection of rock paintings have been found on the walls of the Ignatyevskaya Cave on the banks of the Sim river.

About 4 thousand years ago, Indo-Europeans founded Arkaim and other fortified settlements. Arkaim was discovered only in the late 1980s, and now there is a museum complex there that includes Stone Age sites, settlements and burial mounds from the Bronze Age, nomadic burial grounds and archaeological reconstructions.

In the 6th century Turkic peoples arrived in the territory of the Chelyabinsk Region. By the beginning of the 14th century mainly Bashkirs, Cheremis and Kazakhs lived here. The region was part of the Golden Horde but was then annexed by the Siberian Khanate.

The 18th and 19th centuries

Russians came to the South Urals at the end of the 18th century. First, the land was bought or rented from the Bashkirs. And in 1734, by order of Anna Ioannovna, the Orenburg Expedition was organised to build fortifications in the southeast of Russia. As a result, the Chebarkulskaya, Miasskaya and Chelyabinskaya fortresses were constructed, and the Isetskaya Province (the northern part of the modern Chelyabinsk and Kurgan Regions) was established. Chelyabinsk became the centre of the province in 1743.

Industry has been under active development here since the second half of the 18th century. New ironworks plants were built, next to which the workers' settlements of Nyazepetrovsk, Kasli, Satka, Zlatoust, Katav-Ivanovsk, Kyshtym, Yuryuzan, Ust-Katav and Miass were founded. The region actively participated in trade, which was concentrated in Troitsk. Trade in goods from Asia (Persia, India, Kazakhstan) was carried out in Chelyabinsk.

In 1891 the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway started from the Miass–Chelyabinsk section, which gave a powerful impetus to the development of industry and trade in the South Urals.

The first half of 20th century

By the first half of the 20th century many of the workers' settlements had already received the status of towns. In 1919, by the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the Chelyabinskaya Guberniya was created, which included the Chelyabinskiy, Troitskiy and Verkhneuralskiy districts. However, already in 1923 the Guberniya was eliminated, and the area became part of the Ural Region.

In the south of the region, near Magnitnaya Mountain, it was decided to build a huge metallurgical plant, and a few years later Magnitogorsk appeared here.

On 17 January 1934 the Ural Region was divided into several smaller regions, and the Chelyabinsk Region appeared on the map for the first time. It received its modern borders only in 1943.

During WWII industrial enterprises and people from Central Russia were evacuated to the South Urals. The Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant was retrofitted for the production of tanks, and the Kolyuschenko plant produced the BM-13 multiple rocket launchers (the famous Katyusha). Since more and more metal was required for the war, a metallurgical plant in Chelyabinsk was built and launched in the shortest possible time.

Our Times

In the post-war years the Chelyabinsk Region became the site for the implementation of the Soviet atomic project. 19 June 1948, the day the first nuclear reactor was launched in Ozersk, became the founding date of the USSR's nuclear industry.

Today the Chelyabinsk Region remains one of Russia's major industrial centres. The leading industry in the region is metallurgy. However, in addition to metal, they produce pasta and cereals, sweets and beautifully engraved knives, stylish business suits and high-quality shoes, Ural trucks, trams, huge pipes for the oil and gas industry and intelligent systems for face recognition... Even the first Russian android FEDOR, which has been in space, was designed and produced in Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk Region.

Not only do residents of the South Urals know how to work hard, they know how to play hard! There are more than a dozen ski resorts in the Chelyabinsk Region; several major festivals are held annually, which are attended by tourists from all over the country. The South Ural has hosted the world championships in judo and taekwondo, stages of the World Cup in freestyle and snowboarding and many other sports events.