Chelyabinsk is the Sports Capital of the Ural Region
Chelyabinsk is now famous all over the world as the city that witnessed a meteor falling a close distance from it, but there are other reasons why it is known in the sports world. It is the South Ural region where various large-scale sports competitions are held. In particular, in recent years the metropolis has hosted a whole range of international tournaments, including the World Curling Championship, the European Judo Championship, the World Cup Speed Skating preliminary rounds and the European U19 Water Polo Championship.
Despite being a relatively young city (the city is only 277 years old) Chelyabinsk has a population of more than a million people. Until recently it looked like an ordinary big industrial city. However the last few years have brought about a lot of changes. The historical buildings in the city’s central streets have been renovated. The unique architectural monuments now look quite modern while preserving the spirit of previous times. As twilight falls, Chelyabinsk is illuminated with bright welcoming lights. The multicolored illumination is part of the governor’s plan to enhance the city’s image. What’s more, Chelyabinsk is one of the few (if not the only one) of Russia’s big cities free of traffic jams. People from neighbouring regions would often say with a bit of envy: “We are stalled, but Chelyabinsk is moving!”
A Walk Through the City
The metropolis occupies an area of approximately 53 thousand ha. It is twice smaller than Moscow and is comparable to the size of Andorra. Revolution Square is the main landmark on the city map. It is from here that Kirova street starts; which is known to be the most beautiful and remarkable street in Chelyabinsk. Nicknamed by the locals as “Kirovka”, this street is always full of people and free of traffic especially since it has been transformed into a pedestrian area, just like the Arbat in Moscow.
Kirovka is “inhabited” by a number of bronze sculptures. They don’t look like majestic monuments, but are just man-size statues. A carriage with a drowsy coachman, a pretty young lady viewing herself in the mirror, a painter with an easel and a number of other characters have become a part of this street that is itself a homage to history.
Kirova Street features multiple bars, cafés and restaurants suited to every fancy and budget. One can try the traditional Russian cuisine at Uralskiye Pelmeni, have some Italian pizza at Pepperoni, order a plate of Ukrainian Borsch at Zhuravlina or have a glass of beer at the Fox & Goose Irish Pub. Kirovka is a free Wi-Fi zone, which makes it a nice place to easily connect with one’s friends or upload new pictures to social networks.