Spanning the divide between Europe and Asia lies the city of Magnitogorsk. One of the largest cities in Russia, Magnitogorsk was constructed on the southern end of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River flowing majestically through it like a sparkling blue ribbon. This city, once known solely for its metallurgy, is becoming a popular destination for those looking for a truly unique experience.
Magnitogorsk, more simply called Magnitka like the ironworks that drove its growth, was established in 1743 next to Mount Magnitaya, from which the city gets its name. Mount Magnitaya is considered an anomaly by geologists; the mountain is made almost entirely of iron ore which, when refined, means that Mount Magnitaya is upwards of 60% pure iron. Because of this, Magnitka flourished into one of the largest sources of iron and metallurgy in the world.
With so much iron, it’s no surprise that Magnitogorsk means “City of the Magnetic Mountain” and, for a long time, this area was defined almost exclusively by its ironworks. During World War II, Magnitka was responsible for producing half of all the steel used by Russia to construct tanks and a third of the steel used in munition shells. Because of this effort, an awe-inspiring monument known as the Rear-front Memorial was constructed of a Magnitogorsk iron worker handing a sword to a Russian solider.