Ekaterinburg is the historical and economic center of the Urals which forms a natural border between Europe and Asia. It is also the administrative center of the Sverdlovsk region and the Ural federal district. Ekaterinburg,  the capital city of the Urals, was founded in 1723 by Tzar Peter the Great (and named after his wife, Catherine). Ekaterinburg has played a notable role in the history of Russia. It was here that Russian industry was born. The present day Ekaterinburg is rich in sights — architectural monuments of Russian classicism of the 18–19thcenturies including the estate of Rastorguev-Kharitonov; the house of the mining chief: the Mining Board; the Church of Alexander Nevsky, the Church of the of the Ascension and others; the Geological Museum which features a unique collection of minerals; the Fine Arts Museum which, along with a fine collection of paintings by Russian and foreign artists, displays Kasly castings; as also several museums dedicated to writers such as Mamin-Sibiriak and Bazhov.