The town of Miass is situated 96 km from the city Chelyabinsk) on the eastern slope of the southern Urals, at the foot of the “Ilmenskie” mountains (named after the lake Ilmen), on the bank of the river Miass. The river is the right tributary of the river Iset - part of the river Irtysh basin. The Miass (length - about 658 km and a depth of up to 3 metres) flows from the eastern slope of the Urals. The Argazinskoe (named after the settlement Argazi) and Shershnevskoe (named after the settlement Shershni near the city Chelyabinsk) reservoirs were built on the river.
The climate in this area is continental with long cold winters and short warm summers. The average temperatures being: -15 C in winter and +18 C in summer.
Near Miass is one of the most picturesque and transparent lakes in the Urals – Lake Turgoyak. Its waters are similar to those of Lake Baikal – very clean and potable. Lake Turgoyak is recorded on the list of the most valuable lakes in the world. It has a tectonic origin and is located in an intermountain valley, bounded by the ridges “Ural-tau” in the west and “Ilmenskii” in the east. It covers an area of 26.4 sq. km - has a length of 6.9 km, width 6.3 km and the length of its coastal line is 27 km. In the centre of the lake the depth reaches 32.5 metres.
Near Miass, the Ilmenskii Mineralogical Reserve is situated.
Miass was founded in 1773 in connection with the building of the cooper-smelting factory near the copper ore deposits, which were discovered in 1754. In 1797 on the river Tushkuturganka (the left tributary of the river Big Iremel) the first gold deposit (at present - Lenin’s mine) was discovered. During the first twenty years of the 19th century in the valley of the river Miass was discovered the richest gold deposit in the Urals, where the 36.2kg nugget (one of the largest in the world), known as the “Big Triangle”, was found. Average annual extraction of gold from the Miass region was about 640kg. Towards the middle of the 19th century in Miass, an upsurge in craft and trade began, however, by the end of 19th, as a result of the construction of the railway - Zlatoust-Chelyabinsk and Chelyabinsk-Ekaterinburg and a reduction of gold mining, the development of the Miass slowed down. Miass received “town status” in 1926. The development of the town received a boost in 1941, with the construction of an automobile factory utilizing the equipment transferred from Moscow, at the beginning of the Second World War. Nowadays the Ural automobile factory “URALAS” is one of the largest enterprises in the Ural region.
In the old part of the town you can see a typical urban lay out from the end of the18th century. In the town, wooden houses with balconies, jambs and lintels of the 19th and early 20th centuries prevail. The lake with its dam, divides the town into “factory” and “beyond the lake” sections. You can see the owner (Simonov) of the gold mines former private residence in the “factory” section (from the second half of the 19th century), erected from an eclectic style and a church, erected in pseudo-Russian style in 1889. On the left bank towers another church, erected between the years 1855 -1860.