Ekaterinburg's claim to fame is a bloody one - this is where Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children were executed in 1918, in the basement of a house belonging to the engineer Ipatiev. The house was turned into the Museum of the Workers Revenge following the assassination, but demolished on the orders of former Communist Part boss Boris Yeltsin.
The site is now home to the impressive The Church on the Blood, a memorial to the Tsar's family and Russia's saints, and something of a pilgrimage destination. There's much more to the city than its bloody history though - it's the cultural and economic capital of the Urals, and a good base for adventure holidays and winter sports in the surrounding wilderness.
This is a city surrounded by forests and lakes, a charming contrast to its striking mix of old wooden houses and modernist high rises and church domes and busy convivial cafes. There are museums galore too, some dedicated to the considerable mineral wealth of the region, and by contrast, numerous theatres dedicated to the considerable cultural riches of the city, from opera to ballet.