Following the Trans-Siberian railway, you come across Yekaterinburg, the fourth biggest Russian city, situated in the central side of of the country and East of the Ural mountains. As you already got used with the densely populated Russian urban areas, this one is no exception, counting almost one and a half million dwellers. Concerning the weather, short summers are are characteristic of the climate here. Given the presence of the mountain range, the weather is always subject to change. One day may not look like the other, and the same goes for consecutive years.
For the recent years, the city has been renowned due to a tragic event that had taken place here, namely the execution of Tsar Nikolai II and his family – Russia's beloved Romanovs. They final moments were lived here, and remains were finally found after almost a century of searching. However, going beyond this dark chapter, there is a world of positive development in Yekaterinburg, which is the center of one of the most advanced regions. If city life is not enough for the stay, one may indulge in mountain climbing or swimming in the many lakes, ponds and rivers around, in a peaceful and refreshing natural environment.
Not as wild and open to the West as the big Europe-bordering cities, Yekaterinburg gives off a feeling of a place more oriented towards tradition and nature. Not that there would be anything unpleasant about this. Nevertheless, a visit here will not be a trip revealing only churches, museums and theaters, but bars and clubs as well, grouped around the center, where you can meet and befriend the wonderful locals. The Historical Public Garden is yet another place of interest. Sverdlova Street shows valued examples of architecture and has gone through recent reconstruction, becoming a route of picturesque sights. In contrast with these stand the urban landscapes of the soviet times, with their typical constructivist buildings.
The artistic life is well developed in Yekaterinburg. Theater plays and ballet shows are constant chances of quality entertainment. Contemporary styles are also welcome and featured here, with the help of young talented artists. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra is also located here. For more of art and culture, there are over 30 museums to be visited. Perhaps the most important in this domain is the Shigir Collection, including the treasure Shigil Idol, the 9,500-year old wooden sculpture, appreciated to be the oldest on the globe.
Among the landmarks to be counted are the Central Post Office, the Sverdlovsk Theater of Musical Comedy, The Dam, Governor's residence and the House of Trade Unions. The major traffic arteries will lead you out to the vast forests surrounding the urban area, and on to the mountains, where you may try your favorite winter sports. The city can be the perfect base for your winter activities in the wilderness of the Ural mountains.