Yekaterinburg, or Ekaterinburg, on the Iset River, is the historical and economic centre of the Urals which forms a natural border between Europe and Asia. Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 by Tsar Peter the Great and named after his wife, Catherine. The city witnessed the death of monarchy in Russia, as it was here that the last Russian Tsar Nicolas II, with his family were assassinated by the Bolsheviks on 16th July 1918 in Ipatiev's House.
The city is associated with another famous political figure, Boris Yeltsin, who was born in the village of Butka not far from Yekaterinburg. On the place where the Tsar and his family were killed, a wooden cross and a chapel were erected. This place has been recognised by the Russian Orthodox Church as sacred and the 'Cathedral-on-the- Blood' was constructed where the Ipatiev house once stood. Other sights in this attractive Russian city are some fascinating museums and the attractive Opera House. There are also plenty of excellent Russian restaurants and café-bars to keep you occupied at night.
Experiencing a Russian banya, a traditional Russian steam bath in ‘black style’. During your time in the steam room, your guide will explain the rituals of a Russian banya and why it is referred to as ‘black style’. Hitting yourself with dried birch leaves and branches is optional!