Yekaterinburg is Russia’s fourth largest city by population and is considered the capital of the Urals. It was named after Empress Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great (and not Catherine the Great). Due to this imperial link, it was renamed Sverdlovsk after Bolshevik Yakov Sverdlov during the Soviet period, and the name of the region surrounding the city is still called the Sverdlovsk Region. The city has an infamous link with the last imperial family of Russia as it was here that Emperor Nicholas II and his family were executed. A cathedral has been built on the site of the shootings and a monastery has been established outside of the city at the site where the bodies were first disposed of. This large and vibrant city is definitely worth stopping at if travelling on the Trans-Siberian.