Ekaterinburg    

Ekaterinburg is the fourth-largest city in Russia, located in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia. Yekaterinburg was founded in 1723 and named after Tsar Peter the Great's wife, Catherine I (Yekaterina).

Famous for its theaters, Yekaterinburg is home to some very popular theatre companies: the Yekaterinburg Academic Ballet and Opera Company, the Sverdlovsk Academic Theater of Musical Comedy, the Yekaterinburg Academic Dramatic Theater etc. Yekaterinburg is the center of New Drama, a movement of contemporary Russian playwrights.

Yekaterinburg is often called the capital of contemporary dance for a number of famous dance companies residing in the city. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra (currently conducted by Dmitry Liss), founded by Mark Paverman and located in Yekaterinburg, is also very popular in Russia and in Europe, as well as the Ural Academic Popular Chorus, a famous folk-singing and dance ensemble.

There are over thirty museums in Yekaterinburg, including several museums of Ural minerals and jewelry, art galleries, one of the largest collections anywhere of Kasli mouldings (a traditional kind of cast-iron sculpture in the Urals), and the famous Shigirskaya Kladovaya, which includes the oldest wood sculpture in the world: the Shigir Idol, found near Nevyansk and estimated to have been made about 9,500 years ago. Only here can you see a collection of Nevyansk icons, in the Nevyansk Icon Museum, with more than 300 icons representing the 18th through the 20th centuries on display.

There are also a number of unusual monuments, for example, a popular landmark Keyboard monument and a monument to Michael Jackson.