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Yekaterinburg is the first major stop in Asian Russia on the Trans-Siberian and the gateway to the Ural Mountains. Just 32km out of town you can stand with one foot in each continent at the Europe-Asia border marker. Yekaterinburg is known as City of the Romanovs as it is synonymous with the murder of the Romanov family in July 1918. During a visit to this city you can visit the Byzantine-style Church on Blood which reveres the Romanovs and is close to the partially demolished house where they were executed. Out of the city, you’ll find the beautiful Monastery of Martyrs – Gamina Yama, where a cross marks the spot the Romanovs bodies were discarded. Yekaterinburg is also a great place to get away for an active break with the Ural Mountains right on its doorstep - in winter there is dog sledding or ice fishing and in summer hiking through the lush taiga forests is an absolute must.