|Ekaterinburg will host the EuroLeague Women Final Eight for the second consecutive year|
Ekaterinburg is situated in the central part of the Eurasian continent, at the border between Europe and Asia. The city is located on the eastern slopes of the Ural mountains. With a population of approximately 1.3 million people, Ekaterinburg currently ranks as the fourth largest city in Russia.
The city is the administrative centre of the Sverdlovsk region - a region of Russia renowned for its richness in minerals such as iron ore, gold, bauxite, nickel, platinum and chrome.
Founded as a factory town on the Iset River in 1723, the city was given its name in honour of Tsar Peter the Great's wife, Catherine I - Ekaterina, in Russian.
Throughout the centuries, the city has remained close to its roots, continuing to exist as an industrial centre whilst also developing as an important mining centre.
Ekaterinburg played a role in one of the darker moments of Russian history, with the life of Tsar Nicholas II, Russia's final Tsar, and the lives of his family, coming to an end in the city in 1918 when they were assassinated during a period of great civil unrest in Russia.
The house in which they were assassinated was destroyed in 1977 but there in its place now stands Ekaterinburg's biggest church, the world-famous Church of All Saints, also known as Church on the Blood, or Cathedral on the Blood - so named because of the royal blood that was spilt under its foundations. Despite being an industry-based city, Ekaterinburg is a cultural hub of Russia and is home to over 30 museums, which are further complimented by a number of theatres whose stages are graced by both professional and amateur companies.
Asides from the museums, simply wandering the city streets offers a glimpse into the past with the city streets adorned by grandiose buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Alongside the cultural institutions, the city also offers a wide range of scientific research and design institutes, including the Russian Academy of Science Ural Department and the Ural Federal University.
Given its financial and cultural importance, Ekaterinburg also has a significant foreign presence with a number of foreign countries represented by consulates and honorary consuls in the city.
Asides from women's basketball, ice hockey is a major draw card to the region, with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, who play in Russia's leading ice-hockey league, the Kontinental Hockey League,
based in the city.