General City Information

Ulan-Ude is the capital of the Republic of Buryatiya. It is situated 5532 km away from Moscow and 75 km to the south-east of Lake Baikal. The population of Ulan-Ude is 353 000 and the whole population of Buryatiya is close to one million. In 1666 Cossacks built a settlement at the Uda River. It was called Udinskoye. Due to its favorable economical location at the trade routes to Mongolia and China the settlement developed very fast. It received its town charter in 1690. In the 1730s the town was renamed as Verchneudinsk. After a terrible fire in 1878 the town was totally rebuilt. In July 1934 its name has been changed again, this time to Ulan-Ude (Red Uda).

Buryatiya is the center of the Russian Buddhism. Not far away from Ulan-Ude, next to the village Ivolga, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Russia—Dazan. Ulan-Ude has an ethnographical museum with expositions dedicated to the history of the three ethnicities living in this region: Evenks (the natives of this republic), Buryats (Mongolian tribe that traditionally follows Tibetan Buddhism), and Russians.

Ulan-Ude still has many buildings of VIII and XIX centuries, such as Gostiny Dvor, Odigitrievsky Cathedral, old merchants’ stalls and dwelling houses. The town also boasts a huge statue of Lenin. People say that this statue is in Ulan-Ude because no other town of Russia wanted it.

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