Ulan-Ude is a capital of the Buryatia Republic - one of the regions of the Russian Federation.
The city was founded in 1666 as a Cossack garrison on the Selenga and Uda rivers. It was a trading post on the tea-caravan route between Irkutsk and China. People living there also collected taxes from the local tribes.
In 1690 it became an administrative centre of quite a huge region. Called Verkhneudinsk, in 1775 it became a provincial city of Irkutsk region. Favourable position led to the development of the town as a big trade centre. In 1899 the Trans-Siberian Railway went through the town.
By the early 1900s the town grew to 10,000 people, and by 1930s this number has risen tenfold with the onset of Soviet industrialization.
In 1923 the town became the capital of the Buryat-Mongol region of the USSR and in 1958 — the capital of the Buryat region. In 1934, as part of the Soviet recognition of the national minorities, Verkhneudinsk got it’s present name Ulan-Ude, which is Buryat for ‘Red Uda”. The Uda River is a local tributary. Because of the Soviet installations on the Mongolian border, the city was closed until 1987 and could only be visited with a special permission.
The city is the centre of a national and cultural development, scientific centre and centre of Tibetan medicine. There is a Buryat scientific centre of Russian Academy of Science with 4 Institutes. The works of Buryat scientists in the fields of Tibetan medicine, history, geology and ecology are well known not only in Russia, but out of the country’s borders as well.
There are 4 professional theatres in Ulan-Ude. Local craftsmen produce wooden souvenirs, tapestry and amazing national clothes.
The classically styled building along Kuybysheva street was once a Merchants Yard. It is worth seeing.
Historical Museum exhibits things of the Soviet times. It was built as an anti-religious museum.
The city axis is Lenin street and the central square is Ploshad Sovietov south of the train station.
The main post office is on Sukhe-Batora street. There is also telephone office offering fax and telegraph services as well is located at the north-western corner of Ploshad Sovietov. You may also use Internet at the Hotel Geser business centre.