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Regions of Russia: Buryatia


Region center of Buryatia is Ulan-Ude

The Republic of Buryatia is a subject of the Russian Federation and is included in Sibirski Federal okrug. The administrative, economic and cultural centre of the Republic is the city of Ulan-Ude.

The distance from Ulan-Ude to Moscow by railroad is 5519 km and to the Pacific ocean is 3500 km. The total area of the Republic of Buryatia is 351,3 thousand sq.km. Buryatia is located in the southern part of East Siberia to the south-east of Baikal lake. It boarders on Mongolia in the south, on the Republic of Tuva in the south-west, on the Irkutsk oblast in the north-west and on the Chita oblast in the east.

Buryatia takes up an advantageous geographical position. Two railway lines (Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur) connecting the central parts of the Community of Independent Sovereign countries (CIS) with the regions of Far East and with such countries of South-East Asia as China, Korea, Mongolia, Japan and others across the territory of Buryatia. By administrative division there exist 21 districts (regions), 6 towns, 29 urban-type settlements in the Republic.

Lake Baikal (2)Buryatia is located in mean lattitudes of the Northern hemisphere. In the pole of temperate-cold climate of Siberia and transitional zone between East Siberian taiga and vast Mongolian steppes. Natural conditions of Buryatia are sharply different from that of other regions of the country disposed within the same lattitudes. That is the result of the Republic's remoteness from seas and oceans and of the "cold breath" of the Arctic ocean.

The location of Buryatia almost in the center of Asian continent in great remoteness from the emollient influence of seas determine the peculiarities of its territory. Calm and bright weather with frosts up to 50 degrees Centigrade prevails in winter in the territory of the Republic. In summer the territory of Buryatia is thoroughly warmed and there takes place formation of zones of low pressure of 750-755 mm in July that is 5 mm lower than usually. At this time, air temperature arises up to 38-40 degrees Centigrade. The climate of Buryatia is sharply continental. Winter is the longest season of a year and in south parts of the Republic it is not snowy. Average duration of warm and unfrosty period is about 140-160 days. As for spring in Buryatia, it is mainly arid with frequent night-tine frosts. Autumn comes gradually, frosts begin to strike in the second part of October.

Climate of Buryatia is considered to be healthy owing to plenty of sunlight, air dryness and low cloudness. By sunny days Buryatia surpasses many southern parts of CIS countries not yielding in that to the south coasts of the Crimea. Unfortunately, it should be noted that the concentration of industrial units in Ulan-Ude, Gusinoozersk, also in Kabansky and Zaigraevsky districts and in some other places ifluenced on deterioration of ecological state of nature in Buryatia.

Prevalent form of the earth crust in Buryatia is represented with uplands. There are few plain sections in the republic but stretching small ones are high-located above sea-level (about 500-700 m). Being the lowest the level of Baikal is at the point of 455 m. Mountaneous relief of the republic is resulted in peculiarities of natural landscape and causes some difficulties in the development of national economy, especially in agriculture, and transport relations.

Mountaineous landscapeBuryatia is divided into 4 large areas due to features of the relief: the East Sayan, Baikal Mountain Region, Selenginsk Dauria and the Vitim plateau. By virtue of its mountaineous relief Buryatia is recognized to belong to the most active seismic zones of the planet. Slight and violent earthquakes take place in Buryatia rather frequently. The most well-known and strong one was the Sagan earthquake force 10 having taken place in 1862, January 11-12 in the south-east coast of Baikal. As the result of it there appeared a new reservoir  the Proval bay. It was a destructive earthquake: a part of delta section of the Selenga river with the area of 260 squared km and several settlements (uluses) disappeared under the waves of Baikal. And nowadays underearth fluctuations are fairly frequent but they do not predominate force 5-6. No more vigorous ruinous earthquakes were observed during the late 100 years.

Vegetational cover of the Baikal trough considerably raakes the unique beauty that the landscapes surrounding the lake Baikal are famed for. Flora of Buryatia is represented with a large number of relic and endemic species and vegetational communities. Western coast being the most dry and warm is occupied with pinery and larchy forests and steppes. At the eastern more humid shore prevail darkconiferous woods of Siberian cedar and Siberian abies with Siberian firs. In the highlands there predominates mountaneous stony tundra shrub-licheny and shrub-mossy  with cedar and hald mountain brushwoods.

Fragmentally there are found meadows of Alpine and subalpine types in high mountains of Khamar-Daban and Barguzin ridges. Steppe vegetation is observed in the trough only at the western coast  in Priolkhonje (Tazheran steppes) and on the Olkhon island. They are the so-called "island" steppes of Pribaikalje. Along the western coast down south hills some steppe sections reach the north extreme point of Baikal forming picturesque combinations with grassy larcheries at the gentle trains and terraces and with pineries at the steep stony slopes.

Buryatia takes up an advantageous geographical position. Two railway lines (Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur) connecting the central parts of the Community of Independent Sovereign countries (CIS) with the regions of Far East and with such countries of South-East Asia as China, Korea, Mongolia, Japan and others across the territory of Buryatia. By administrative division there exist 21 districts (regions), 6 towns, 29 urban-type settlements in the Republic.

Baikal neighbourhood

It is the fact, that mosaic of vegetation and landscapes in the Baikal trough make unique conditions for co-existence of different animal populations in small areas. This phenomenon is most distinctively displayed at the western shore of Baikal where all animal species inhabiting the Baikal region may be found. At present about 65 species of mammals, mare than 300 species of birds, 6 species of reptiles and 5 ones of amphibia are inhabiting the trough. The influence of the lake is traced not only in the animal distribution but it directly affects the vital processes of populations.





The capital of the Republic of Buryatia is situated on the right bank of the Slenga River, between  Khamar-Daban and Ulan-Burgasy crests, 75 km east of Lake Baikal. It is almost in the centre of Asia, in the valley where two beauty-rivers meet the Selenga and the Uda. The citizens call the city Sunny.

Though the city will be 339 years this year, its present name the city got only in 1934. Translating from Buryat it sounds like Red Uda. Ulan is a Buryat word, meaning red and Ude is the river name. The river name means in its turn streaming flow.

The city's history began in 1666, when Russian Cossack built in the Udas mouth an Udinskoe wintering place. Already in 14 years, in 1680, the watering place became a burg. And 10 years later, in 1690, the burg received a status of a city.

From that moment Udinsk was turned into an administrative centre of western Trans-Baikal. But it was that time, when a favorable region suffered numerous reforms. Since 1783 Udinsk was a district city. That time it was divided into two parts. The first part consisted of a wooden fortress with towers, powder magazine, and a guardhouse. The second one was formed from supply and economic shops, wine vaults, a market and public places. 

Advantage ground helped the city in becoming a large trading centre. Trade with China was carried on through the city. And in the very Verkhoudinsk tool place fairs took place at first once and then twice a year . By the end of the 19th century the fair of Verkhoudinsk had a two-million rubles turnover. The city grew bigger, better, the citizens became wealthier. No wonder, in 1790 the city was presented an emblem, a symbol of its trade role. A rod of Mercury and a horn of plenty are depicted on the emblem.

Industry developed rapidly. By that time there were built two tannages, one distillery, and several wax factories. Later were a brick factory and a casing factory. Sharp merchants, besides doing well in trading, cared also about their children future. There was opened a state public library in the city. There were also several educational institutions, including a state school for girls and then a Buryat girls school.

On the eve of the Revolution the population was 16000, there were 3130 houses, including 237 stony ones, and 16-18 industries with 282 employees and about 1000 people occupied in railway, 28 educational institutions, 3 hospitals, 2 public doctors, 2 dentists and 5 drugstores. There were two printing-houses, two cinema halls, one hotel, eight inns and 50 hostelries.

Bygone grandeour of the city is recognized already today. Gostiny Dvor is still in the centre of the city, preserved since 1803, when wooden trades were replaced with stony ones. Today this place is called the square of Revolution. Walking down the streets is very exciting. The city has been chess-planned, all blocks stretch west to east.

Currently the centre has been moved up the city, overbuilt with stony buildings, to the square of Soviets. A new main thoroughfare shows up clearly - The Victory prospectus. It runs semi-circle along the mount terrace of the Opera and Ballet Theatre.

The city is surrounded with meat cannery, glass factory, and fancy woolen factory. As of July 2003, there are 235 monuments in Ulan-Ude under state protection. There 12 federal objects. The archeological monument is located within the city near the Divizionnaya station. This is a unique Neolithic dwelling site. Odigitrievsky church is the first stony building, erected in the style of north-eastern wooden art in the 17th-18th century, is held in honour. Its building began in 1740 and was prolonged for 40 years. This masterpiece of architecture always attracts tourists attention.

There are several theatres in the city: the opera and ballet theatre, K. Namsaraev drama theatre, A.F.  Bestuzhev drama theatre, fantoccini. Regional museums are another point of interest. Despite developed industry, there are a lot of health-improving resorts. Hotels, resorts, delicious national dish create special adventure-mood for visiting fairy-beautiful Buryatia that welcomes everyone to look into and understand its pure nature and inimitative culture.



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