The capital of the Republic of Buryatia - the city of Ulan-Ude
It is so distinctive and filled with numerous cultural and historical monuments that visiting it once and having absorbed all its color, one begins to perceive the traditions and customs of Asian culture in a completely different way. The proximity to China and Mongolia instilled in the local culture a very special and incomparable color.
Ulan-Ude was founded in the 17th century by Russian Cossacks. Initially, the city was named Verkhneudinsk, as the opposite of another city located in the Irkutsk region (Nizhneudinsk).
The architectural appearance of modern Ulan-Ude evolved for over three hundred years. Like many Siberian cities with pre-revolutionary history, it arose as a Cossack prison (1666) to control the new territories of the Russian Empire. Subsequently, the city became a regional center of trade, and in the Soviet years, it underwent mass industrialization and urbanization. The changes that took place directly affected the architecture of Ulan-Ude, which gradually turned from a county town into the capital of a sovereign republic.
A special period in the history of the architecture of Ulan-Ude is the Soviet one. It was at this time that the city expanded its borders many times, and rushed up. Today, the historical zone of pre-revolutionary Ulan-Ude occupies a relatively small place on the city map. Everything else - new community centers, arrays of residential areas, industrial zones, urban dachas - all this is a product of Soviet development.
Two architectural ensembles stand out among them: the ensemble of Soviets Square with an amazing monument - the head of Lenin and the ensemble Square of Glory with the Palace of Culture of the Locomotive Car Repair Plant.
In the field of cultural construction, one should single out the magnificent buildings of two state theaters of the republic - the Opera and Ballet Theater and the Buryat Drama Theater. The facade and interior of the theaters were designed to reflect the traditions and characteristics of the Buryat culture.
In the post-Soviet period, few have changed in the architectural appearance of Ulan-Ude. The city expanded mainly due to the low-rise construction of suburban and suburban micro districts.
Mergen Sculptural composition
One of the significant directions in changing the face of Ulan-Ude was the work on the implementation of national - Buryat motifs in architecture and sculpture. The ideas that worried city architects since Soviet times, for financial and ideological reasons, have not been embodied for a long time. Their implementation began with the installation of Mergen sculpture. It was placed in the local center of the Oktyabrsky district of the city - next to the district administration.
In 2002, the sculpture “Hospitable Buryatia” appeared in the central part of the city. It was originally installed behind the Buryat State Opera and Ballet Theater on the steep edge of a hill. The sculpture is a Buryat woman holding a traditional Buryat hadak in her hands, a symbol of national hospitality, which is presented to honored guests. The location of the sculpture was immediately considered unsuccessful, due to active criticism in 2008 it was transferred to the Selenginsky bridge. Now, this tallest monument in Ulan-Ude greets city guests moving to the center from the airport. This new role made her, as local tour operators note, a Buryat version of the New York Statue of Liberty. It is also called Mother of Buryatia - the main symbol of the post-Soviet Ulan-Ude.
Geser Sculptural Composition
The sculptural composition of Geser is another significant object - the hero of the Buryat national epic was presented to the people on June 29, 2006. It is located on a hill near the Udinsky Bridge on Batareynaya Gora near the place where the city was founded.
Bogatyr (Hero Warrior) Bridge
Finally, it is worth noting the Bogatyr Bridge, built in 2005 in the 20th block of Ulan-Ude and combining two urban areas - Oktyabrsky and Zheleznodorozhny. Thanks to the sculptures of the heroes, placed at both ends, the bridge got its name - “Bogatyrsky”. The figures of the Bators (heroes) reflected the connection between the Buryat history and the great Central Asian history of the Genghis Khan era.
It is important to note that since the beginning of the 2000s. Ulan-Ude is actively landscaping: new roads, road junctions, sidewalks, fountains, squares, public buildings are being built, housing construction is developing at a steady pace. The city grows up and in breadth and gradually changes its former uniform appearance.