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Ulan-Ude, Russia

Ulan-Ude is the enchanting capital of the the Republic of Buryatia. Standing on the confluence of Uda and Selenga Rivers, the unique city is located on the crossroads of Russia, China and Mongolia. The city grew as a large trade center and was an important point on the Silk Road route.

Today Ulan-Ude still preserves its status as a major transportation hub connecting the three countries as well as Russia's east and west. Yet the city wasn't open to foreigners before 1991. Ulan-Ude has many important cultural landmarks, the main attractions are the breathtaking richly decorated mansions of merchants located in the historic town. The 42-ton statue of Vladimir Lenin's head (the biggest one in the world) on Ulan-Ude's main square has also become a favored tourist attraction. The King Gates arch which has become the unofficial symbol of the city is also an important sight.

Ulan-Ude encompasses many unique churches and datsans as well. Thus visiting the Khambyn Khure, Zungun Darzhaling, Odigitria Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Church is a must when being in town. Among the city's best museums is the open-air Ethnographic Museum of the peoples of Transbaikal, displaying historical finds and a one-of-a-kind collection of traditional Siberian architectural wooden monuments.

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Ulan-Ude, Russia

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Ulan-Ude, Russia

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