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Ulyanovsk, one of oldest cities in the Volga region, picturesquely lies on banks of the Great Russian River Volga and Sviyaga River.

Ulyanovsk is a city of unique landscapes: hilly coast of Volga, beautiful views and fresh air. Nature itself creates magnificent conditions for rest at any time of year. Yachting, fishing, cooking fish soup and appetizing barbecue is what makes the region so attractive for tourists.

Founded as Simbirsk in the 17th century, Ulyanovsk is a famous tourist stop as the birthplace and boyhood home of Lenin (born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), the first Soviet leader. If you are interested in Russian history and everything connected with the Socialist Revolution, Ulyanovsk museums will provide you with all the necessary information.

The city boasts not only its historical past, but also the ancient traditions and customs of the peoples inhabiting the area (such as Mordovian, Chuvash, etc.).

The city is an important river port; its most developed industries are mechanical engineering and metal-working.

The population of the city is about 623 thousand people, whereas the population of the Ulyanovsk Region counts around 1.3 million.


According to archeological research results, people inhabited the territory of the Middle Volga Region more than 100 thousand years ago. Tools of stone and bone and other traces of settlements found at the estuary of the Cheremshan River on the Tungus Peninsula, as well as along the banks of Volga speak for the presence of people groups in Ulyanovsk Volga Region in the Paleolithic age.

In the 8th -9th century Ulyanovsk Volga Region joined the Early Volga Bulgaria as a union of nomadic Turkic and settled Ugro-Finnic tribes.

At the turn of the 14th century the devastating foray of the Middle-Asian militant ruler Teymur Lang (aka Tamerlane/Tamburlaine) entailed the desolation of the territory. From the 1430s the region belonged to Kazan Khanate.

The town of Simbirsk was founded in 1648 by the voivode Bogdan Khitrovo as one of the fortified points along the South-Eastern border of Russia. 22 years after its foundation the town had to withstand a vehement siege to protect the state, yet not from outside enemies, but from the Cossack brigands under the leadership of ataman Stenka Razin.

In the 18th century Simbirsk gradually started loosing its military function. In September 1918, after the town was released from the White Guard, it became an important rear base of the Soviet state.

Following the death of Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) the town was renamed into Ulyanovsk in 1924 (Lenin was born and lived in Simbirsk till the age of 17).

Out of the 22 churches Simbirsk once had, only three have come to us. As for the Governors House, a pearl of the Simbirsk Venets (Crown), built in the late 18th and visited by tsars and the poet Alexander Pushkin, it was demolished in Soviet times by order of the first secretary of regional committee only because it overshadowed the memorial of Lenin.

The 1950-60s saw the establishment of numerous industrial enterprises in the city, building of a highway bridge through Volga and an airport in Ulyanovsk.

Writer Nikolay Karamzin, poets Dmitry Sadovnikov and Dmitry Minaev used to live and work in the city. Denis Davydov and Nilay Ogaryov lived in the vicinity of Simbirsk. The city is also the birthplace of the prominent modern artist Arkady Plastov, who spent here many years. One of the first theatres in Russia and one of the first libraries in the Volga Region were opened in Simbirsk.

Points of Interest:

The major architectural sights of the city are the Noblemen Assembly (1838-47), the Yazykovs House (early 19th c.), Military Gymnasium (1877), Public Assembly (1910), Peasant Land Bank (1911), etc.

Museums: Town-planning and architecture of Simbirsk-Ulyanovsk (2001), Museum of Urbanism, I. A. Goncharov Museum of Regional Studies (1895), the Historical and Architectural complex Simbirsk Borderline, Memorial Museum of V. I. Lenin (1941), and the State Historical and Memorial Reserve Homeland of V.I. Lenin.

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