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Ulaanbaatar Understand

In the history of the Mongolian people, there have been several well-known cities built as capital cities such as Kharakhorum during the 13th century Great Mongolian Empire. But none of them survived as an active capital city until the 16th century. With the active introduction of Lamaism in Mongolia from the 16th century, permanent monastic establishments started to emerge when Tibetan Buddhism flourished. The most important of such settlements was the residency palace of Mongolia’s first spiritual leader named Zanabazar or Jebtsundamba Khutuktu in the year 1649. The year is now considered as the founding date of Mongolia’s modern capital city, Ulaanbaatar. [51] The city was first named Ikh Khuree, literally meaning “large circle” as the city was circular shaped. After changing locations in the central part of Mongolia over 20 times, it settled at its current location in the year of 1778.

Much of the modern architecture of Ulaanbaatar started to shape in the 20th century with the influence from Russian architecture. The modern day UB showcases a mix of Soviet architecture, ger settlements, Buddhist monasteries and 21st century high rises. Among Buddhist temples, most notables are the Among Buddhist temples, most notables are the museum.


Travelers who take the time to get to explore the city will discover a hospitable and warm-hearted people. The demographics of city are divided into two major parts. One part of the population lives in condominiums in the central part of the city while the majority of the population lives in what is called as ger districts. These districts, traditionally a home to many of the city’s blue and white collared workers, became lately a home to many migrating ex-nomads who in recent years have come to the city to find work after severe winters have killed their livestock.

Peace Avenue (Enkh Taivny Örgön Chölöö) is the main street and it stretches from east to west through the center. It's the main shopping street and many of the restaurants are found alongside it. The street also passes by the southern edge of the central square, Chinggis Square. Tourist Information Centers are located on the first floor of Ulaanbaatar Bank Small Ring#15 and at Seoul Street.


Although summer temperatures can be over 30°C, the city shivers in sub-zero temperatures for five months of the year, with January and February being the coldest months with temps hovering between -15°C to -40°C. The duration of heating season is 180 days. As a result of these prolonged periods of intense cold, the city has an average annual temperature of -1.3°C, giving it the dubious distinction of being the world's coldest capital. If you have breathing problems, be aware that Ulaanbaatar has high levels of Air Pollution [2]. Ulaanbaatar has a population just over a twentieth of Beijing; yet according to the World Health Organization, Ulaanbaatar is considered the second most polluted city in the world in 2013 - behind Ahvaz, Iran. But the countryside air, away from the cities, is gorgeous. The majority of the pollution comes from coal burning as 92% of households use stove for heating and cooking. 

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