Ulan Bator

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Ulan Bator:

see UlaanbaatarUlaanbaatar
or Ulan Bator
[Mongolian,=red hero], Chinese Kulun, city (2010 est. pop. 1,500,000), capital of the Republic of Mongolia, E central Mongolia, on the Tola River.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Mongolia

Ulan Bator


the capital of the Mongolian People’s Republic and the country’s main political, economic, and cultural center.

Ulan Bator is situated in the valley of the Tola River (Selenga River basin), at the confluence of the Seiba River with the Tola, at elevations of 1,300-1,350 m. It is surrounded by mountains, the highest of which is Bogdo-Ula, a preserve of the Mongolian People’s Republic. The climate is sharply continental. The average January temperature is -27°C, and the average July temperature, 18°C. The annual precipitation is about 250 mm, with the maximum falling in the summer. There are spring freshets, and to protect the city, dikes have been built along the Tola River.

Administratively, Ulan Bator is divided into four districts. Also under the capital’s jurisdiction are the satellite city of Nalai-kha, with the rights of a district, and a number of residential suburbs, including Songino. The city covers an area of 7,300 sq km. Its population at the beginning of 1975 was 325,000, or one-half of Mongolia’s total urban population.

Administration. Ulan Bator is governed by the city khural of people’s deputies, who are elected by the population for three-year terms (one deputy per 600 voters). Between the sessions of the khural, held twice a year, the city is governed by an executive committee. The khural organizes various permanent commissions, such as the commissions on light and heavy industry, trade, and the food-service industry. The executive committee forms the planning commission, the bureau of statistics and labor, and various branch departments and directorates, such as the military, financial, organizational and instructional, cultural, public education, and economics departments and the public health, militia, and city architect directorates.

History. Ulan Bator was founded in 1639 as the migratory residence of the spiritual leader of the lamas in Mongolia under the name Orgoo (Mongolian, “headquarters”), from which Urga is derived, the name of the city used by Europeans until 1924. From 1706 it was called Ikh Khure (“Great Monastery”), and from 1911, Niislel Khure (“Capital Monastery”). Situated on the Russian-Chinese trade route, Ikh Khure soon became an important trade center. In 1778 the city became the permanent residence of the Lamaist spiritual leader. From the second half of the 18th century, Ikh Khure was the residence of the Manchu vicegerent and the administrative center of Outer Mongolia. A Russian consulate was established here in 1860. From 1911 to 1915, Niislel Khure was the capital of the Mongolian feudal-theocratic state, and from 1915, the main city of autonomous Outer Mongolia.

In 1919, D. Sukhe-Bator, Kh. Choibalsan, and others organized the first revolutionary circle in Niislel Khure, which served as the basis for the founding in 1921 of the Mongolian People’s Party (since 1925, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party). In November 1919 the city was occupied by the Chinese troops of Hsü Shu-cheng, as a result of which Mongolia lost its autonomy. In February 1921 it was occupied by the White Guards of Baron R. F. Ungern von Sternberg. On July 6, 1921, the city was liberated by the Mongolian People’s Army, with the assistance of several units of the Red Army. As a result of the triumph of the Mongolian People’s Revolution of 1921, a people’s government of Mongolia was formed in Niislel Khure. In November 1924, Niislel Khure was renamed Ulan Bator and made the capital of the Mongolian People’s Republic.


Economy. Under the people’s government, Ulan Bator has become an important industrial center, accounting for nearly one-half of Mongolia’s gross industrial output. A number of industrial enterprises were constructed with the assistance of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). Enterprises of almost all branches of industry are concentrated in the capital, especially those of light industry. Foremost is the Ulan Bator Industrial Combine, which includes factories for the production of footwear and leather clothing accessories, a wool-washing enterprise, and enterprises for the production of sheepskins, worsted textiles, and felt. There is also a carpet factory. Other important branches are the food industry, represented by a meat-packing plant, a bread-baking plant, a distillery and brewery, and a flour mill; the building-materials industry, represented by a housebuilding combine and brick, concrete, and cement factories; the woodworking industry, represented by furniture factories; and the metalworking industry, which includes a plant for the repair of motor vehicles. Electric power is supplied by three heat and power plants, which operate using coal from Nalaikha.

Ulan Bator is Mongolia’s principal transportation junction. The main railroad line is the Moscow-Ulan Bator-Peking line. The city is linked with other cities of Mongolia by highways. Ulan Bator is the country’s leading center for foreign trade, receiving more than 70 percent of all imports, and the primary trade distribution center. The city has an international airport.


Architecture and city planning. Intensive construction has been under way in Ulan Bator since the 1940’s. The city has been transformed from a small town with Buddhist monasteries and small trade and residential districts, chaotically built up with clay houses and felt yurts (conical dwellings), into a comfortable and landscaped modern city with a regular layout. The city’s layout, which had evolved over the centuries, radically altered between 1954 and 1974; the web of streets and squares was untangled, and the residential and industrial districts and recreation areas were clearly delineated. In 1975 a new long-range plan (to the year 2000) was drawn up, which, among other things, limited industrial construction to ensure a stable level for the city’s population.

Numerous public building complexes were constructed with the assistance of Soviet architects, including the Government House (1950’s and 1960’s; architects Chimid, N. M. Shchepitil’ni-kov, V. N. Pavlov), the tomb of D. Sukhe-Bator and Kh. Choibalsan (1950’s; architects B. S. Mezentsev, Chimid, and others), and several residential districts. Among the architectural monuments in and around Ulan Bator are the Gandan Monastery (18th and 19th centuries), with the largest Buddhist temple in Mongolia (Megdzhit-Dzhanraiseg; 1911-13), the Choidzhin Lamasery (1904-08; now the Museum of Religious History of the Academy of Sciences of the Mongolian People’s Republic), and the Nogon-Orgo palace ensemble (1832; former winter residence of the bogdo-gegen, now a museum).

Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. Among the educational institutions in Ulan Bator are the Mongolian State University, a polytechnic institute, pedagogical, medical, agricultural, and physical culture institutes, the D. Sukhe-Bator Higher Party School, and a number of specialized secondary schools. The Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Party History of the Central Committee of the Mongolian People’s Republic are also in Ulan Bator. Attached to the Academy of Sciences are the scientific research institutes of animal husbandry and veterinary sciences, plants and crops, fodder and pasture, light and food industry, transportation, medicine, geology and mining, water supply, and construction. The State Public Library is located in Ulan Bator.

Museums include the State Central Museum (history, natural history, archaeology, and art), the V. I. Lenin Museum, the Central Museum of the Revolution, the Ulan Bator Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, and the D. Natsagdorzh Museum.

Cultural institutions include the State Opera and Ballet Theater, the D. Natsagdorzh State Drama Theater, the Central Children’s Theater, the Puppet Theater, the Mongolian State Circus, the Music and Choreographic School, the State Philharmonic Society, and the Mongolkino Film Studio.


Maidar, D. Arkhitektura i gradostroitel’stvo Mongolii: Ocherki poistorii. [Moscow, 1971.]

Ulan Bator

the capital of Mongolia, in the N central part: developed in the mid-17th century around the Da Khure monastery, residence until 1924 of successive "living Buddhas" (third in rank of Buddhist-Lamaist leaders), and main junction of caravan routes across Mongolia; university (1942); industrial and commercial centre. Pop.: 842 000 (2005 est.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Gankhgiin Prevbat, the founder of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulan Bator Buddhist University, told the Siberian Times, a news website: "The lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolises of the preaching Sutra.
From May 26-27, Ulan Bator hosted the 6th meeting of the Kazakh - Mongolian Intergovernmental Commission on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation.
Although his association has no clubs or teams, no ground, runs on donated gear and is scouting for a suitable and affordable block of land in capital Ulan Bator, however, Gombo is undaunted and takes hope from his friend, psychologist and park cricketer Doug Scott, who said that Mongolia is all cricket ground because of its steppes.
Since then, Ulan Bator has been considered by the US a new resource-rich democratic ally, as shown by the visit to the country last year by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I will do my best and work hard," Sugiyama told reporters in Ulan Bator before the talks.
The bridge, which spans railway tracks that separated the two areas, was constructed as part of Japan's official development assistance to Mongolia, and is expected to contribute to improving efficiency of the transportation system in Ulan Bator, the Japanese steelmaker said.
But after more than 10,000 miles, 16 countries, and one third of the planet, we arrived at the finish line in Ulan Bator just in time for last orders.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China had made "stern representations" to the government in Ulan Bator about the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
While activity in the extractive industries is creating a spike in government revenue, extreme winters are killing livestock and driving nomadic peoples into the slums of Ulan Bator.
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France; National Library of Mongolia, Ulan Bator, Mongolia and Institute of Buddhist, Tibetan and Mongolian Studies, Russian Academy of Social Science, Siberian Branch, Ulan Ude, Buryatia, Russian Federation.
Landing at Ulan Bator in a worn out Soviet plane piloted by a suicidal pilot who dropped it on the ice-covered runway on the third try, stopping sideways, with the wing on my side overhanging the end of the runway was a good start.
The Mongolian Stock Index in Ulan Bator rose 85 per cent in the first six months, drawing on the new dynamics in the country's mining sector.