ULAN-UDE, RUSSIA - JULY 15, 2016: The largest head monument of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin ever built located in Ulan-Ude. Ulan-Ude is the capital city of the Republic of Buryatia, Russia.

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Lenin Head


Ulan-Ude’s main square is entirely dominated by the world’s largest Lenin head that creates an ensemble with the grey constructivist government building behind it. The 7.7m-high bronze bonce was installed in 1970 to celebrate Lenin’s 100th birthday. Oddly, UU’s bird population never seems to streak Lenin’s bald scalp with their offerings – out of respect for the great man’s achievements, bark diehard communists (but perhaps due to the barely visible antibird spikes, groan the rest).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ulan-Ude attractions

1. Geological Museum

0.07 MILES

This museum displays rocks, crystals and ores from the shores of Lake Baikal as well as art (for sale) made using multihued grit, sand and pebbles.

2. Opera & Ballet Theatre

0.16 MILES

UU’s striking Stalinist-era theatre reopened after lengthy renovation in 2011 (the first performance was for a group of foreign tourists from the luxury…

3. Khangalov Museum of Buryat History

0.24 MILES

Housed in a badly ageing Soviet-era structure, the historical museum has rotating exhibitions dedicated to Buddhism, shamanism and traditional costumes…

4. Ulan-Ude City Museum

0.51 MILES

Occupying the merchant’s house where imperial heir Nicholas II stayed in 1891, this small but progressive museum has exhibits examining Verkhneudinsk’s…

5. Ulitsa Sobornaya

0.86 MILES

The pedestrianised street abutting Odigitria Cathedral preserves the spirit and the wooden lace architecture of the old downtown, populated by merchants…

6. Odigitria Cathedral

0.86 MILES

Built between 1741 and 1785, UU’s largest church was also the first stone structure to appear in the city. Used as a museum store from 1929 until the fall…

7. Rinpoche Bagsha Datsan

2.14 MILES

Roosting high above the city’s far north, the inside of this new and unexpectedly modern Tibetan temple looks like a kind of Buddhist-themed bus terminal,…

8. Ethnographic Museum


In a forest clearing 6km from central Ulan-Ude, this outdoor collection of local architecture plus some reconstructed burial mounds and the odd stone…