Ulyanovsk (formerly Simbirsk)

Ulyanovsk. Lenin was born there – the place was called Simbirsk in those days. “Ulyanov” is the original last name of Lenin, but the world would rather know the pseudonym. The city was a Soviet shrine for almost 70 years. During the Soviet Era nearly all the churches in the city were ruined to the ground or closed; the most notable churches and cathedrals were restored and rebuilt not so long ago. The Lenin Memorial Complex includes the house in which he was born and other buildings associated with his life. Modern Ulyanovsk is also а home to SUV-maker UAZ and aircraft producer Aviastar, however, it is one of a handful of cities that have managed to preserve the atmosphere of an old Russian province – although some say that Ulyanovsk is still a very Soviet city. Yet, according to statistics, every fifth car in Russia and every third aircraft in Russia is manufactured in Ulyanovsk. The city is a part of the tourist “Red Route” that covers several of the “Lenin’s sites” in Russia. The Civil Aviation History Museum is another distinctive site in Ulyanovsk – this complex is one of the largest aviation museums in Russia. Ulyanovsk was founded in the 17th century; today it is a fairly large city with a population of over 600 000 people.