Historic Ulaanbaatar

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The storied and complex history of the Mongolian capital city, Ulaanbaatar, dates back to its founding in 1639. The first capital of the country was called Urgoo, was initially located at the temple complex Da Khuree some 420 kilometres from present-day Ulaanbaatar and was built to house the new religious leader of the Mongolian people. From 1639 to 1778, Urgoo was relocated roughly 25 times, following the nomadic traditions of the people, often between locations on the Selenge, Orkhon and Tuul rivers. During this period of expansion and develop-ment the capital moved from place to place until finally settling on its present location in the Selbe river valley in 1778. This marked the begin-ning of a period of urbanization, and by 1855 the residents of the city now known as Ikh Khuree had built many temples, monasteries and other es-sential buildings, combining the Mongolian ger-style of architecture with those of contemporary Chinese and Tibetan design. In 1924 Ikh Khuree was renamed Ulaanbaatar, and legally declared the capital of the newly formed Mongolian People’s Republic.

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