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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Ulan-Ude 1973: Home of the Soviet Union's (and the world's) largest Lenin bust

The Lenin Bust in the Square of the Soviets

Ulan-Ude is a city that lies in the Siberian Far East near Lake Baikal and the Mongolian border. Its name means "Red Uda" in the Buryat language referring to both the communism of the USSR and the river Uda that runs through the city.

This folder of 15 photographs of the city and region was published in 1973 and is notable for a number of reasons. The postcards were aimed entirely at Soviet citizens and tourists as Ulan-Ude was closed to any visitors who were not from the Soviet Union. We have also included a 1979 photo of a factory trade union indoor winter warming room and garden in the city.

At the time it had a population of slightly over 250,000. One thing the city was known for -- and still is as it is still there -- was its gigantic statue bust of Lenin's head, which is the largest of its type ever built. This was erected for the centenary of Lenin's birth in 1970 and sat in what was called the Square of the Soviets.

The snow-laden city hippodrome with horses is a great photo as are those of the train snaking along the Selenga River, the public stairs leading up to the House of Culture at the car repair plant, and the fascinating photo of the Orbita Station outside the city.

The Orbita Station was part of the world's first national satellite TV network that the Soviet Union launched in 1967. It allowed people living throughout the Soviet Far East to receive live television signals.

Monument to V.I. Lenin

Tourist Hotel

Komsomolskaya Square

Orbita Station

50th Anniversary of October Prospect

Opera and Ballet Theater

Victory Avenue

50th Anniversary of October Place

Communist Party Regional Committee

At the City Hippodrome

Monument to the Heroes of the Civil War

In the Vicinity of the City

Government Building of the Buryat ASSR

House of Culture at the Car Repair Plant

Selenga River

Trade union winter indoor garden at a woolen's factory, 1979

A place for workers to spend breaks away from the extreme cold.

Apparently this set of cards cost 53 kopecks


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