ulyanovsk – ульяновск

This city on the Volga River was founded in 1648 and originally named Simbirsk. Now the city is known as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin – the revolutionary who led the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia and headed the first Soviet government. Lenin was born in Simbirsk in 1870 and lived here until he was 17 years old. His family name was Ulyanov. In 1924 after Lenin’s death the town of Simbirsk was renamed Ulyanovsk. Everything related to Lenin and his family was carefully preserved and restored. In 1970 when the country (USSR) marked Lenin's 100th birthday a big memorial complex was built and decision was taken to restore the entire street where the Ulyanovs lived in 1878-87 to as close to the original design as possible.

The Lenin Memorial Center as it looked in 1970.

40+ years later.

The well preserved Lenin Street.

The brown house belonged to the Ulyanov family. Before buying it in 1878 they had rented housing.

As it looked in 1968.

The house where Lenin was born in 1870 stands in the yard of the Lenin Memorial.

One of the houses the Ulyanovs rented.

Ulyanovsk perhaps is the only place where you can find statues of baby Lenin, student Lenin and grown-up Lenin.

Student Lenin.

Grown-up Lenin.

An aerial view as of 1968.

Iliya Ulyanov Lenin's father was the education minister of the Simbirsk province. His bust stands next to the Pedagogical Institute.

The more elaborate monument stands in a small park not far from the Lenin house-museum.

Lenin's father died in 1886. His grave has been preserved.

The grave is next to the 2015 Ascension Church.

The wooden All Saints Church.

The Herman Resurrection Church used to house the Communist Party archive.

One more Resurrection Church stands in the city cemetery.

Ulyanovsk is located on both banks of the Volga River. The banks are spanned with two bridges. The Imperial Bridge commissioned in 1916 and the Presidential Bridge commissioned in 2009. The Imperial Bridge carries both an automotive roadway and a railroad track.

The Presidential Bridge.

A beautiful park and a promenade is laid on the high bank of the Volga River.

The 1918-22 Civil War Memorial.

As it looked in 1968.

Mikhail Gimov headed the Simbirsk executive committee in 1918-21 at the time of the Civil war and Russian revolution. A good friend and comrade in arms of my grandparents.

WWII memorial.

Karl Marx.

To founders of Simbirsk.

A Russian writer Ivan Goncharov.

The Ulyanovsk Oblast Administration.

The town hall.

Bank offices.

The art gallery and history museum.

An aerial view of 1968.

The Volga Hotel.

A movie theater.

The Agriculture Academy.

The Venets Hotel.

The roof café of the Venets Hotel offers a bird's eye view of the city.

The world famous German photographer Michael Runkel in Ulyanovsk.

The House of Soviets.

The Radisson Hotel.

The Polytechnic Institute.

In 1917 the Great October Socialist Revolution aka Russian Revolution led by Lenin was preceded by the February Bourgeois Revolution. One of the leaders of the February Revolution was Alexander Kerensky. Kerensky was at the head of the provisional government that was overthrown by Lenin in October 1917. It is interesting that Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Kerensky knew each other since their childhood. Lenin's father was what we can call today the education minister of the then Simbirsk province. Kerensky's father was the schoolmaster of the high school where young Lenin studied. In other words, Lenin's father was the boss of Alexander Kerensky's father. The families were friendly and visited each other. Vladimir being 11 years older than Alexander took care and played with him while adults were busy with their adult things.

The school where Lenin studied and the Kerensky family lived.

The memorial plate says that Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) studied here in 1880-87 and Alexander Kerensky was born here in 1881.

The library used by Lenin as a school student.

The new school built in 1970.

The school is decorated with a mosaic depicting happy childhood of Soviet kids.

This monument erected in 1844 commemorates Nikolay Karamzin the author of the 12-volume History of Russia published in 1818-26. It was the first serious work on Russian history. Tzar Alexander I appointed Karamzin the historiographer of all Russia. The figure on the pedestal is Clio the Muse of History. Karamzin's bust can be seen in a niche below.

Streetscapes of Ulyanovsk.

The Pedagogical Institute.

The maternity hospital.

The old railway station.

The 1913 Lutheran church.

ulyanovsk oblast – УЛЬЯНОВСКая область

dacha – дача

Ulyanovsk is happened to be my hometown. Therefore, my co-travelers have a chance to get an insight into a life of an ordinary Russian family. At first, we have a cup of tea in my apartment and then, after a walking tour around the city center and taking pictures of Lenin memorial places, we proceed to my dacha (a country house, a summer retreat) for a bar-be-cue and sauna.

Charles Veley the Most Traveled People founder visited my dacha twice.

Avid travelers Jack Goldstein of Colombia and John Burke of the USA are having breakfast at my dacha.

The dacha is on the Volga River so swimming in the river is a possibility provided the weather is favorable.

If the season is right, we can go berry or mushroom picking in the forest around the dacha or take a short trip to the nearest fields to contemplate mid-Russia landscapes.

Lonely church

What can be more photogenic than an old abandoned church? Only lonely old abandoned church. Built in 1890s abandoned in 1922. The village around the church ceased to exist in 1973. The place is 90 km from my flat. The church looks good at any time of the day and in any season.

more abandoned churches

Lovers of abandonment can visit the village of Pyatino (Пятино). The Trinity Church was commissioned here in 1832. Judging by the size of the church the village was big and prosperous. The church was closed in 1918. Somebody attempted to restore the church and in doing so spoilt its appearance by scaffolding and coloured plastic.

The village of Voronovka (Вороновка). The local сhurch was commissioned in 1817 and decommissioned in 1933.

wild peonies – дикие пионы

The wild peony is a rare flower, an endangered species. There is a small habitat about 220 km south of Ulyanovsk close to the town of Radishchevo (Радищево). Wild peonies bloom in second half of May for about 10 days.

sengiley – сенгилей

Sengiley is a small town located about 70 km south of Ulyanovsk. It is worth a visit if you are after a quiet provincial atmosphere.

The town hall.

A movie theatre.

The WWII memorial.

This monument commemorates Konstantin Pushkarev one of the first military pilots who was conferred on a title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. He died fighting the Japanese invasion in 1938 at Lake Khasan in the Far East.

Lenin in Sengiley is perfectly snow white.

A humble monument to Red Army soldiers who died fighting White Army soldiers in 1918.