City

If you have ever visited Ulyanovsk you will never forget its picturesque view of the Volga River, narrow streets in the city-centre and houses built in the 19th century. The territory covers 123 sq.miles, its population is 600 000 people representing over 100 nationalities.

Ulyanovsk is also famous for many talented people born here: writer Ivan Goncharov, historian Nikolay Karamzin, artist Arkady Plastov, politician Vladimir Lenin.

If you wish, you can walk from the centre of the city to its outskirts on foot. The only thing that may prevent you from doing it is windy weather. In Ulyanovsk it is often windy and that’s why some people call it “The Seven-Winds City”. But it also has its advantages – the air in the city is always clean even though its industry is at a rather high level.

The nature of the Ulyanovsk is really unique – forests, steppes, plains and hills coexist here. Ulyanovsk is a city where two rivers – the Volga and the Sviyaga – form a very special zone. The point is that the Sviyaga river is a tributary of the Volga river but it flows in the opposite direction.

The Ulyanovsk region is a part of the Volga Federal District and measuring Russia it is situated not far from the capital of Russia. Ulyanovsk and Moscow are over 867.2 km (468 mi) apart and if you take a train it’ll take you about 15 hours to reach Moscow.

The widest part of the Volga river, which is about 40 km (22 mi), is located in the Ulyanovsk region. Two bridges over the Volga river were built here. One of them called “Presidentsky” is considered to be the longest bridge in Russia.

The population of Ulyanovsk is over 600 thousand people representing over 100 different nationalities: Russian, Tatar, Chuvash and many others.

The history of Ulyanovsk began in the middle of the 17th century. In 1648, according to tsar Alexey Romanov’s decree, boyar Bogdan Khitrovo founded a fortress at the top of the Volga slope to defend the Tsardom of Russia from nomads and called the fortress Simbirsk.

In 1670 Don Cossack Stepan Razin initiated a major uprising in the Volga Region and with his troops tried to besiege Simbirsk. But the siege did not meet with success. Razin was wounded in a battle and after that his comrades took him in a boat away from Simbirsk. In 1672 Simbirsk got its first emblem for defending the fortress from Stepan Razin’s troops. In 1774 Yemelyan Pugachev, the leader of the Cossack Rebellion (1774 – 1775), was interrogated in Simbirsk.

In 1780 Simbirsk became the main town of the new region ruled by governor-general. It turned from a fortress into a provincial town with developed infrastructure. In the richest part of the town there were administrative institutions, schools, private residences, handicraft workshops, public parks and boulevards. A brisk marketplace was situated nearby.

One of the first theatres in Russia and the first public library in the Volga region were opened in Simbirsk.

The city became well-known in the 20th century due to the fact that famous Russian politician Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) was born here. In 1924 Simbirsk was given a new name of Ulyanovsk.

During World War II several plants and factories including a part of the Moscow Car-Factory were evacuated from the western regions of the USSR to Ulyanovsk. In 1943 the city became a center of the Ulyanovsk Region.

Modern Ulyanovsk is a city with developed infrastructure, advanced industry and rich cultural life. People involved in the sphere of literature not only preserve the history of the city and popularize the work of its famous writers and poets but also develop new programs, implement new approaches and carry out creative projects. We hold many literary events yearly – International Literary Award named after Goncharov, Poetry Award, Literary festival “Slovo”, International cultural forum discussing also literary topics, etc.

In 2015 Ulyanovsk became the Most Reading Region in Russia. The title was assigned on a competitive basis among the regions which had applied for it.

In the future, we will bring together representatives of the government, business, creative class to implement creative projects, develop literary industries and involve every citizen in the literary life of Ulyanovsk.

People involved in the sphere of literature not only preserve the history of the city and popularize the work of its famous writers and poets but also develop new programs, implement new approaches and carry out creative projects. We hold many literary events yearly – International Literary Award named after Goncharov, Poetry Award, Literary festival “Slovo”, International cultural forum discussing also literary topics, etc.

In 2015 Ulyanovsk became the Most Reading Region in Russia. The title was assigned on a competitive basis among the regions which had applied for it.

In the future, we will bring together representatives of the government, business, creative class to implement creative projects, develop literary industries and involve every citizen in the literary life of Ulyanovsk.

Photo by Dmitry Yushkevich