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Did History End in « Ulaanbaatar » ?
Ulaanbaatar, is the capital of Mongolia.
The city, which stretches from east to west at the bottom of the valley of the Toula river, over some twenty kilometers, brings together more than a million inhabitants (more than a third of the country’s population). Life in Ulan Bator has been turned upside down by the influx of nomads from the steppe.
In 1639, Zanabazar, king of Mongolia, founded in the present province of Övörhangay a nomadic monastery called Da-Khüriye (large encampment organized in a circle) around the yurt of a chief. This building was destroyed at the beginning of the 18th century by the Dzoungars, it was rebuilt and changed places sixteen times between 1719 and 1778. Finally, it settled near the Toula river, north of Bogd Uul, the « sacred mountain ». Permanent residence of Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, it became the nucleus of a city known as « Ourga ».
Under Manchu rule, Ourga, located on the tea route between China and Russia, in the 19th century became an important administrative and commercial center. Mongolia proclaimed its autonomy in 1911 and the city became the capital of a Buddhist regime whose Bogdo gegen was the monarch with the title of Bogdo Khan
Title photo: Ulan-Bator Panorama (Author: François Philipp . Source: flickr)