Ulyanovsk (till 1924 - Simbirsk) - is an administrative center of the Ulyanovsk region. It was founded in 1648 by military man Bogdan Khitrovo as one of the fortified points of defense line, known as the zasechnaya cherta, along the south-east border of Russia.
The most developed industries are machine-building and metal-working. The leading enterprises are: "Ulyanovsk automobile plant", "Volzhskie motory", "Avtodetal-service", "Aviastar", "Kontaktor", mechanical and machine-building plants, plant of heavy and unique machines.
The main architectural points of interests are: Assembly of noble family (1838-47), Yazykov's House (the beginning of the 19th century), military gymnasia (1877), Public Assembly (1910), Peasant land bank (1911), and others.
In 1960-70-s the central part of Ulyanovsk was reconstructed and was created the Lenin memorial zone, which included elements of old Simbirsk (houses, concerning life of Ulyanovs family in the city) and ensemble of Lenin Memorial Center.
City population is about 623,1 thousand people (what is more than 45% of region population), population of the region is about 1.3 million people.
The Ulyanovsk region holds the 37th place in Russia and the 6th place among the Volga regions. By density of population (36,2 men/sq. km) - the 29th place in Russia and the 3rd among the Volga regions, yielding only to the Samara region and the Tatarstan Republic. Specific weight of city population (urbanization level) - is 72.8%.
Ulyanovsk is situated on Privolzhskaya Hills, on the banks of the Volga River (Kuibyshevskoe water reservoir) and the Sviyaga River, 893 km to the east of Moscow.
The Volga River divides the territory of the region into high right-bank and low left-bank (Zavolzhie).
On the right part is situated Privolzhskaya Hill (up to 363 m height) with going to Volga Undorovskie, Kremenskie and Sengileevskie Hills. Surface of the right part is flat plain.
The main river is the Volga and its confluents: the Sura, the Sviyaga, the Bolshoy Cheremshan and others.
Climate of the region is temperate-continental. An average temperature in January is -13 °C, in July +19 °C.
The Ulyanovsk region is situated in the areas of forest-steppe and deciduous forests. Soils are mainly black earth.
Forests occupy ¼ of the territory. In the north-west - are large woodlands of oak forests with linden and maple, in Zavolzhie - are meadow steppes, separate coniferous forests. In these forests one can find elk, marten, squirrel, lepus and other. There are numerous water birds and waders. In the Kuibyshevskoe water reservoir live bream, zander, sazan and others.
Settlement of the Middle Volga Region, according to the data of archaeological science took place more than 100 thousand years ago. Separate sites and locations where were found tools made of stones and bones, are evidences of presence of people groups in the Ulyanovsk region in paleolith epoch. They were discovered in the mouth of the River Cheremshan in the peninsula Tunguz, on the Volga shore near Undory resort.
In the 8th-9th centuries the Ulyanovsk Volga region became a part of early the Volga Bulgar State as a union of nomad Turkic and settled Ugro-Finnic tribes.
At the end of the 14th - the beginning of the 15th century, after devastating raid of Tamerlan, the ruler of the Central Asia, began desolation of the territory of the Ulyanovsk Volga region. Since the end of the 30-s of the 15th century the region became a part of the Kazan Khanate.
In the end of the 40-s of the 17th century under the general direction of the head warrior Bogdan Khitrovo was started building of Karsunsko-Simbirskaya defense line (1647-1654).
After 22 years of Simbirsk foundation he had to endure a strong fight for the state protection, but not against external enemies, but against brigand's Cossack volnitsa (group of serf peasants, which escaped from their masters), directed by ataman Stepan Rasin.
In the 18th century as a result of enlargement of the territory of the Russian State, especially in south direction, people began intensively develop and settle south areas of the present territory of the Ulyanovsk region, and Simbirsk itself began gradually lose its war-strategic meaning.
Soviet power in Simbirsk province was established a month later after the October revolution - on the 10th of December 1917. In 1918 the region found itself in the epicenter of the Civil War. After liberation of Simbirsk from White Guards in September 1918, the city became an important rear base of the Soviet power. For some time here was situated a headquarters and the Revolutionary War Council of the eastern front. Simbirsk cartridge plant was playing an important role in provision Red Army with ammunition.
In 1924 Simbirsk was renamed to Ulyanovsk.
From the beginning of the Great Patriotic war Ulyanovsk became a place where had been evacuated different enterprises, organizations and institutions from the western areas of the country, Moscow and Leningrad.
In the 50-s - 60-s in the region were opened new industrial enterprises (the plant of heavy and unique machines, the mechanical plant, Dimitrovgrad scientific research institute of nuclear reactors and others), automobile bridge across the Volga river and the airport in Ulyanovsk.