Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia. It’s in the Tuul River valley, bordering the Bogd Khan Uul National Park. Originally a nomadic Buddhist center, it became a permanent site in the 18th century. Soviet control in the 20th century led to a religious purge. Soviet-era buildings, museums within surviving monasteries, and a vibrant conjunction of traditional and 21st-century lifestyles typify the modern city.
Mongolia, a nation bordered by China and Russia, is known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. Its capital, Ulaanbaatar, centers around Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan) Square, named for the notorious founder of the 13th- and 14th-century Mongol Empire. Also in Ulaanbaatar are the National Museum of Mongolia, displaying historic and ethnographic artifacts, and the restored 1830 Gandantegchinlen Monastery.