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The Enlightening Museum of History in Ulan-Ude

The quaint and cultural town of Ulan-Ude, is situated in the heart of Siberia. Visitors who travel to Russia come to Ulan-Ude for its unique charm and its rich and fascinating history. It is a town that suffered religious oppression when the Soviets ruled Russia with an iron fist, but has been able to save and preserve the relics of this time in the Museum of History in Ulan-Ude.

While walking through the streets of Ulan-Ude one can’t help seeing its history shine through as you pass Lenin in the main square of the town, or marvel at the breathtaking architectural masterpieces that have survived turbulent times. But it was the oppression of religion that that inspired the creation of the History Museum in Ulan-Ude, a museum that tells the story of the Buddhist’s culture and tradition, and exhibits some treasured relics. During the Soviet times in Russia most Buddhists were forced by the regime to convert to Christianity. Artifacts and relics were stripped away from the Buddhists and stored in the Hodigitria Cathedral (Russian Orthodox). An anti-religious museum was created, where these rare pieces were put on display. By the time change had come to Siberia, and all religions were freed from the Soviet oppression, the museum was simply renamed to the Museum of History.

Inside the Museum of History in Ulan-Ude is a marvelous collection of sculptures, carvings, paintings and Buddhist art. One of the most prized possessions of the museum is the spectacular Tibetan medicine atlas that is drawn on a Tanka and reveals the vast knowledge of medicine and the human body that the Tibetan people possessed. Rare and exquisite sculptures by Dzanabadzar, a seventeenth century Mongolian sculptor, can also be seen in the museum. These breathtaking, detailed masterpieces of Boddhisatvas and Buddhas fascinate visitors, as their exterior perfection almost reflects the beauty of their inner spirits. The museum and its vast collections of artifacts have renewed the interest to study of Shamanistic culture and tradition and have inspired followers to return to their religious roots and practice their faith with pride.

This picturesque town, so tranquil and almost secluded from the rest of Siberia, holds the ancient secrets of the Buddhist religion and has preserved a vital part of history that could have easily been lost forever. Visitors to the Museum of History in Ulan-Ude are known to walk away from the exhibits in awe of their beauty and with a newly acquired respect for a religion that has risen from oppression and persecution to flourish once again.

 



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