In July 1921, in the center of Ulan-Bator, the “hero of the revolution” Damdin Sukhbaatar declared Mongolia’s independence from China. Then his name was given to the square, Sukhbaatar Square.
In the center of the square, a statue of Sukhbaatar riding his horse is still standing. The words he apparently uttered at the moment of independence are engraved on the bottom of the statue: “If we, the whole people, unite in our common effort and common will, there will be nothing in the world that we can not achieve, that we will not have learned or we will have stopped doing it “.
Sukhbaatar would have been very disappointed to learn that the square was also the place where the first protests took place in 1989, which eventually led to the fall of communism. Today, the square is sometimes used for rallies, ceremonies and even rock concerts, but it is still a quiet place where photographers sell their services or where it is possible to rent tandems to walk around the square.
In 2006, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Mongol Empire, the square has been fully restored. The monument in honor of Sukhbaatar was covered in bronze after a joint work between Mongolian and North Korean sculptors. The work was completed on the day of the declaration of the Republic, on November 26, 2008.
In the northern part of the square, there is the House of the State Parliament, which was also restored in 2006. It was a big gray and sad building, but it was painted and a glass front was added. We can see, in particular, a large statue of Genghis Khan standing proudly outside the building, and statues of Mongol horsemen.
The House of Parliament, like a yurt, faces the south. In front of the House of Parliament, there is a mausoleum, built in 1921, which contains the remains of Sukhbaatar and probably those of Choibalsan.
To the northeast of the square, there is the Palace of Culture that contains in particular the National Gallery of Modern Art and many other cultural institutions. In the southeast of the square, the pink building is the State Theater of Opera and Ballet.
In the northwest corner of the square, the bright yellow building houses the Golomt Bank, and just behind it, you will find the National History Museum. To the south of the bank, the first tower you will see is the Mongolian stock exchange, and the second is the town hall.
In front of the square, the Blue Sky Tower is the tallest building in Ulan Bator with 25 floors (105 meters, 344 feet). It represents modern Mongolia and has the design of a tower in Dubai. It was opened in 2009 and houses a luxury hotel, offices, restaurants and apartments.
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