Ulyanovsk (town) Quick Facts:
  1. Renamed from Simbirsk to honor Lenin
  2. Located in Russia (on Volga River)
  3. Birthplace of Lenin, Karamzin, Goncharov

History: The town of Simbirsk was established in 1648 by voyevoda D.V. Kihtrovo as a fortress to protect the Southern borders of the Moscow State. It became the center of industry and commerce for Middle Volga region by 1770. Its history is closely connected with the history of Russia, for example:

Simbirsk was the birthplace of many famous writers, poets, and statesmen: In 1924 Simbirsk was renamed to Ulyanovsk in V.I. Ulyanov's honor (Interestingly enough it wasn't the only town to be renamed to honor him, another example is Petrograd, chaned to Leningrad, later changed to St. Petersburg).

Major dates:
1648 - Foundation of the town Simbirsk
1780 - The first map of Simbirsk was drawn and approved in St. Petersburg
1780 - The city's Coat of Arms was introduced: a white column topped with a crown, against a blue ground
1796 - Formation of the Simbirsk Province
1924 - Simbirsk renamed to Ulyanovsk
1943 - Formation of the Ulyanovsk region with the center in Ulyanovsk

Location: Simbirsk was based on a high coast of the great Russian river Volga, on the top of Simbirsk mountain. It is situated at the eastern part of the Russkaya ravnina (Russian plain) in the middle Volga region, and is bordered by Mordovia, Chuvashia, and Tatarstan.

Climate: Moderate and continental, the average annual temperature is 4 degrees C.

Population: About 1.5 million
urban - 72%
rural - 28%
People of over 80 nationalities inhabit the region. Traditionally international relations are very stable.

Culture: Ulyanovsk occupies an honorable place in the history of the Russian culture. The old Simbirsk was called "the landowner of the Volga region towns." One of the first libraries in the Volga region were opened here. Concerts of the Ulyanovsk State Academic Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Society, as well as the Ulyanovsk Theater performances, contribute greatly to the cultural life of the city.

More information: some of this is explained with more detail on http://inter-sat.com/russianfriend/cities/ulyanovsk/history.htm

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