formerly romanized as Ulan Bator /ˌuːlɑːn ˈbɑːtər/ (Mongolian: Улаанбаатар, [ʊɮɑːm.bɑːtʰɑ̆r], Ulaγanbaγatur, literally “Red Hero”) is Mongolia’s capital and largest city. A municipality, the city is not part of any aimag (province), and its population as of 2014 was over 1.3 million, almost half of the country’s total population.
Located in north central Mongolia, the municipality lies at an elevation of about 1,310 metres (4,300 ft) in a valley on the Tuul River. It is the country’s cultural, industrial and financial heart, the centre of Mongolia’s road network and connected by rail to both the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia and the Chinese railway system.
The city was founded in 1639 as a nomadic Buddhist monastic centre. In 1778, it settled permanently at its present location, the junction of the Tuuland Selbe rivers. Before that, it changed location twenty-eight times, with each location being chosen ceremonially. In the twentieth century, Ulaanbaatar grew into a major manufacturing centre.