The capital of the Republic of Buryatia is Ulan-Ude, which translates from the Buryat as Red Uda after the River Uda on which it stands. The Ulan (Red) part was added during the Soviet time, previously it was known as Udinsk and the Verkhneudinsk (meaning Upper Uda). As the republic’s capital, the city has several museums dedicated to Buryat culture and in the town of Ivolginsk is the Ivolginsky Datsan, the spiritual heart of Buddhist Buryatia. In addition, also just outside the city is the Ulan-Ude Ethnographical Museum, where Buryat and Russian traditional buildings have been preserved as an open-air museum. Finally the city is famed for its unique Lenin monument which consists of just a giant head. It is in fact the largest Lenin head in the whole world! All in all Ulan-Ude makes a great stop-off point while travelling along the Trans-Siberian Railway.