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Designated: 2015
Population: 626,540

Languages: Russian, Tatar, Chuvash, Mordovian 

Contact Ulyanovsk



Simbirsk, the city now called Ulyanovsk, is the birthplace of  Ivan Goncharov (1812-1891), the author of famous novels The Cliff, An Ordinary Story, and Oblomov. The only Russian historical and literary Museum of Goncharov is located in Ulyanovsk, and the central street of the city is named after Goncharov. The Ulyanovsk region also has The International Literary Prize, named after I.A. Goncharov. More than 20 writers from Russia, Hungary and Japan have received the prize.

There are 525 libraries in the Ulyanovsk region, 46 of which are named after outstanding literary figures including I. Goncharov, A. Plastov, N. Blagov, S. Mikhalkov,  M. Lermontov, A. Pushkin, and D. Granin.

In 2015, the Ulyanovsk region won the competition “The Literary Flagship of Russia” and received the status of “The Most Reading Region.”

The historian, reformer of the Russian language, and author of The History of the Russian State, Nikolai Karamzin (1766-1826) was born in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk). The Central International Airport of Ulyanovsk is named after Karamzin.

Ulyanovsk is the home of Russian's largest printing plant  Dom Pechati ("The Press House") which produces about 10% of all printed products issued in the country.



The International Cultural Forum has been held annually since 2011, and under the auspices of UNESCO since 2013. It's a platform for discussing professional issues of representatives of state and non-state culture of Russia. Since 2015, one of the key topics of the Forum is “Literature and Reading Promotion”. Among the Forum participants of different years – the representatives of 6 UNESCO Creative Cities: Krakow (Poland), Barcelona (Spain), Montevideo (Uruguay), Heidelberg (Germany), Granada (Spain), Ljubljana (Slovenia), as well as experts from Norway, Bulgaria, Estonia, and the USA. 




The Days of Germany festival was first held in Ulyanovsk in 2009 under the program "Managers in the field of culture of the Robert Bosch Foundation in the Russian Federation". Within the framework of this program, three cultural managers worked for 6 years in Ulyanovsk and implemented various Russian-German cultural projects in partnership with the Ministry of Art and Cultural Policy and “Ulyanovsk - Capital of Culture” Foundation. Since 2015, the festival has been supported by the Foundation and the Directorate of the program “Ulyanovsk – UNESCO literary city”. 


In 2018, workshops for young writers and poets, lectures, creative meetings were held at different venues of the city. Writer Frank Barsch from Heidelberg was the guest of the festival. The playwrights of Ulyanovsk and Heidelberg work together on a play based on the famous novel by the writer Goncharov Oblomov in order to present it during the festival “Days of Germany” in 2019 in Ulyanovsk. 



In 2019, Ulyanovsk participated in “Breads of the Creative Cities” project that ITKIUS and Tucson City of Gastronomy presented during the UCCN XIII Conference in Fabriano. The project creates an opportunity to connect the peoples and cultures represented by the Creative Cities Network through examples of their traditional “breads”. Ulyanovsk presented the bread from the baker Vadim Nikolayevich Pasoukov, who works in the  LLC "UlyanovskHlebProm". For more than 50 years, the company has been producing and selling more than 300 types of bakery products. 




The festival “Intersection of Music”, organized by Foundation “Ulyanovsk – Capital of Culture”, took place in Ulyanovsk in the summer of 2019. More than two thousand people became spectators and participants of the festival and got acquainted with the work of musicians from Liverpool, UNESCO City of Music. The festival took place thanks to the participation of the Foundation in of the British Embassy in Russia grant program. 


The Oblomov Festival, organized since 2004, includes literary events as well as a carnival of literary characters.


The annual festival Pushkin in the City of U is dedicated to the birthday of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Open urban spaces, libraries, parks, children's cafes become the venues for Pushkin readings, book fairs, games, lectures, etc.


The International Festival of LanguagesMany Nations – One World” has introduced participants to the diversity of world languages and cultures annually since 2002. Every year more than eight hundred people take part in the festival events. Participants of the festival receive useful information about different languages, cultures, communicate with representatives of many nationalities. 


In 2019, Ulyanovsk – UNESCO City of Literature started the International Residency Program for writers and translators from the UNESCO Literary Cities. This is a unique opportunity to work in the homeland of the great Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, the poet Nikolay Yazykov, the historian and writer Nikolay Karamzin. The program office annually announces a contest for those who want to work in the city, and the Board selects two writers or translators, each of whom is invited to work in Ulyanovsk for a month.

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