The birthplace of Lenin, Simbirsk, Russia, was renamed in 1924 in honor of its native son. Understandably, Ulyanovsk used to be a much more popular destination than it is now. However, the city, 445 mi/715 km east of Moscow, is a fascinating glimpse into the cult of Lenin: The entire city center is a memorial to the man. There's a large museum complex devoted to Lenin's life and the Russian Revolution (http://www.lenin-memorial.ru). The seven houses his family lived in have been preserved as museums, as has the neighborhood where they're located. A visit is worthwhile to see how much the communists truly glorified Lenin.

Another local landmark is Ulyanovsk Automobile Factory, one of the most important car factories in Russia—a famous producer of Russian Jeeps. http://www.uaz.ru.

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