Ulaanbaatar, formerly anglicised as Ulan Bator (Mongolian: Улаанбаатар, [ʊɮɑːm.bɑːtʰɑ̆r], literally "Red Hero"), is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. The city is not part of any aimag (province), and its population 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 1,300 meters (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. It settled permanently at its present location, the junction of the Tuul and Selbe rivers, in 1778. Prior to that occasion it changed location twenty-eight times, each new location being chosen ceremonially. In the twentieth century, Ulaanbaatar grew into a major manufacturing center. Ulaanbaatar is a member of the Asian Network of Major Cities 21. The city's official website lists Moscow, Hohhot, Seoul, Sapporo and Denver as sister cities.