Gandan Monastery, the only functioning Buddhist monastery that stood test of time and was allowed to carry out

services on a daily basis during the Communist years symbolizing the spiritual past of the Mongols. One of the temples hosts the tallest standing Buddha statue in Central and East Asia – the Megjid Janraisag, the Buddha of Future. The intricate rooftops of the monasteries depict the artistic techniques polished by the ages and that have been passed through generations. The cobblestones of Gandantegchilen, Dashchoilin Khiid, and Choijing Lama monasteries, the latter turned into a museum, whisper the stories of the early settlers that takes you back as early as the 17th century.



Until the beginning of the 20th century nomadic Mongolia did not have any museums as such. All the beauty of the country was open for both Mongols and foreigners. In 1924, the National Museum of Mongolian History was founded. It contains some of the oldest collections in the country. There are more than 40,000 archaeological, historical and ethnographic objects. Its ten galleries explain Mongolian history and culture from the dawn of humanity to present days. The rare esteemed items on display include the remains from the Hun period (the first Mongolian state) of 3rd century B.C to 1 st A.D. There are also intriguing signs of human remnants from the early Stone and Bronze Ages.



The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1966. It houses large collections of Mongolia's natural history, culture and minerals exhibits. The museum covers five areas: geology, zoology, botany, anthropology and palaeontology. The last section contains the skeletons, fossils and eggs of giant dinosaurs that roamed the present territory of Mongolia some 70 million years ago, and is very informative for the visitor. The largest dinosaur skeleton on show is 5 meters tall and 12 meters long. The museum is undergoing expansion and plans to cover the natural history of the whole world. The fine art museum in Ulaanbaatar is named in honour of the first Mongolian Buddhist leader Zanabazar. It was opened in 1966 and shows Mongolian art work from the Palaeolithic Age to the early 20th century. Three types of prehistoric rock carvings and paintings can be seen: The Palaeolithic (40,GOO-120,000 years ago), Neolithic (8,000-4,000 years ago) and Bronze Age (4000-1000 B.C.)



The exhibits proceed right into the 13th century and exhibit the portraits of the Great Mongolian Khaans: Chinggis, Uguudei and Khubilai. Zanabazar's masterpiece: the White Tara (Sita) and Green Tara (Syama) depicting the spirit of God expressed in the beauty of women. Thanka, a portable icon painting, is made from colours obtained from minerals and precious stones and is a graphic art piece. Silk paintings are yet another popular attraction to art lovers. The Bogd Khaan Museum, originally the winter palace of the last ruler of pre-revolutionary Mongolia, Bogd Javzandamba Agvaanluvsan 8th , was built in the area of the Temple of Mercy, between 1893-1903. Bogd Khaan was born in 1869 in the family of a Dalai Lama's vice-dignitary in a palace called "shodda".

Bogd Khaan was only five years old when he was proclaimed as a supreme religious leader of Mongolia. He died in 1924. The museum consists of two areas: the temple and monasteries and the winter palace. Inside the palace, there is the Khaan's ornate ger covered with snow leopard skins. The main gate was made without a single nail. The Centre of Mongolian Buddhism and largest functioning monastery, Gandantegchilen, was built from 1810 onwards, partly destroyed in the!930s and partly reconstructed in the 1990s. Here one of the largest standing Gods of Buddhism in Central and East Asia, a gilded image of Megjid Janraiseg (Buddha of Compassion and Mercy), is situated. This was initially built in 1911 as a sign of Independence of Mongolia by the decree of Bogd Khaan but the communists destroyed it in 1937. This image of Janraiseg was remade in 1996 and considered to be of better quality than the previous one.



Founded in 1989, the Mongolian National Art gallery has an impressive collection of paintings representing modern art and traditional fine arts. There are more than 6,000 exhibits in the Gallery include paintings, sculptures, applique and embroidery made both in modern and classical Mongolian styles. In the 1980s, the Theatrical museum was founded as a devotion to the history of Mongolian theatre. There are rare photos of actors and actresses and a wonderful collection of puppets. At the end of the 20th century, the Museum of the people subjected to repression in 1930-1939 was opened.



The Fine Arts G. Zanabazar Museum was founded in 1966. The museum is renowned for the works of G. Zanabazar (1635-1724), which include the statues of Sita Tara, the Five Dhayani Buddhas and the Bodhi Stupa. The Fine Arts Museum was named after Gombodorjiin Zanabazar in 1995. It has 12 exhibition galleries covering the arts from ancient civilizations up to the beginning of the 20th Century. Initially opened with over 300 exhibits, the Museum rapidly enriched the number of its objects, with the modern arts becoming a separate division in 1989 as an Arts Gallery. 
The Museum displays the artistic works of Mongolian masters of the 18-20th Centuries, coral masks, thangkas, as well as the famous paintings of B. Sharav entitled “A Day in Mongolia” and “Airag feast”. The Museum contains 13000 objects. The exhibition hall regularly hosts the works of contemporary artists. The G. Zanabazar Museum has been successfully cooperating with UNESCO for the improvement of the preservation of priceless exhibits and for training of the Museum staff.The tour of the museum begins at the 2nd floor, guiding through the following topics.


All aimags have own their historical and natural museums. Today there are 47 museums nationwide.