Verkhneudinsk (former name of Ulan-Ude) was one of the main trading centres of Siberia. The fairs that took place twice a year were the biggest trading events further than Lake Baikal. The first wooden building Gostiny Dvor (guests’ court) was built in 1791. In 1804, buildings started to be built in stone. Today Gostiny Dvor is an important regional historical and architectural monument.