Novosibirsk is a city in Siberia, southern Russia, bisected by the Ob River. The Trans-Siberian Railway fuelled much of the city’s 19th-century growth, symbolized by the Novosibirsk Rail Bridge, which still stands today. In the city centre is the 19th-century, Byzantine-style Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with its golden domes. The expansive Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre borders Lenin Square. Novosibirsk (Russia); Mayor: Vladimir Gorodetsky. Population: 1,475,000; Area: 506.67 km2; Latitude: 55° 02′ N; Average temperature .
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Novosibirsk was founded in 1893. It was a settlement on a place where the bridge over the Ob River was planned to be built during the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The settlement was named Novonikolayevsk after the Russian Empire Tsar Nicholas II and St. Nicholas. City of Culture Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre is one of Russia’s leading musical theatres, a multifaceted architectural complex with the status of a Russian object of cultural heritage. Its troupe regularly takes part in national and international festivals and has won a number of professional rewards. Religion. According to a 2012 survey 24.9% of the population of Novosibirsk Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 5% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 1% of the population adheres to the Slavic native faith (Rodnovery), and 1% to Islam.
Brief City History
Novosibirsk grew up in the 1890s around the Ob River bridge built for the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the city is festooned with original examples of the wood-lace architecture that prevailed at the time before the Soviets took over and started chucking concrete everywhere. Named Novo-Nikolaevsk until 1925 after the last tsar, it grew rapidly into Siberia’s biggest metropolis, a key industrial and transport centre exploiting coalfields to the east and mineral deposits in the Urals. More than 100 years ago Alexander III Russian emperor pointed out in his rescript to his heir that it is necessary “to connect by inner railway net the Siberian regions which are richest with gifts of Nature”. Thus, the building of the Great Siberian Railway has begun.
Primarily it was considered that Trans-Siberian Railroad would cross the Ob river near the big age-old Kolyvan village. But owing to the insistence of Mr. N.G.Garin-Mikhaylovsky, the chief of the prospecting party and a Russian writer, they took a final decision to build the bridge at the Krivoschokovo village. Mr. Garin wrote later: “The change of primary project is my own merit, and I see with pleasure that the railroad isn’t declined from my idea”. On May 20, 1893, in a thick pine wood on the bank of the Ob river, there have been held a solemn church service on the occasion of laying of the bridge, the project of which had been prepared by N.A.Belelubsky, professor of the Petersburg Railway College. Very many workers were required for the bridge-building. Thus, the Novonikolaevsk settlement has appeared and become later the largest town of Russian Asia. In the spring of 1897, the bridge across the Ob river was opened for traffic. By that time the building of the railway station and locomotive depot with workshops was completed. After that many builders left for other building sites, but the settlement didn’t become deserted and the work went on there. That was significantly promoted by a convenient, even ideal geographical situation. The peasants from Altay and the nearest villages brought here the greatest quantities of grain for further transportation by railroad.
The trade capital opened up actively the region of the Great Siberian Way that in the shortest time made the small settlement to grow into a big city; Novonikolaevsk was given the official status of the city in December 1903. Novonikolaevsk soon became the place of concentration of banking capital. Although in 1906 there was only one financial institution in the city – the Siberian Bank, in 1915 there were already 5 commercial banks and 2 land ones in the town. The population of the town was raising so quickly, that the first city’s head, Mr.V.Jernakov said: “It (Novonikolaevsk) has got rightfully the name of American City”. In 1897, when the bridge was opened for traffic, the Novonikolaevsk settlement accounted for 7,8 thousand people. In 1903 it was already a town without so-called “uezd” – surrounding administrative territory – and accounted 22 thousand people. In 1907 it became a city with all the rights of self-government and a population of 47 thousand. Before February Revolution Novonikolaevsk already had 80 thousands of population and was the largest commercial and industrial centre having not only an agricultural processing industry, power station, iron foundry, commodity market, banks, commercial and shipping companies, but also 7 Orthodox churches, one Roman-Catholic church, several cinemas, 40 primary schools, a high school, teachers’ seminary and the Romanov House’ non-classical secondary school. It is remarkable that Novonikolaevsk was nearly the first town in Russia which accepted the compulsory primary education in 1913. Novonikolaevsk continued its safe and successful development even in such storming and tragical for Russia years as 1915-1917. Shops were heaped up with goods; all markets were packed with bread, meat and butter. Merchants of Novonikolaevsk, who had become rich enormously because of military supplies, were thinking already of a building of a tram line. Town’s inhabitants were discussing lively the erecting of the Invalid House that recently began, and obviously that event was more interesting for them than war and revolution in Russia. Maybe that was the reason they accepted without any enthusiasm the message about Bolsheviks, who had come into power in the capital of Russia.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
People from over eighty ethnicities and nationalities reside in Novosibirsk. The largest groups are Russian, Yakut, German, Ukrainian, Tatar, Jewish, and Belarusian.
Important Types of Commerce in Novosibirsk
Industry: Known as Russia’s largest commercial and industrial centre during Stalin’s industrialization, Novosibirsk is also home to: an agricultural processing industry, a hydroelectric power station, iron foundry, a commodity market, commercial and shipping companies, mining tools plant, and a metal processing plant.
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