Novosibirsk – only a century ago a railway station at the point where the Trans-Siberian Railway crossed the Ob river – is now the biggest city in Siberia and the third biggest city in Russia, as well as one of the largest industrial and scientific centers of the country.
The city of Novosibirsk, which was at first called Novo-Nikolayevsk, was founded in 1893, when a railway bridge over the Ob was built near the village Krivoshchyokovo, and the railway station «Ob» appeared on the right bank of the river. The park «Gorodskoye Nachalo» (the beginning of the city) is now in that place; the main exhibit of the park is the original span of the bridge, which was built at the turn of the century.
The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway connecting Moscow and Vladivostok was the most important infrastructure project in Russia. It can even be called one the global projects comparable to the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal.
This predetermined the development of the cities located along the Trans-Siberian Railway. All the main «stations» of the railway quickly surpassed the Siberian cities located along the Siberian high road – earlier, the main road of Siberia. So, Tyumen became much bigger than Tobolsk. At the same time, Tobolsk, founded by Peter I as far back as 1587, was officially declared the «capital of Siberia», and Catherine II sent her gilt throne to this city, which until then were only two in Russia – in Moscow and in St. Petersburg.
However, about 20 years after its foundation, Novosibirsk surpassed in size not only Tobolsk but also Tomsk, which was 260 kilometers to the north (earlier, it was a district town of Tomsk province).
Eventually, Novosibirsk became even more important than Krasnoyarsk and was rightly considered a new capital of Siberia. In 1962, only 70 years after its foundation, the population of the city reached one million people and Novosibirsk became the youngest million-plus city in the world.
Unfortunately, the young age of the city didn’t allow it to create its cultural and architectural heritage, as the active stone building began in the city in the 30th of the 20 century. The main architectural sights of Novosibirsk date back to the constructivism period of the Stalin epoch.
The small St. Nicholas chapel located in the Krasny (red) avenue is considered a landmark of Novosibirsk, but the main sight of the city is, undoubtedly, Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. It occupies the biggest theatre building in Russia, which also has, at least, as big artistic value.
The main museums of Novosibirsk – those of art and local history – are on Krasny avenue. Nearby is the first stone church of the city – Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It will also be very interesting to visit Novosibirsk Zoo, which is the biggest in Russia, and is considered one of the best zoos in the country.