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Omsk is an industrial city that lies on the Trans-Siberian Railway at the point where the Om River enters the Irtysh. It became the major dumping ground for exiles, the best known of whom was Fyodor Dostoevsky. He wrote about his wretched years in prison here in his book Buried Alive in Siberia. The Fortress is the historical heart of Omsk. At present we can find here the buildings of different epochs. Catherine the Greats epoch guardhouse (the Regional Military Registration and Enlistment Office now) stands next to red -brick facades of the beginning of the 20th century buildings, severe forms of Military Assembly (House of Officers) are close to modern volumes of the Dzerzhinsky Palace of Culture. Many buildings in the fortress are connected with the name of the Great Russian writer F.Dostoevsky. First of all, it's the house of commandant, where in 1990 was placed the Dostoevsky Literary Museum.

Being in the fortress you can't but remember the events, which became the Omsk history milestones. In 1856 Mikhail Vrubel, the great painter born in Omsk, was baptized in the fortresss Soboro-Voskresenskaya Church. Omsk Fine Arts Museum bears his name now. Mikhail Vrubel was around three when his father took him away from Omsk. But it's quite possible that his childish impressions revealed themselves at his mature age. It is no doubt that Vrubel saw a lot in his native town. He could possibly see a huge to him Cossack Nikolsky Cathedral, in the garden of which the artist could have walked. Its severe appearance is very alike to its architectural brothers in Petersburg. And it's quite explicable because the Cathedral was built by the famous architect V.Stasov's drawings, who built a lot in the city on the banks of Neva.

You can meet the history of Omsk not only on the streets of the city. It lives in the museums, in the works of Omsk artists, actors and history scientists. Omsk museum of local lore, history and economy is the oldest in Siberia. It was founded in 1878 by famous Siberian scientists, explorers and public figures: M.Pevtsov, G.Potanin, N.Yadrintsev, I.SIovtsov. In 1923 the museum was granted with the best building of the city, the former palace of governor-general, and in the middle of eighties the museum moved to a new building. There is enough space now to exhibit icons, Siberian tumuli gold, Faberge jewelry, glass and ceramics items, which for many long years were kept in its depositaries. The museum vaults are filled with more than 250.000 unique items telling about the history of the land, about its nature, its culture. Each visit to the museum is a joy of knowing your past, modern life of your native city, a joy of meeting professionals, a joy of joining to the tense spiritual activity of enthusiasts.

In 1924 the Vrubel Museum of Fine Arts was established as the art department of the museum of local lore, history and economy. Its collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and works of arts and crafts. The pride of the museum collection makes canvases by Russian artists I.Repin, V.Serov, I.Shishkin, V.Surikov, I.Levitan. Spectators are always attracted by the Russian avant-garde collection: N.Goncharova, M.Larionov, V.Kandinsky, A.Yavlensky.




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