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Novosibirsk hasnt got any natural wonders, or ancient sights, but the city is quite young and attractive due to its modernity.

The city was born in 1894 as a settlement near the bridge, crossing the river Ob, and was predicted to have bright future as a trading centre. During the first year of existence, the stone cathedral was built and named after Alexander Nevsky. Two years after, the settlement was named after the Emperor Alexander III, and the following year its name changed into Novonikolaevsk, after the new tsar Nicolai II. Fifteen years after, the settlement acquired city status. Many large Russian banks opened their branches in Novonikolaevsk, and industrial enterprises didnt lag behind. First postcards with settlement views came of the press in 1902.

In 1902 a school for preparing children, who reached age of 7, for entering gymnasiums was open, and in 1905 it transformed in a pro-gymnasium for girls, later becoming a gymnasium. In 1906 a library opened, and a local newspaper started informing the population about various events. The same year a private school for boys and a private kindergarten welcomed first children.

In 1912 Novonikolaevsk became the first Russian city, where compulsory primary education was introduced. In 1913 the city acquired the orchestra, and in 1916 a music school, where children could learn how to play piano, violin cello and other musical instruments.

The city was focused mainly on trading and industries up to 1917. Main industry was manufacturing with leading branch of flour-milling. Ten mills with total capacity of about 200 million kilograms per year were working in the city. The largest industrial enterprise was Trud plant, producing spare parts for mills, butter-making plants and agricultural machinery. In 1917 main Siberian cooperative organizations opened regional centres in Novonikolaevsk, thus making it the cooperative capital of a large territory.

In 1917 Novonikolaevsk hosted 107 129 citizens 58 987 women and 48 142 men. The same year Soviet regime came to the city, but six months later counter-revolutionary forces changed political situation in the city. In 1919 the Red Army entered Novonikolaevsk, and the power went to emergency body of Novonikolaevsk Revolutionary Committee. In 1919-1920 Novonikolaevsk and Tomsk competed for the title of the leading city of the region, but Tomsk won the battle in March 1920. Later Novonikolaevsk became the regional centre of political life.

In the twenties the city turned from the large cargo transfer point to the industrial centre, consuming enormous quantities of raw materials. Germany, Japan and China opened their consulates in the city. In 1922 Siberian Theatre of Musical Drama played its first performance. The Siberian Territory formed on May 25, 1925, and Novonikolaevsk became its administrative centre. On February 12, 1926, the city was renamed into Novosibirsk by the decree of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union. New status of the city opened the way for cultural and inductrial development of Novosibirsk.

In 1925 the foundation for science and research was laid in the city, and first Regional Siberian Science & Research Congress was held in December 1926, welcoming 326 participants. Tens of research laboratories and scientific institutions opened in the city in thirties of the twentieth century. In 1930 the Siberian Region got split, and Novosibirsk headed the newly formed West Siberian Region. The city experienced the boost of industrial construction.

Economic growth of the city received a big push, when the Turkestan-Siberian railway (TurkSib) connected Central Asia with Siberia in 1931. Novosibirsk became the largest transport junction of Asian Russia, when railways connected it with Leninsk-Kuznetsky in 1934. In 1937 the West Siberian Region was divided into Novosibirsk Region and Altai Territory, and Novosibirsk became regional centre of the region, which had the same name.

During the Great Patriotic War, many industrial enterprises opened in Novosibirsk, and many were evacuated here from other cities. The industry of Novosibirsk was a great help to Soviet Army during wartime, supplying missiles and other necessary things. After the war, existing industrial enterprises were refurbished, and new ones opened. In 1957 Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences was opened in Novosibirsk. In 1962 the city welcomed its millionth citizen, thus becoming the youngest city with 1 million dwellers in the world.

Favourable economical and geographical position on the crossing of extremely important transportation services made Novosibirsk the largest regional centre of the Russian Federation. The city hosted many regional administration offices and cultural institutions. Being a cultural centre of the vast territory, Novosibirsk was home for many gifted musicians, singers, ballet dancers, actors and painters.

Despite young age, the city hosts 145 monuments of architecture, history, art and archaeology, which are under protection of the state. Most precious ones are 47 monuments of wooden architecture. The city hosts unique exposition Wild Steppe, a simulation of the natural environment. Novosibirsk is the third largest Russian centre for collection and storage of rare books. Over 10 museums, including natural history museum, and zoology museum with 3 million exhibits, welcome visitors. Over 70 public libraries educate readers, a portrait gallery exhibits fine art, and eight professional theatres give performances. The city also has a Philharmonic Hall, several cinemas and a circus.

Novosibirsk is the child of several generations, which survived wars, fires, epidemics, revolutions, perestroika and many other things. However, the city keeps progressing, and even an asteroid was named after Novosibirsk in 1993. Today Novosibirsk shelters nearly 1.5 million citizens, being the largest cultural and industrial centre of the vast territories of Siberia. The city is the monument to people, whose talent, bravery and courage allowed building a gem out of almost nothing.




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