Novosibirsk (Novo-Nikolaevsk until 1926) is the
third most populous city in Russia. It forms the urban district,
which is the most populated municipality in the country. It is the administrative center of
the Siberian Federal District, the Novosibirsk Region and the
Novosibirsk District entering into its structure; The city is the
center of the Novosibirsk agglomeration. The largest commercial,
business, cultural, industrial, transport and scientific center of
Novosibirsk was founded in 1893, received city
status in December 1903 (according to a new style - in January
1904). The population is 1,612,833 people (2018). The city is
located on both banks of the Ob River near the Novosibirsk reservoir
formed by the dam of the Novosibirsk hydroelectric station. The
territory of the city, within its city limits, is 505.62 km².
The head of the city (mayor) is elected by universal suffrage
among the inhabitants of the city. This post since April 23, 2014 is
held by Anatoly Lokot (KPRF).
History of Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk, founded in 1893 at the future site of a
Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river of
Ob, first was named Novonikolayevsk (Новониколаевск), in honor both
of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II. It
superseded nearby Krivoshchekovskaya village, which was founded in
1696. The bridge was completed in the spring of 1897, making the new
settlement the regional transport hub. The importance of the city
further increased with the completion of the Turkestan–Siberia
Railway in the early 20th century. The new railway connected
Novonikolayevsk to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea.
time of the bridge's opening, Novonikolayevsk had a population of
7,800 people. The frontier settlement developed rapidly. Its first
bank opened in 1906, and a total of five banks were operating by
1915. In 1907, Novonikolayevsk, now with a population exceeding
47,000, was granted town status with full rights for
self-government. During the pre-revolutionary period, the population
of Novonikolayevsk reached 80,000. The city had steady and rapid
economic growth, becoming one of the largest commercial and
industrial centers of Siberia. It developed a significant
agricultural processing industry, as well as a power station, iron
foundry, commodity market, several banks, and commercial and
shipping companies. By 1917, seven Orthodox churches and one Roman
Catholic Church had been built there, several cinemas, forty primary
schools, a high school, a teaching seminary, and the Romanov House
non-classical secondary school. In 1913, Novonikolayevsk became one
of the first places in Russia to institute compulsory primary
The Russian Civil War took a toll on the city.
There were wartime epidemics, especially of typhus and cholera, that
claimed thousands of lives. In the course of the war the Ob River
Bridge was destroyed. For the first time in the city's history, the
population of Novonikolayevsk began to decline. The Soviet Workers'
and Soldiers' Deputies of Novonikolayevsk took control of the city
in December 1917. In May 1918, the Czechoslovak Legion rose in
opposition to the revolutionary government and, together with the
White Guards, captured Novonikolayevsk. The Red Army took the city
in 1919, retaining it throughout the rest of the Civil War.
Novonikolayevsk began reconstruction in 1921 at the start of Lenin's
New Economic Policy period. It was a part of Tomsk Governorate and
served as its administrative center from December 23, 1919 to March
14, 1920. Between June 13, 1921 and May 25, 1925, it served as the
administrative center of Novonikolayevsk Governorate, which was
separated from Tomsk Governorate. The city was given its present
name on September 12, 1926.
When governorates were abolished,
the city served as the administrative center of Siberian Krai until
July 23, 1930, and of West Siberian Krai until September 28, 1937,
when that krai was split into Novosibirsk Oblast and Altai Krai.
Since then, it has served as the administrative center of
The Monument to the Heroes of the
Revolution was erected in the center of the city and has been one of
the chief historic sites (essentially every child had to visit the
monument on school field trips during the Soviet years). Neglect in
the 1990s while other areas were redeveloped helped preserve it in
the post-Soviet era.
During Joseph Stalin's industrialization
effort, Novosibirsk secured its place as one of the largest
industrial centers of Siberia. Several massive industrial facilities
were created, including the 'Sibkombain' plant, specializing in the
production of heavy mining equipment. Additionally a metal
processing plant, a food processing plant and other industrial
enterprises and factories were built, as well as a new power
station. The great Soviet famine of 1932–33 resulted in more than
170,000 rural refugees seeking food and safety in Novosibirsk. They
were settled in barracks at the outskirts of the city, giving rise
to slums such as Bolshaya Nakhalovka, Malaya Nakhalovka, and others.
Its rapid growth and industrialization led to Novosibirsk being
nicknamed the "Chicago of Siberia".
Tram rails were laid down
in 1934, by which time the population had reached 287,000, making
Novosibirsk the largest city in Siberia. The following year the
original bridge over the Ob River was replaced by the new Kommunalny
Between 1941 and 1942 more than 50 substantial
factories were crated up and relocated from western Russia to
Novosibirsk in order to reduce the risk of their destruction through
war, and at this time the city became a major supply base for the
Red Army. During this period the city also received more than
The rapid growth of the city prompted the construction during the
1950s of a hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 400
megawatts, necessitating the creation of a giant water reservoir,
now known as the Ob Sea. As a direct result of the station's
construction vast areas of fertile land were flooded as were relic
pine woods in the area; additionally, the new open space created by
the reservoir's surface caused average wind speeds to double,
increasing the rate of soil erosion.
In the 1950s, the Soviet
Government directed that a center for scientific research be built
in Novosibirsk, and in 1957 the multi-facility scientific research
complex of Akademgorodok was constructed about 30 kilometers (19 mi)
south of the city center. The Siberian Division of the Academy of
Sciences has its headquarters in Akademgorodok, and the town hosts
more than 35 research institutes and universities, among them
Novosibirsk State University, one of the top Russian schools in
Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Although it possesses a fully
autonomous infrastructure, Akademgorodok is administered by
On September 2, 1962, the population of
Novosibirsk reached one million. At that time, it was the youngest
city in the world with over a million people. Novosibirsk took fewer
than seventy years to achieve this milestone.
In 1979, work
began on the Novosibirsk Metro Transit System, culminating in the
opening of the first line in 1985.
On August 1, 2008,
Novosibirsk was in the center of the path of a solar eclipse, with a
duration of 2 minutes and 20 seconds.