|More then 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 regionswhich are richest with gifts
of Nature". Thus, the building of Great Siberian Railway has
Primarily it was considered that Trans-Siberian Railroad would cross
the Ob river near the big age-old Kolyvan village. But owing to insistence
of Mr. N.G.Garin-Mikhaylovsky, the chief of 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 have appeared and became 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 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 convenient,
even ideal geographical situation. The peasants from Altay and the
nearest villages brought here the greatest quantities of grain for
further TRANSPORTATIONby 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
on December, 1903.
Novonikolaevsk soon became the place of concentration of banking capital.
Although in 1906 there was only one financial institute in the city
- the SiberianBank, 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 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 population of 47 thousand.
Before February Revolution Novonikolaevsk already had 80 thousand
of population and was the largest commercial and industrial center
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 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 then war and revolution in Russia. May
be that was the reason they accepted without any enthusisam the message
about Bolsheviks, who had come into power in the capital of Russia.
Nevertheless, the town couldn't stand aside of social cataclysms.
On December,1917 the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers` Deputies of
Novonikolaevsk seized the power. And just after that the civil war
came to the town. On May, 1918 Czechoslovak prisoners of war set up
the outbreak and together with White Guards captured Novonikolaevsk.
The town became the important strategic place of admiral Kolchak's
Army accounted of 500 thousand. But on December of 1919 Novonikolaevsk
was taken by Red Army.
The folly of civil war acquired monstrous forms. "White"
and "red" terror, military actions, terrible typhus and
cholera epidemics, - all those took off many thousands of lives. The
bridge across Ob was blown up. For the first time in the Novonikolaevsk'
history the number of town inhabitants decreased.
The town revived only in 1921 after starting of Lenin's New Economic
Policy. At that time Novonikolaevsk again was turned up into commercial,
industrial and TRANSPORTATIONcenter where many thousands of peasants
carts brought grain and butter. Workers, who had scampered about
surrounding villages before, came now back to their depot and factories.
Soon the Bolsheviks' regional political administration run over
from Omsk to Novonikolaevsk. In 1925 there was formed the vast Siberian
Region spreading from the Vasugan swamps up to the Trans-Baikal
steppes, and Novonikolaevsk became its administrative center.
In 1926 the town had got a new name of Novosibirsk. The status
of Novosibirsk as administrative center of Siberia influenced much
upon the town appearance. Monumental 3-, 4- and 5- storied buildings
were firstly erected in the streets of Novosibirsk. Lenin House,
Palace of Work, Dwelling House (now Central Hotel), Sibrevkom (now
The Picture Gallery) and other buildings were constructed under
the projects of talented Siberian architects headed by professor
In the years of Stalin's Industrialization Novosibirsk from large
commercial city turned into a big industrial center of Siberia.
Many industrial giants were built here: the Sibkombain plant, mining
tools plant, metal processing plant, food processing and other plants
and factories, and a high power station also. In 1932-1933, when
the terrible hunger broke out in Central Russia, more then 170 thousand
refugees arrived at Novosibirsk. They settled down in barracks in
the town outskirts, in shacks and huts. The slum rose as quick as
mushrooms after rain: Big Nakhalovka, Little Nakhalovka and others.
But the center of Novosibirsk as before had being built by pompous
buildings for administrative offices and institutions called for
maintaining the firmness of Stalin's regime forever. Fortunately,
Siberian architects with their recognized head A.D.Kryachkov possessed
enough taste and fantasy to erect those buildings in such a way
they are the proud of the town nowdays. In 1954 the tram rails were
laid in the streets of Novosibirsk: the biggest city of Siberia
had already 287 thousand population and needed vitaly that kind
Nevertheless, Novosibirsk started as integrated architectural complex
only after1955, when the Kommunalny bridge, main city bridge across
Ob, was built. Just from that time the town chose the way of total
renovation and improvement. Activity of building companies acquired
really industrial basis. Large-panel construction became the main
kind of house building.
Nature environment of the town was changing also because of industrial
development. In the middle of 50-s a hydro power station for 400
kilowatts was erected near Novosibirsk, that caused the creation
of a new great water reservoir - the Ob Sea. Unfortunately, that
power station didn't solve all the problems of power supply; instead
of it, it caused new others. Vast fertile fields were flooded; relic
pine woods were founded under water; because of new wide plain water
space the wind speed rose half as much again causing higher soil
In 1957 the building of a large science center was started on the
bank of the Ob Sea; it was the Siberian Branch of Science Academy
of the USSR, so called Academgorodok. That new part of the town
included 14 research institutes, an university, dwelling and public
buildings also, a department store and a Scientists House.
The territory of Novosibirsk extended more and more, and the population
of the town was rising. In the early 60-s the population of Novosibirsk
reached one million. In the subsequent years new architectural sites
were created in the town - scientist centers of Academy of Medicine
and Academy of Agriculture.
The construction of subway was started in Novosibirsk in 1979.
The first line was opened in 1985. So the 90-s years have started,
and that was a turning point for the whole country. But in spite
of economical crisis, Novosibirsk goes on its developing. Commercial
banks, markets, exchanges and private companies have appeared again
in the town. Now the future of Novosibirsk is closely bound up with
a new social economical system of all the country.