Now Russia’s third largest and Siberia’s largest city, "New Siberia" was originally founded as Novonikolayevsk in 1893 as the site of the Trans-Siberian Railway Bridge. The city's prime location of the Ob River made it an ideal setting for a variety of industrial enterprises, and eventually for a large power station. In the spring of 1897, when the railway bridge opened, the population of the area was at 7,800. By 1907, Novosibirsk had established itself as a city gaining all the rights of self-governance and had grown to a population near 50,000. The city was renamed "Novosibirsk", meaning “New Siberia City,” in 1926. During the 1950's, the Soviets broke ground on what was to become an enormous research facility, the Akademgorodok (roughly "academy city"), roughly 30 kms (20 mi) south of Novosibirsk. Novosibirsk's rapid population growth attained one million dwellers in 1961.
Known as Russia's largest commercial and industrial center during Stalin’s industrialization, Novosibirsk is also home to: an agricultural processing industry, hydroelectric power station, iron foundry, commodity market, commercial and shipping companies, mining tools plant, and a metal processing plant. The Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is housed there in addition to many other research institutions and universities.
Did you know?
* The city is home to the HC Sibir Novosibirsk ice hockey team.
* Novosibirsk was one of the first towns in Russia to officially require primary education, starting in 1913.
* The Novosibirsk city zoo houses over 4000 species, including a rare lion related to the cape lion of South Africa. More than 60 cubs have been born at the zoo in 40 years. As a popular tourist destination in Russia, over 700,000 people visit each year.
*The city is home to Russia’s most powerful shortwave relay station east of the Ural Mountains.
*In 2009, Novosibirsk was one of the stops for an episode of the popular television show “The Amazing Race.”
* Hometown athlete is Alexander Karelin who is a 12-time world champion, three Olympic gold and one Olympic silver medal Greco-Roman wrestler.
* Novosibirsk is the third largest city in the Russian Federation after Moscow and Saint Petersburg.