Year found: 1958
Legal form State
Study at Novosibirsk State University
It was founded in 1893 at the future site of a Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river of Ob and was named Novonikolayevsk, in honor of both Saint Nicholas and the reigning Tsar Nicholas II. 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 Novosibirsk to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea.
At the time of the bridge's opening, Novonikolayevsk hosted a population of 7,800 people. Its first bank opened in 1906, with a total of five banks operating by 1915. In 1907, Novosibirsk, now with a population exceeding 47,000, was granted town status with full rights for self-government. The pre-revolutionary period saw the population of Novosibirsk reach 80,000. During this period the city experienced steady and rapid economic growth, becoming one of the largest commercial and industrial centers of Siberia and developing a significant agricultural processing industry, as well as a power station, iron foundry, commodity market, several banks, and commercial and shipping companies. By 1917, Novosibirsk possessed seven Orthodox churches and one Roman Catholic church, 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 education.
The Russian Civil War took a toll on the city, with wartime epidemics, especially typhus and cholera, claiming thousands of lives. In the course of the War the Ob River Bridge was destroyed and for the first time in its 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,Czechoslovak prisoners of war 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.
During Stalin's industrialization push, Novosibirsk secured its place as one of the largest industrial centers of Siberia. Several massive industrial facilities were created in the city, 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 saw the influx of more than 170,000 refugees to Novosibirsk. The new arrivals settled in barracks at the outskirts of the city, giving rise to slums such as Bolshaya Nakhalovka, Malaya Nakhalovka, and others.
Rapid growth and industrialization were the reasons behind Novosibirsk's nickname: the "Chicago of Siberia".
Tram rails were laid 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 bridge.
The rapid growth of the city prompted the construction of a hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 400,000 kilowatts, 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; consequently, the multi-facilityscientific research complex of Akademgorodok was constructed about 30 kilometers (19 mi) south of the city center in 1957. The Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences has its headquarters in Akademgorodok, and the town hosts a total of fourteen research institutions and universities. Although it possesses a fully autonomous infrastructure, Akademgorodok is administratively a part of Novosibirsk.
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.
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.
Geography and climate
The city stands on the banks of the Ob River in the West Siberian Plain. To the south of the city lies the Ukok Plateau, which forms part of the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The climate is humid continental (Koppen Dfb), with warm summers and severely cold winters. Snow is frequent, falling on almost half of winter days, but individual snowfalls are usually light. Average temperatures range in summer is from +15 °C (59 °F) to +26 °C (79 °F), in winter from −20 °C (−4 °F) to −12 °C (10 °F). However, winter temperatures can go as low as −30 °C (−22 °F) to −35 °C (−31 °F), and summer temperatures can go as high as +30 °C (86 °F) to +35 °C (95 °F). The difference between the record high and the record low temperatures is 88 °C (158 °F). Most days the weather is sunny, with an average of 2,880 hours of sunshine per year, but heavy rain is possible in summer.
Travelers coming from countries with mild climates may find Novosibirsk’s winter tough, but it will not be extraordinary for those from northern countries. At times, bitter cold may hold for some days, but temperatures of −40 °C (−40 °F) and lower do not occur every year. In the springtime, streets and roads become dirty as a result of mud and melting snow, while the weather is still cold.
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