Novosibirsk is Siberia's capital city, and the third-largest city in Russia – with over 1.5 million inhabitants. The world-famous Trans-Siberian Railway runs through the city. Novosibirsk is home to one of Russia's largest science cities, Akademgorodok, a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. There are also dozens of scientific research institutes, as well as other higher education institutes.

Fascinating facts

  • The city we now know as Novosibirsk changed its name seven times, before it finally took its present name.
  • Novosibirsk grew to a city of one-million population in just 70 years – something which took Moscow over 700 years to achieve, and even took New York 250 years. Novosibirsk leads the way on population growth.
  • The leader of the first space mission to the Moon, Neil Armstrong, made a personal visit to Novosibirsk – to visit the home of Yuri Kondratiuk, one of the 'fathers' of the Soviet cosmonaut program.
  • Krasny Prospekt, or Red Avenue, is the world's longest straight street – running for 7 kilometres with no twists or bends.
  • The city is home to the world's longest covered metro bridge 2145 metres long.
  • The term 'the biggest' is often used about Novosibirsk. It can be said about the city's main rail station; Russia's largest theatre, also in Novosibirsk; the largest planetarium; the largest zoo in the Asian part of Russia; and Siberia's largest airport.

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City History

The city first appeared in 1893, on the banks of the major Siberian river, the Ob – and was linked to the decision to build the Trans-Siberian Railway through the heart of Siberia. At first it was just a small village called Novo-Nikolaevsk, which grew up to house the builders of the railway bridge across the Ob River.

The city grew into a major rail hub linking the European part of Russia with the Russian Far East. This location provided the town with its impetus for rapid growth.

In the Soviet era, Novo-Nikolaevsk – named after Russian Tsar Nikolai II – was renamed as Novosibirsk, and was promoted to a central role in the administration of Siberia.

The city grew at record pace, quickly reaching a population of over a million, in just decades. The opening of the scientific hub of Akademgorodok provided new jobs and industries.

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