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Novosibirsk (nôˌvəsĭbērskˈ), city (1989 pop. 1,437,000), capital of Novosibirsk region and the administrative center of the Siberian federal district, S Siberian Russia, on the Ob River and the Trans-Siberian RR. It is a large river, rail, and air transportation hub and is the leading industrial center of Siberia. Novosibirsk has tin, gold, heavy machinery, food, textile, chemical, and metallurgical industries. Founded as Novonikolayevsk in 1893, during the construction of the Trans-Siberian RR, it grew as a trade center and was renamed in 1925. Its growth is largely due to the proximity of the Kuznetsk Basin. The Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is in Akademgorok near Novosibirsk. There is a hydroelectric power station on the Ob above the city. The region forming Novosibirsk region (which includes the Baraba Steppe) is predominantly agricultural, although there is coal mining to the east.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(until 1925, Novonikolaevsk), a city; the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast of the RSFSR. Novosibirsk is situated in the southeastern part of the Western Siberian Plain on both banks of the Ob’ River. The Novosibirsk Reservoir was formed by a dam of the Novosibirsk Hydroelectric Power Plant, which is located in one of the city’s raions. The city is one of Siberia’s major transportation junctions. (The trunk line of the Trans-Siberian Railroad joins lines to the Kuznetsk Coal Basin and to the Altai.) Novosibirsk is a river port. Its area (within the city limits) is 47,700 hectares. There are nine city raions. Population, 1,243,000(1974; 107,000 in 1917, 120,100 in 1926,404,000 in 1939, 886,000 in 1959). Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia.

History. The city was founded as Novaia Derevnia in 1893, when a railroad bridge was built across the Ob’ River during the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. In 1894, Novaia Derevnia was renamed the settlement of Aleksandrovskii, and in 1895, Novonikolaevskii. In December 1903 (January 1904, New Style) it became the city of Novonikolaevsk, Tomsk Province. It was a typical merchants’ city, with poorly developed industry. In 1902 the first Social Democratic group was organized at the railway depot.

Soviet power was proclaimed in the city on Dec. 13 (26), 1917. On May 26, 1918, as a result of a counterrevolutionary revolt, power in Novosibirsk was transferred to a Socialist Revolutionary (SR)-Menshevik White Guard government, and on Nov. 18, 1918, to Kolchak’s followers. The city was liberated by the Red Army and by insurgent workers on Dec. 14, 1919. From 1921 to 1925 it was the administrative center of Novonikolaevsk Province, and from 1925, the district city of Siberian Krai. In 1930, Novosibirsk became the administrative center of Western Siberian Krai, and in 1937, the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast. Novosibirsk was transformed into an important industrial, scientific, and cultural center during the 1930’s. Many of the industrial enterprises and people from western regions of the country were evacuated during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) to Novosibirsk.

Economy. Under the postwar five-year plans Novosibirsk gained importance as an industrial, scientific, and cultural center. In 1972 more than 610,000 city workers and office employees were engaged in social production. Novosibirsk is a major scientific and technological center. Machine building and metallurgy (65 percent of the gross industrial output) are the city’s leading industries. There are plants for the manufacture of heavy machine tools, hydraulic presses, electrothermal equipment, and radio parts. The city also has plants for the production of heavy electrical machines, farm machinery, machine tools, and instruments and devices. In addition, Novosibirsk has a metallurgical plant, a tin combine, and chemical enterprises producing plastics, lacquers, varnishes, drugs, and other products. Light industry and food processing (leather footwear and cotton combines, garment factories, and flour, fat, and meat-canning combines), as well as the building materials industry, which account for 24 percent of the gross industrial output, occupy a prominent position in the city’s economy.

Electric power is supplied by the Novosibirsk Hydroelectric Power Plant and four heat and electric power plants. In the USSR the city is known for its machine-building, electronics, nonferrous metallurgy, and chemical industries, the products of which are exported to foreign countries.


Architecture and city planning. The first regularly planned districts date from 1896. At that time most of the buildings were wooden. Among the first stone structures were the cathedral (1897, architect G. Kosiakov) and the railroad station, the trade buildings, and the theater (all built between 1900 and 1912, architect A. D. Kriachkov). After the Great October Socialist Revolution the center of the city was modernized. The main thoroughfare is Krasnyi Prospect, with Sverdlov Square (the site of the buildings of the city and oblast committees of the CPSU [1924–25] and of the oblast executive committee [1931–33], both designed by the architect A. D. Kriachkov). Also located along Krasnyi Prospect is V. I. Lenin Square (site of the Theater of Opera and Ballet [1931–45, architects A. Z. Grinberg, T. Ia. Bart, and A. V. Shchusev]). The most important buildings on the right bank include the railroad station (1930–41, architect G. I. Voloshinov), the State Public Scientific Technical Library of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1962–66, main architects A. A. Volovik and G. N. Burkhanov), and the circus (1968–71, architects S. M. Gel’fer and G. V. Naprienko). Construction of the Kirov district, located on the left bank of the Ob’, was begun in 1945 (draft of plans, 1932–35, main architect N. Kh. Poliakov). A bridge (1956) links the Kirov district with the right bank. The outlying parts of the city include industrial and residential districts, as well as workers’ settlements with private homes. In 1968 a new general plan for the development of the city, the Novosibirsk Civic Project, was drawn up with the assistance of Moscow’s State Institute for City Planning (Giprogor). The city has a number of monuments, including Heroes of the Revolution (granite, 1922, sculptor V. N. Sibiriakov; the wall, 1960, artist A. S. Chernobrovtsev) and the Monument of Glory (1967, artist A. S. Chernobrovtsev).


Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions. Novosibirsk is one of the USSR’s most important centers for scientific research. It is the site of the headquarters of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, located on the shore of the Novosibirsk Reservoir and consisting of a complex of buildings, including a university, research institutes, laboratories, and residential facilities (1957–66, draft of plans by M. A. Belyi, A. S. Mikhailov, and I. B. Orlov).

Located in Novosibirsk are the Siberian Division of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, with the main institute of clinical and experimental medicine; and dozens of branch research and design and planning institutes.

In the 1914–15 academic year there were 46 general education schools, with 4,000 students, and one specialized secondary institution, with 79 students. There were no higher educational institutions. In the 1972–73 academic year there were 220 general education schools, with a total enrollment of 186,800, and 37 specialized secondary schools, with 40,000 students. About 75,000 students were enrolled in the city’s 14 higher educational institutions, including the largest, the University of Novosibirsk; the institutes of electrical engineering, railway transport engineering, the national economy, medicine, pedagogy, and Soviet cooperative trade; a branch of the Moscow Institute for Light Industry and Technology; and the evening department of the Sverdlovsk Law Institute. In 1972 approximately 45,000 children were enrolled in 359 preschool institutions.

As of January 1, 1973, Novosibirsk had 147 public libraries (more than 5.6 million books and journals). In the city are the State Public Scientific Technical Library of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the oblast picture gallery, and the oblast museum of local lore, with its branch, the S. M. Kirov House-Museum. There are 63 clubs, 106 motion-picture projection units, six houses of pioneers, ten sports schools for children, and three young technicians’ and young naturalists’ stations.

Before the Great October Socialist Revolution there were no permanent theaters in Novosibirsk. Performances by amateurs and by professionals (primarily troupes on tour) were held periodically in different buildings. The city’s cultural life began developing in the very first years of Soviet power. Novosibirsk is one of the country’s leading theatrical centers. As of 1974 the city’s theaters included the Novosibirsk Krasnyi Fakel Theater (founded 1932), the Novosibirsk Theater of Opera and Ballet (1945), the Theater of Musical Comedy (1959), the Novosibirsk Young People’s Theater (1930), a puppet theater (1934), and the oblast drama theater (founded in the early 1930’s). The city also has a conservatory (opened in 1956), a philharmonic society, a circus, and a documentary film studio (established in 1928).

A number of periodicals are published in Novosibirsk: the oblast newspaper Sovetskaia Sibir’ (since 1919), the Komsomol newspaper Molodost’ Sibiri (since 1920), the city newspaper Vechernii Novosibirsk (since 1958), and the magazine Sibirskie ogni (since 1922). The Western Siberian Book Publishing House is located in Novosibirsk. City (oblast) radio broadcasting is carried for 3 ½ hours on the major frequency and three hours in stereo. All-Union radio programs are relayed. The Novosibirsk television studio has been in operation since 1957. In addition to local broadcasts (3½ hours), city and oblast residents receive two programs (9.2 hours) from Central Television and broadcasts from the Orbita ground station.

In 1913, Novosibirsk had two hospitals with 82 beds (approximately one bed per 1,000 inhabitants), two outpatient clinics, one orphanage (75 children), and five physicians (one per 1,800 inhabitants). By 1973 there were 51 hospitals with 14,100 beds (12.6 beds per 1,000; in 1940, 22 hospitals with 4,200 beds [7.5 per 1,000]); 43 outpatient clinics and polyclinics and 18 dispensaries (in 1940, 25 and three, respectively); and 55 day nurseries accommodating 5,200 children (in 1940, 40 day nurseries accommodating 3,000). In 1973 there were 6,200 practicing physicians in Novosibirsk (one per 210 inhabitants), as compared with 1,200 in 1940 (one per 400). Within the city limits there are four children’s sanatoriums with accommodations for 375. Most of the city’s medical personnel are trained at the medical institute (founded in 1935; internal medicine and pediatrics departments) and in four medical schools. There are four medical research institutes in Novosibirsk.


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Novosibirsk. Managing Editor, N. A. Trubitsin, Novosibirsk, 1961.
Riasentsev, B. Kogda zanaves raskryvaetsia. Novosibirsk, 1961.
Novosibirsk: Pamiatnye mesta: Dostoprimechate’nosti. Novosibirsk, 1967.
Novosibirsk. Novosibirsk, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in W central Russia, on the River Ob: the largest town in Siberia; developed with the coming of the Trans-Siberian railway in 1893; important industrial centre. Pop.: 1 425 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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