Russia’s third largest city and the most important in Siberia, Novosibirsk sprawls out on the banks of the Ob River, the seventh largest in the world. The city was founded in 1893 as a small settlement to lodge the workers building the Trans-Siberian Railway Bridge across the Ob River and was first named Novonikolayevsk, in honor of then Tsar Nicolas II. The city developed quickly in the beginning of the 20th century as a junction between the Trans-Siberian and Turkestan-Siberian railways, the latter connecting Russia with Central Asia and the Caspian Sea. After the Russian revolution in 1926, the city changed its name to the present one and now boasts almost a million and a half inhabitants and one of the best universities in Russia.

Panoramic tour of Novosibirsk. During our panoramic tour we will visit Oktyabrskaya port, the square where the city was founded; Lenin Square and Krasny Prospekt, the main avenue; and the nearby Opera and Ballet Theatre, the largest in Russia. Inaugurated in 1944, its silver dome is a picture of the monumental Soviet architecture of the 20th century. The House of 100 Apartments, which was constructed by the famous architect Kryachkov, won the Grand Prix award and the Golden Medal at the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Paris in 1937, while the Monument to the Glory, dedicated to the soldiers fallen in the Second World War, is also a significant example of Soviet-inspired architecture. We will also admire the exterior views of St. Nicholas Chapel, the Ascension Cathedral, and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the first stone building in Novosibirsk. We will discover two imposing engineering works: the Metro Bridge over the Ob River and the Novosibirsk Dam in the Ob River, very near the city, which forms the so-called “Siberian Sea.” Close by is located the Railway Museum, in which we will appreciate several locomotives and carriages from different periods, and discover the historical evolution of transportation on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Our visit will end in Akademgorodok, the university city and research center of Siberia.

Visit to Akademgorodok. Situated 20 km south of Novosibirsk, among fir and birch forests and very near the “Siberian Sea,” Akademgorodok is translated as “Academy Town.” It was founded in 1950 as a center of excellence in education and research and it hosts the University of Novosibirsk, almost 40 research centers, a medical institute, and many facilities for its inhabitants, from residential complexes to recreational and leisure venues, hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, cinemas, sport facilities, etc. The most remarkable building is the House of Scientists, whose surprising architecture hosts a library with more than 100,000 volumes. Today Akademgorodok is the main scientific and educational center of Siberia and one of the most important in Russia, making up part of the Russian Academy of Science.