Novosibirsk Region is SIBERIA IN MINIATURE.
Here you find rich scenery, fast rivers, thousands of salt and fresh water lakes, mineral springs and therapeutic mud. At any time of year, you’ll find something to enjoy, whether it’s hunting, fishing, downhill skiing, or whitewater rafting.
Novosibirsk is the third most populous city in Russia, with more than 1.6 million permanent residents. It is the cultural, spiritual, business and scientific centre of Siberia.
To this day, it remains the fastest growing city in the world. To reach a population of one million residents, it took Moscow 700 years, Tokyo 400, New York 250, and Chicago 85. But it took Novosibirsk just 70 years to get there. This rapid growth even won Novosibirsk a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The city has an abundance of interesting sights that locals and guests alike love to visit.
Novosibirsk has many museums – big state museums, as well as smaller private establishments. For years, the city has been home to unique museums such as the Museum of the Sun, the Museum of Siberian Birchbark, the Radiation Disasters Museum, and even the Museum of Aliens.
The Siberian Colosseum
Novosibirsk Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is one of Russia’s leading theatres, and the largest opera theatre in the country. Thanks to its size, it is called the Siberian Colosseum. Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre could easily fit under its roof. The building’s main feature is a large dome 60 metres in diameter and 35 metres tall. It is the biggest single-piece dome in the world. The dome’s average thickness is 8 centimetres, making the ratio of thickness to radius less than that of a chicken’s egg. The dome is covered with a multitude of silvery metal scales. This building holds many a mystery. Rumor has it that there is a whole underground city beneath the theatre, where the treasures of the Tretyakov Gallery, the Hermitage, and other famous museums were preserved during the Second World War.
From leopards to dolphins
Have you ever seen a Persian leopard? If not, be sure to visit the Novosibirsk Zoo, one of the biggest zoos in Russia. You won’t be able to meet this animal in any other park in the whole world. The Zoo boasts one of the world’s best collections of felines and mustelids, among which the Liger—a unique lion-tiger hybrid—deserves a special mention. It looks like a gigantic lion with blurred stripes. They aren’t found in the wild nowadays, and there are no more than twenty of them still in existence. Although Novosibirsk is located far from seas or oceans, it has a modern centre of oceanography and marine biology called Delphinia. You can see more than 300 types of fish, eels, sharks, and other sea creatures in the aquarium that boasts the longest underwater tunnel east of the Ural mountains. Pacific bottle-nosed dolphins, white beluga wales, South American sea lions, Northern sea lions, and Pacific walruses all perform in the dolphinarium.
Novosibirsk has many museums – big state museums, as well as smaller private establishments. For years, the city has been home to unique museums such as the Museum of the Sun, the Museum of Siberian Birchbark, the Museum of Happiness, the World Funeral Culture Museum, the Radiation Disasters Museum, and even the Museum of Aliens. The Museum of Local History has earned a special place among the city’s institutions, displaying archeological and paleontological collections, the most famous exhibit in which is the complete skeleton of a female mammoth—one of only two found in Russia. There are also museums located outside of the regional capital that are no less interesting, such as the Suzun Mint Museum, located in the village of Suzun 150 km outside of Novosibirsk. Siberian coins were minted here in the 18th century, and the museum’s grounds include the estate of the copper mill’s director, the Copper Mill exhibit, located in the only surviving workshop, as well as the Mint Museum, with its line of working models of coin-printing machines and tools from the 18th and 19th centuries.
All the exhibition areas have interactive zones where every visitor can single-handedly print a coin, and experience the life of a factory worker or clerk of the 18th-19th centuries. Kolyvan—a merchant village The amazing merchant village of Kolyvan is located 46 kilometres from Novosibirsk. This ancient Siberian village, nestled among blue lakes, white birches, and green taiga forest, is more than 200 years old, and Kolyvan residents treasure their heritage. A very long time ago, in 1713, the tsar ordered a fortress to be built here, which was named Chaussky Stockade. On the hill next to the fortress, protected by it, a settlement sprang up that was named Kolyvan, which in Turkic means “place by the water”. Kolyvan boasts wide, straight streets and more than 30 architectural monuments. Among them are merchants’ mansions, original houses of ancient wooden architecture, and the Church of Alexander Nevsky, erected in 1887, which is one of the oldest local history museums in the region. There are many other beautiful places in the Novosibirsk area. Among them are the Barsukov Cave, whose passages reach 200 metres in length, the Belovskiy Waterfall, Glubokoye (Deep) Lake, and Umrevinsky Stockade, another early 18th century fortress. The Berdsky Cliffs are one of the most beautiful stops on any Siberian tour, while those who love hiking should give the Bugotaksky Hills a try.
Novosibirsk Region is wonderful at any time of year.
Every season offers special types of recreation: in summer and autumn you can enjoy the beauty of Karakansky Pine Woods, or relax on the shore of the Ob Reservoir.
Lake Danilovo, a lake with unusual water composition, is located in Kyshtovsky District. According to a legend, this lake is a part of the “Five Lakes,” formed as a result of a meteorite that fell and broke into five pieces. The meteorite’s fall imbued the lake’s water with amazing qualities: it contains anomalously large quantities of silver. This legend gave the lake its second name: Silver Lake. Due to the water’s silver content, it is believed to possess therapeutic qualities. The region has its own Dead Sea, or, to be exact, two lakes: Ostrovnoye (Island) and Gorkoye (Bitter). It has been determined that the Ostrovnoye Lake’s mud isn’t just close in quality to the Dead Sea mud, but surpasses it in its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, and has a rejuvenating effect.
Vacation Year Round
Novosibirsk Region is wonderful at any time of year. Every season offers special types of recreation: in summer and autumn you can enjoy the beauty of Karakansky Pine Woods, or relax on the shore of the Ob Reservoir, which locals simply refer to as “the Sea”. In the winter you can take part in the Snow Sculpture Festival, take your children to an Ice City, enjoy an active break at one of the local ski resorts, or have a go at extreme sports including paragliding, snowkiting, and ice-sailing. Come to the Novosibirsk Region and put together your own kaleidoscope of impressions!
Text by Lyubov Romanova