Relationship established 1989
Novosibirsk is Russia's third largest city, after Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast. It is also the largest city in Siberia and the administrative center of Siberian Federal District, in the southwest of which it is located.
The city lies along the Ob River in the West Siberian Plain. To the south is the Ukok Plateau part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai. The climate is sharply continental, with very severe, cold, and snowy winters and hot and dry summers. Temperatures in summer range from 20 to 25°C (75°F), in winter -18 to -20°C (0°F), but can reach -40°C (-40°F) in winter and 35-40°C (100°F) in summer. The difference between the highest and the lowest temperature is 88°C (158°F). Most of the time, the weather is sunny, with an average of 2880 hours of sunshine per year.
In 1893, during the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, architects of the railway decided to build a bridge across the Ob River at a place where the river was shallow and narrow, as this would most easily facilitate the construction of the bridge. At the spot where the bridge was constructed, the small village of Novonikolaevsk sprang up – a village that would later change its name to Novosibirsk.
Novosibirsk began as a settlement that acted as a conduit by which goods were distributed to the markets of Russia from the Ural Mountain Region. In December 1925, the name of the city was officially changed to Novosibirsk.
With 1.5 million people, Novosibirsk is the third largest city of Russia and the chief city of western Siberia. In 1926, "by the demand of the people," it was given the new name Novosibirsk ("New Siberia").
Novosibirsk is a city that prides itself on size: it is the third-largest city in Russia (the biggest city east of the Urals), has the biggest railway station along the trans-Siberian route, the biggest library in Siberia, and the biggest opera/ballet theater in all of Russia – even bigger than Moscow's Bolshoy Theater. The red-brick Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, while not the biggest, is considered one of the finest existing examples of pure Russian Orthodox architecture.
In 1943, the Academy of Sciences opened up its Siberian branch in Novosibirsk, which signaled the beginning of the city's transformation into the educational hub of Siberian Russia. The majority of research institutes are clustered in Academgorodok, thirty kilometers south of Novosibirsk. At its height, Academgorodok was home to 65,000 scientists and their families and was a privileged area to live in, with well-stocked stores and dachas for the academic elite. Even now, when Soviet times have gone and new Russia suffers from difficult economical crisis, Novosibirsk keeps economical stability and usual Russian hospitality for its guests. New private business helps the city to grow and year by year it becomes more and more beautiful and attractive to tourists from all over the world.
During World War II, the city experienced a great deal of growth, as Soviet officials ordered major industrial production facilities to relocate away from the Nazi advances. A rich agricultural center, Novosibirsk is rare among Siberian cities in that it is not rich in mineral wealth. Rather, it has made its name as an agricultural, commercial, and scientific center for the Siberian region. It is now considered the business center of Siberia.
Sister City Structure/History
Saint Paul's involvement with the city of Novosibirsk began on February 9, 1989, when, along with Minneapolis, it entered into a Sister City partnership. The organization that connected the Twin Cities to Novosibirsk, CONNECT US-RUSSIA (at the time CONNECT US-USSR), was founded by Paula Decosse and Susan Hartman after they visited the Soviet Union along with their daughters in 1984.
This Sister City affiliation (which is a three-way partnership between Novosibirsk, St. Paul, and Minneapolis) has had no committee structure since 1999.
Arch of Alexander Nevskii Cathedral