Topic: Russian History
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Ob River at Novonikolayevsk in the early 20th century
Novosibirsk was founded in 1893 at the future site of a Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the Ob River in Siberia. It was originally named Novonikolayevsk, in honour of both Saint Nicholas and Tsar Nicholas II.
The Russian Civil War took its toll on the city, with wartime epidemics claiming thousands of lives. The city was captured and recaptured numerous times: the Soviets took control of the city in December 1917, the Whites took back the city in May 1918, and the Red Army took the city in 1919, retaining it for the duration of the Civil War.
Novonikolayevsk began rebuilding in 1921, including the reconstruction of the Ob River Bridge and numerous other buildings destroyed during the war. In 1926 the city's name was changed to Novosibirsk (trans. New Siberian City).
A poster about Nicholas II, near the monument to Alexander III at the River Station, Novosibirsk
Today, Novosibirsk is Russia's thrid largest city, as well as the administrative center of the Siberian Federal District.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union many city and street names have reverted back to their Tsarist era names. The political party Fair Russia is now calling for the city to change its name back to its founding name of Novonikolayevsk, and is apparently receiving wide support.
In June of this year a monument to the Emperor Alexander III was unveiled in the city, and a campaign is now under way to erect a monument to his son, the Emperor Nicholas II. The city may be moving ahead into the future, but it seems it does not want to forget its Imperial past either.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 2 August, 2012