Everyone who has once visited
Omsk notices its openness, breadth and peculiarity. The city on
the banks of the Irtish and Om rivers is beautiful and sweeping
A beautiful site was chosen for the new fortress by the guardsman
of Peter the Great I.Buchholz, when in spring of 1716 he and his
detachment made a landing on the shore of
the free Irtish, in the place where this powerful Siberian river
takes the quiet Om into its broad riverbed. According to the edict
of the tsar Peter the Great and his deputy in Siberia
prince Gagarin, pioneers erected here the fortification to guard
the south Russian borders.
Thus was founded the town, which in
our days became the largest industrial and cultural center of Siberia.
No trace was left of wooden fortress - primogenitor of the town.
But the ancient stone houses and the entrance fortress gates on
the right bank of the river Om, where it flows into the Irtish,
still keep the voices of the remote past. Right here in the 1760s,
when the wooden
buildings of the first Omsk fortress became dilapidated, a new fortification
was founded, this time built of stone.
In 1782 the fortress settlement was given the name of a town. Among
inhabitants of this town were merchants, artisans, officials, but
most people were the military. In 1812 battalions of the 24th Siberian
division went to fight with Napoleon. Many of them died the death
of brave on the Borodino field. The Shirvansky musketeer regiment
units guarding the borders of Omsk fortress also distinguished themselves
in the fights with Frenchmen. Later
the heros and participants of that war served in Omsk. At different
times the post of West Siberian Governor-general was held by P.
Kaptsevich and G. Husford. During that time the town grew considerably,
was decorated with gardens and sturdy stone buildings. In the 1820s
Omsk was lined with buildings by the project of the famous Russian
Since that time the central architectural
ensemble of the town began to take shape. One of the Omsk central
buildings became the palace of Governor-general. In celebration
days the tricolor flag appeared on the tower. From this tower the
young town was viewed by many guests - well-known scientists, diplomats
and travellers. They could see new squares, wooden houses with mezzanines
and galleries, the broad Irtish, ships, fresh green Lyuba's Grove
and the fortress with mighty belfry of Voskresensky Cathedral. The
military significance of Omsk determined the fates of many Russians.
We are not sure if the famous horses of talented sculptor Peter
Klodt could appear on the Anitchkov Bridge in Petersburg without
his Omsk experiences. Because here in Omsk a gifted boy fell for
horses - these proud and beautiful animals. The fame found him in
the Northern capital but here in Omsk, far away from European artistic
world, for the first time baron Klodt felt the desire to learn curving,
modelling and studying horses.
Among that lot a huge to him Cossack
Nikolsky Cathedral in the garden of which the artist could have
walked. "Its severe slim appearance" is very alike to
its architectural brothers in Petersburg. And it's quite explicable
because the Cathedral was built by the famous architect V.Stasov's
drawings, who built a lot in the city on the banks of Neva.
In 1894 when the railroad came to Omsk it was called the Gates of
Siberia. The Great Siberian Track made the economic contacts of
business men more active and easier, by connecting Omsk with Moscow,
Petersburg and Far East. The representatives of famous Russian and
foreign firms came to the far Siberian town. Due to this Omsk started
intensive construction of imposing buildings: banks, shops, apartments
In our days the work of organizations responsible for the keeping
of Omsk antique memorials became animated, there appeared enthusiasts-students
of local lore, whose opinion is considered by the community. The
city's department of architecture lead by A.Karimov has provided
the restricted areas where the erection of new buildings is strictly
One of such areas are the Cossack suburb.
Each house here has its unique history. On Pochtovaya street remained
some ancient houses, among them No, 27 - the Khiebnikovs house where
Omsk artists are working now. Durable house with a verandah facing
the garden, with carved laurel branches on the front door and frieze
reflected the taste of his owner the famous public figure, lawyer
Arseny Khiebnikov. In the beginning of the 20-s this house was visited
by the talented youth, among them was young Vissarion Shebalin,
who performed many of his works in this house on Pochtovaya for
the first time.
In the 50-s-60-s in the North West of Omsk due to the construction
of the first Siberian oil refinery grew the town of oil industry
workers. This town appeared on the spot which since the 18th century
occupied "the quiet little village of Zakhlamino, surrounded
by the windmills" as wrote I.Belov in his "Travel Notes
and Impressions of Western Siberia" in the 1850s. A new city
was created designed, by the indivisible architect-artistic project
(the Vesniny Brothers architectural-planning workshop).
The idea of the city-garden presented for the first time in 1919
by the engineer D.Werner was incarnated in the end of the 50-s,
when the city was all in green and the lawns of parks and public
gardens were filled with exotic flora. Many interesting buildings
appeared in Omsk during last decades. Among the buildings which
enriched the city's panorama we can enumerate the Trade Center,
the builders of which were awarded the State prize in 1968, the
Pushkin Scientific Library (architects Y.Zakharov, G.Narizyna, T.Moraz,
I.Lubchich) on the Krasny Put street. Omsk architects are trying
to form the complete ensembles, they attach great importance to
the moulding of building's silhouette, use widely the natural factors
in their creative plans. And at the same time they don't forget
the antiquity and understand the necessity of its preservation.
The city cherishes its past. The architects
and antiquity lovers restored the Serafimo-Alexeevskaya Chapel which
even now is surrounded by numerous legends. One of them tells that
the Chapel was built in 1908 to memorize the birth of the Cesarevitch
Alexei. Another tells that it was built to memorize the soldiers
killed in Russian war with Japan. The chapel was torn down in the
1920-s and was rebuilt brick by brick by the project and super-vision
of artist V.Desyatov.
You can meet the history of Omsk not only on the streets of the
city. It lives in the museums, in the inspirational works of Omsk
artists, actors and history scientists.
Omsk museum of local lore, history and economy is the oldest in
Siberia. It was found- ed in 1878 by the famous Siberian scientists,
explorers and public figures: M.Pevtsov, G.Potanin, N.Yadrintsev,
The city has great scientific potential.
The names of academician the Honorary citizen of Omsk V.Bisyarina,
academician N.Milachshenko, corresponding member of Medical Academy
L.Poluektov, Honorable Science and Technics Workers K.Artemiev,
T.AIexeyeva, D.Krinitsin, V.Mezentsev, K.Tolmachev, social anthropologist
I.Tomilov are well known in Russia and abroad.
Omsk is theatrical city. It has 5 state and 3 municipal theatres
for 1200 thousand city dwellers. It's hard to buy tickets for many
plays and today in the developing market relations when many theatres
in different cities close, here in Omsk in the beginning of the
nineties there opened 4 more theatres.