General City Information

Leningrad bridge over the Irtysh

Leningrad bridge over the Irtysh

Omsk is a city in the southwestern Siberia in Russia and the administrative center of Omsk Oblast. It is the second-largest city in Russia beyond the Urals. The distance from Omsk to Moscow is 2,700 km.

In the Russian Empire, it was the seat of the Governor General of Western Siberia, and later of the Governor General of the Steppes. For a brief period during the Russian Civil War in 1918–1919, it was proclaimed the Capital of Russia, and held the imperial gold reserves.

Omsk is the administrative center of Siberian Cossacks, the see of the bishop of Omsk and Tara, and the imam of Siberia.

Geographically Omsk is situated at the banks of Irtysh (the north-flowing river) at the place where it joins the Om River. Omsk also sits at the junction of motorways of the central Russia and hosts both branches of the Trans-Sib Railway.

Lyubinsky Avenue, 'Moscow' merchant row in Omsk

Lyubinsky Avenue, "Moscow" merchant row in Omsk

Along the Ob and Irtysh rivers both passenger and freight navigation connects Omsk and smaller mining towns of Kazakhstan. The boats also provide a link with the resources rich parts of Northern Siberia.

St. Nicholas Cathedral

St. Nicholas Cathedral

The climate is dry and continental, infamous for its drastic temperature changes. The average difference throughout a year is between +20 °C (68 °F) in July and?19 °C (?2.2 °F) in January. The average number of sunny days is 300 per year.

The city center displays is an ensemble of buildings along Lyubinsky prospect and Lenin Street. The most spectacular is the former Gostiny Dvor, decorated with two chapels. Close at hand are a bourse and a drama theater, all dating from late 1800s – early 1900s.

Smaller streets are lined with stately mansions of former insurance companies, trusts and banks from the same period. Closer to the river are the few surviving somber buildings of the 18th-century fortress. The largest and most opulent church in the city is the Dormition Cathedral, a five-domed construction in the style of the Russian Revival. It was erected in 1896, blown up by the Soviets, and meticulously restored in the early 2000s.

Another area of interest is the junction of Nikolsky Prospect and Krasnyikh Zor Street. It has a line of merchants’ old wooden houses still perfectly intact. The Krasnyikh Zor leads to the neoclassical cathedral of St Nicholas, which was commissioned by the Cossacks, designed by Vasily Stasov and built in 1840. It contains various relics of the Siberian Cossacks.

The major museums in Omsk are the Omsk Vrubel Art Gallery and the State Historical Museum. The first located in the former bourse building and the Historical Museum can be found at the governor-general’s former mansion.

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