Life and history of city of Omsk

Coat of Arms of Omsk Region
Coat of Arms of Omsk Region

Tower Omsk
Tower Omsk

Shopping Centre Omsk
Shopping Centre Omsk

Omsk sports complex named Blinov
Omsk sports complex named Blinov

Omsk Hotel "Tourist"
Omsk Hotel "Tourist"

Omsk store "Children's World"
Omsk store "Children's World"

Omsk monument to the dead in hot spots
Omsk monument to the dead in hot spots

Omsk prospect Lubinsky
Omsk prospect Lubinsky

Sculpture Luba
Sculpture Luba

Omsk Light-Fountain

 Omsk Light-Fountain


Painting oil canvas









Adventures friendly bunnies Brave bunnies and fox - for Kindle Amazon



Everyone who has once visited Omsk notices its openness, breadth and pecu-
liarity. The city on the banks of the Irtish and Om rivers is beautiful and sweeping in a
Siberian manner.

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 Ч 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 bat-
talions 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 engineer V.Geste.
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 Ч 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 Ч 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.

The fortress is the historical heart of Omsk. At present we can find here the buildings
of different epochs: Catherine the Great baroque of the former guardhouse (the Regional
Military Registration and Enlistment Office now) stands next to red-brick facades of the
beginning of the 20th century buildings, severe forms of Military Assembly (House of
Officers) are close to modern volumes of the Dzherzhinsky Palace of Culture.

Many buildings in the fortress are connected with the name of the great Russian writer
F.Dostoevsky. First of all it's the house of commandant, where in 1990 was placed the
Dostoevsky Literary Museum.

The former drill ground is now occupied by the cosy shady public garden. Being in the
fortress you can't but remember the events which became the Omsk history milestones. In
1856 Mikhail Vrubel, the great painter born in Omsk, was baptized in the fortress
Soboro-Voskresenskaya Church. Omsk Fine Arts Museum bears his name now. Mikhail
Vrubel was around three when his father took him away from Omsk. But it's quite possible
that his childish impressions revealed themselves at his mature age. It's no doubt Vrubel saw
a lot in his native town. Among that lot a huge to him Cossack Nikolsky Cathedral in the gar-
den 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 and offices.

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 opin-
ion 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 regulated.

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 Ч the Khiebnikovs
house where Omsk artists are working now. Durable house with a verandah facing the gar-
den, with carved laurel branches on the front door and frieze reflected the taste of his owner
Ч 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.

Next is another famous building, No. 30 on Krasnykh Zor street, former Nikolsky
avenue. Here lived our famous fellow-townsman prominent contemporary poet Leonid
Martynov. We can entitle the book of his memoirs "The Aerial Frigates" the Omsk ency-
clopaedia of the first half of the 20th century. His love to the town was active, his interest to
its history and its present was real. He saw Omsk change its image during the 20-s, 30-s,
40-s and he believed in its future. "This town standing on the border of Kazakhstan and
Siberia, town where January frosts resemble Arctic and June heat resembles Middle Asia.
This town above quiet Om has grown during last 20 years" Ч wrote Martynov in his book
"the Fortress on Om".

Forever will remain in the history of WW II the names of its heros. The name of Dmitry
Karbyshev, our fellow-countryman, Omsk Military School graduate, man of great strength
became a legend. 134 Omsk citizens were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

During this time the city 2,5 thousand kilometers away from Moscow was hosting the
evacuees from Leningrad and other front-line towns and cities. Sharing bread and shelter
with them. Omsk received industrial enterprises from the Ukraine, turned its cultural places
into hospitals. 37 hospitals were opened and each third Omsk dweller became a
blood-donor during the war.

There almost was no civil construction during the war. On the vacant lots were urgently
erected shops of military plants. In those days started their activities the Baranov motor
works, the Oktyabtskaya Revolution tank plant, Omsk tyre plant and many others, turning
Omsk into large industrial center of Siberia. The builders lived in barracks which disappeared
totally only in the 70s.

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, I.SIovtsov.

In 1923 the museum was granted with the best building of the city, the former palace
of governor-general, and in the middle of eighties the museum moved to a new building,
built by the special project in Lenin street. The museum depositories are filled with more
than 250.000 unique items telling about the history of the land, about its nature, its culture.

Each visit to the museum is a joy of knowing your past, modern life of your native city,
a joy of meeting professionals, a joy of joining to the tense spiritual activity of enthusiasts.

In 1924 the Vrubel Museum of Fine Arts was established as the art department of the
museum of local lore, history and economy. Its collection includes paintings, drawings,
sculptures and works of arts and crafts. The pride of the museum collection make canvases
by Russian artists I.Repin, V.Serov, I.Shishkin, V.Surikov, I.Levitan. Spectators are always
attracted by the Russian avant-garde collection: N.Goncharova, M.Larionov, V.Kandinsky,
A.Yavlensky, members of "Jack of Diamonds". Omsk museum is the only museum in Siberia
which owns works by great painter M.Vrubel Ч who was born in Omsk.

The former general-governor palace is very beautiful but too small for the huge muse-
um collection and that's why the new building Ч the former trade house built in 1914 by the
architect A.Kryachkov and restored by the Omsk specialists Ч was granted for that collec-
tion. Recently museum moved to that new building. There is enough space now to exhibit
icons, Siberian tumuli gold, Faberge jewelry, glass and ceramics items which for many long
years were kept in its depositaries.

Five years ago in Omsk appeared the memorial museum of the Peoples Artist of Russia
Kondraty Belov. It is placed in the old wooden house and is the bright example of the city's
care for its talented sons Ч for carpenters who built this house, for its former owner
F.Stumpf. This house became the memorial of wooden architecture. It's filled with warm
atmosphere of cosiness. The artist's atelier is in one of the rooms on the second floor. From
the pictures look faces of kinfolk and friends of Kondraty Belov. You can see here his
palette, his easel with unfinished work of the master. On the rag we can see his hat, coat,
walking stick... These things create the feeling of artist's presence here, next to you. In the
evenings the museum turns into musical- poetical drawing-room. The Dostoevsky Literature
Museum is also one of the city's memorial museums. Until recently it was the department of
the Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy but now it's the independent scientific- lit-
erature center. Here you are absorbed into another world, into years when Fyodor
Dostoevsky was the Omsk convict, when worked P.Dravert and Anton Sorokin, when there
appeared Vsevolod Ivanov's first works, when Leonid Martynov wrote his books, when in the
60-s Leonid Ivanov astonished everyone with his knowledge of rural life, when Timofey
Belozerov wrote his fine children's poems.

Omsk artists show their love to the city in their own picturesque way. We can easily
recognize the brush of our popular artists K.Belov, K.Chshekotov, V.Volkov, T.Kozlov,
P.Mukhin and try to understand the canvases by N.Brukhanov, N.Tretyakov, we always
admire landscapes by V.Kukuytsev, A.Sapozhnikov, I.Sevokhin, R.Cherepanov, graphics by
Zheliostov, A.Chermoshentsev, talented works by Kichigin and others. Though their works are
different they all invite us to pay more attention to our native city, show us its beauty.

A.Lieberov is the real singer of Siberian nature. His pastels are so deep and so lyrical,
you can't take you eyes off of them. Many today's artists are his apprentices. Alexey
Lieberov organized the artistic-graphic faculty of the Pedagogical University, opened the
Lieberov centre.

Omsk dwellers and guests of Omsk are invited by exhibition halls of the Omsk Artists'
Union, here you can also buy the pictures you like. More than 100 artists are members of
the Union. But not all of them are able to find their own spectators. According to this in 1991
by the City Administration was opened the municipal museum "Art of Omsk".

The idea of Russia artistic culture development through all possible assistance of
provincial artistic life, its special artistic aura was taken as a principle. The author of this idea
art critic V.Tchirkov has been studying the artistic "local spirit" for many years and showed
the unique city feature consisting of the powerful level of young artists that didn't have until
recently the output to a wide audience of spectators.

Best works by S.AIexandrov, M.Gerasimov, S.Tyrkov, A.Titov, N.Molodtsov, G.Dashkova,
T.Koltyukhina, applied artist V.Novokshonov and others were collected. Over 2000 exhibits in

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.AIexeeva,
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.

Theatricality of the city was formed by many generations of enthusiasts. We can find its
sources in the fair show-booths and in the private theatre which appeared in the Omsk
fortress by the order of the Siberian Corps commander lieutenant-general I.Springer in 1764
"to polish young people". In winter 1764-65 there were staged first plays and in the middle
of the 19th century amateur plays were staged in Siberian Military School, there also were
performances in Omsk jail. Historians say that F.Dostoyevsky took part in staging the play
"Violet and Miroshka".

Today the leading city theatre Ч the Academic Drama Theatre occupies the premises
built in 1904-1905 with the money gathered from the city dwellers. The building was recon-
structed many times and is an architectural monument now.

During different years Omsk Drama gave to Russia Vladimir Torsky, Vazlav Dvorzhetsky,
Vladimir Rautbart, Spartak Mishurin, Mikhail Ulyanov. In recent years on its stage shone the
talents of People's artists Aleksey Teplov, Sergey Filippov, Nozhery Tchonishvily, Alexander
Shchegolev, Boris Kashihn. The theatre's "hours of triumph" was the time when its artistic
leaders were Yakov Kirzhner, Arthur Khaikin, and later Gennady Trostenetsky. Exactly at that
time the theatre discovered new authors, new plays, twice became the State prize winner,
was awarded the title of academic and Order of the Red Banner of Labour.

It's difficult to buy tickets to Omsk Drama. Not long ago the theatre opened a chamber
stage, named after the People's artist of Russia, State prizes winner Tatyana Ozhigova.

Since the middle of the eighties, when borders have been opened theatre actively
invites foreign producers and often tours abroad. The theatre was invited to the World
Theatre Festival, performed in Geneva, Warsaw and Poznan, in Remscheid, got into close
creative contacts with the Milwaukee (USA) repertoire theatre. There are international confer-
ences and symposia at the theatre. But the main thing is that the theatre is beloved by Omsk

The former Operetta Theatre received the status of Musical Theatre in the end of 1981
together with a new building erected in the center of the city by the project of Moscow
architectural workshop.

The modern outward appearance, spacious foyers with pictures by the leading city
painters, large but cosy auditorium, stage equipped with up-to-date sound and light devices
create the special theatrical atmosphere.

But the essence is not in the building, it's in the best creative traditions, in the cast.
There are about fifty soloists- vocalists in the cast and a perfect orchestra in the theatre,
conducted by the chief conductor, Honoured Art Worker of Russia, Udmurtia State prize win-
ner E.Rozen. The ballet troupe created by the cares and endeavors of the Honoured Art
Worker of Russia, honorary citizen of Omsk V.Tulupova was filled to great extent by young
graduates of specialized schools. The ballet is now lead by the experienced master
S.Kolesnik. The theatre's chorus is multitudinous and harmonious thanks to creative cares of
the chief choirmaster T.Bobrova.

Having stable creative group, the theatre collected extensive repertoire of different
genres. It includes the classic opera plays, ballets, operettas.

It's hard to find among the inhabitants of Omsk the person to whom the Theatre of
Children and Youth is not familiar. Not so long ago it was called the Theatre of Young
Spectators and its removal to the new building was a big event in the cultural life of youth.

During last 10 years this theatre is headed by the artistic leader V.Rubanov, who was
awarded the title of Honoured Art Worker of Russia Federation recently. He has formed the
troupe of really creative persons sharing the same views. Among them are Honoured Artist of
Russia V.Kiseleva, Honoured Culture Worker I.Abramov, leading actors S.OIenberg,
A.Goncharuk and many others.

It's always animated and merrily at the Theatre of puppet, actor and mask "Harlequin".
It's the theatre for the smallest children, and they unlike adults don't suppress their emotions
and respond to everything happening on stage very spontaneous. Because there are
fairy-tale's heroes from "Teremok", "Little Red Riding Hood", "One Inch Maid", "Three Little
Pigs", who play, live, struggle with evil and children want to help them very much.

"Harlequin's" plays are known to both children and adults. Some time ago the theatre
staged for them "Mess-Mend", and together with the musical theatre presented them with
opera buffo "The Blue Beard".

The theatre owes its indubitable success to the leading actors- puppeteers, Honoured
Artists of Russia Emira and Edward Urakov, actors Valery and Nina Isaev, G.VIasov,
N.Kuznetsova, chief producer B.Salmachev, production designer O.Verevkina.

Four years ago enthusiasts who couldn't imagine their lives without a theatre, headed
by S.Rudzinsky Ч young and with no doubt talented producer, staged their first performance
although they didn't have neither permanent place of their own, nor necessary means. But
their enthusiasm and professional skills were highly estimated by the community and specta-
tors and the troupe became the federal Fifth Theatre.

The municipal theatre of drama and comedy the Gallery is young and talented. It was
born due to the love to the theatre of a group of actors, unquestionable organizing talent of
its artistic leader V.Vitko and cares of the City Administration.

The theatre's orientation to the staging of home plays creates the definite image, forms
the spectators' interest. The Gallery is always full and critics confirm that "...it smells like
Russian spirit".
Based on N.Leskov's work the musical play "Left-hander" was on for some seasons.
Very popular is fair-show based on the D.Averkin's play "Frol Skobeev", filled with joy and
popular humor; psychologically deep stage research by F.Dostoevsky "Village
Stepantchikovo". The play "Uncle Vanya" is full of mild Chekhov lyricism.

Its fifth anniversary season the theatre celebrated with the plays by Sukhovo-Kobylin
"the Marriage of Kretchinsky" and "the Marriage of Belugin" by A.Ostrovsky.

The name of Lyubov losifovna Yermolaeva is well known to Omsk theatre-lovers. Over
30 years she was in charge of people's theatres of Agricultural University and the Maluntsev
palace of culture. Studiousness, ability to get people "infected" with theatre, amazing
responsiveness to the creative search Ч all that helped former amateurs to become profes-
sional actors, poets, pressmen and simply people enamoured of theatre.
Only its first anniversary has celebrated in the 280th anniversary of the city the experi-
mental Lyceum Theatre. It's unique. It's headed by the Honored Artist of Russia
V.Reshetnikov. All directors- pedagogues are highly professional persons and the actors are
the school children and pupils of Lyceums, learning theatrical secrets. They are taught the
basis of stage movements, speech, history and theory of theatre. During last year they
staged 4 new productions Ч one for each age group. They were shown at best city stages
and each meeting with spectators was a success.

The city is distinguished by its musicality. The city musical environment is formed by
children art schools, the Shebalin Musical College, the Omsk State Philharmonic Society with
its wonderful symphony orchestra and the State Russian Peoples Chorus, created in the
fifties by E.V.Kalugina Ч connoisseur and collector of folk song.

The musical enquiries of citizens were fully satisfied when in the beginning of nineties
new city troupes were created. Among those were municipal brass band, Russian chamber
orchestra "Lad", Russian folk dance ensemble "Irtish" and the very young "Credo".

The special social-cultural milieu in the city is created by holidays. Most of them were
born in Omsk and became traditional. The most bright and light feeling of life give the chil-
dren's festival- concerts "the Glass Shoe" , the annual city holiday "All Colors of the

And how wonderful are winter holidays with the bright sun and strong Siberian frost!
They include the New Year holiday with obligatory merry ice sledges and fortresses, with
troika rides and Siberian fun competitions, Shroventide with its fairs, skomorokhs and tradi-
tional pancakes.

The City Day is of a special interest. It's held in the beginning of August. All city parks
of culture and rest with their carnival and concert programs take part in this holiday. And
finally the general fireworks prepared by special scenario finish the holiday.

The Soul of Russia that's the name of a holiday born in 1992 on the City
Administration's initiative. It's the holiday of Russian original national culture revival. This holi-
day includes creative meetings, scientific conferences on problems of revival and develop-
ment of national cultures, festive gatherings in the streets and many concerts held by pro-
fessionals and amateurs. The holiday of folklore song and dance which became international
now is the organic part of it.

Everyone who has once visited Omsk notices its kind openness, breadth and peculiari-
ty. And this feeling is proven by the pages of this album.


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Copyright © 2000 by Sergey Voevodin. All rights reserved.