Omsk is the second largest city in Siberia after Novosibirsk. Despite its smaller size Omsk is more attractive than Novosibirsk. The central part has retained some century-old architecture and is dotted with parks, museums and quirky public sculptures.

The Tara Gate built in 1792.

The city was founded in 1716. It grew rapidly and soon replaced Tobolsk as the seat of Siberia`s governor. In 1918-19 during the civil war Omsk was briefly the seat of Admiral Kolchak's anti-Lenin government. The Kolchak government occupied the 1862 Siberian governor mansion. Currently the building houses an art gallery.

Art gallery.

Monument to the victims of Kolchak's army.

Drama theatre.

The Assumption cathedral.

There are some buildings left from the first fortress built on the bank of the Irtysh River. The fortress is famous for the fact that Feodor Dostoevsky the famous Russian writer served his sentence here in 1851-55. The house of the prison chief has been turned into a literature museum. A substantial part of its exposition is dedicated to Dostoevsky and his involuntary stay in Omsk.

Omsk`s witty statues include a brass plumber emerging from a manhole, a 19th century beauty sitting on a bench and a 21st century young couple talking over a cup of coffee.

Irish Pub "Kolchak" is decorated with portraits of prominent revolutionaries and anti-revolutionaries. They have eventually reconciled over a mug of beer.

View over the Irtysh River.

The Tourist Hotel.

The Mayak Hotel.


The Achair Monastery is an impressive riverside convent 55 km south of Omsk. Founded in 1905, in the 1920s it was closed and turned into a gulag camp. The camp functioned 16 years and took a heavy toll of human lives. The monastery was restored in early 1990s as a convent.

A peculiar feature of the monastery is a baptistery filled with warm mineral water flowing from the depth of 1168 m. Visitors are free to soak in the baptistery. Believers ascribe healing powers to the water and flock the monastery from all over the Omsk Oblast.