Kolyvan’ is included into the list of historical places of the Novosibirsk Region; it is one of the oldest settlements in the region. Located only 30 km to the north of Novosibirsk and close to the river Ob, this settlement was founded much earlier than Novosibirsk, and it is definitely worth visiting if you are interested in Russian history and the history of Siberia in particular, or just want to enjoy picturesque and peaceful landscapes of the Siberian countryside or get an idea of the typical lifestyle in the country.

Kolyvan was founded in 1713 as a fortress on the river Chauss to protect the southern border of Russia in the Western Siberia from nomads coming from the south. In the beginning the town was very small, inhabited mostly by peasants who came from the western regions. It was called the Chauss Fortress.. In 1719 it was already inhabited by Cossacks, who joined the peasants. As the town was never attacked by the nomads and the Russian border moved further to the South, the town lost its military functions, but people continued to live there and very soon it became a market place where merchants lived and developed their businesses.

The economic situation of the town seemed to be positive and promising, but in the end of the 19th century the newly built Transsib with the railway bridge over the river Ob found its place 40 km to the south of Kolyvan, after what the town .lost its commercial significance.  The most merchants quickly moved to Novosibirsk, called Novonikolayevsk at that time, and since then Kolyvan was and still is just a satellite town of Novosibirsk. During the Soviet period it was mainly agricultural, but soon perestroika came and Kolyvan lost its significance once again. Today agriculture is booming again and lot of people prefer living in the country, so Kolyvan seems to have its second chance, besides, growing interest to history attracts more and more visitors. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and monastery is a famous place of pilgrimage. The cathedral was built in 1887, devastated during the Soviet time and restored in 1991.

Very peaceful and beautiful is the landscape around Kolyvan. It is typically Russian, with endless fields, birch trees, ravines and the river Chauss, on the bank of which it is always nice to have a picnic. picturesque landscapes, vast lawns, and very special spiritual environment make Kolyvan’ a perfect site for traditional summer open-airs like Siberian Fire (Сибирский Огонь) и Water of Life (Живая Вода).

If you have a longer stay in Novosibirsk, I invite you for a day trip to Kolyvan. You will see what life looks like in a Russian countryside. A picnic with a camp fire gratis!

2 Responses to Kolyvan’

  1. Frede Pedersen:


    It seems you know a lot about possibilities in the countryside off of Novosibirsk. Is it possible that you know or yourself can do a one-day tour for three Danish guys traveling the transiberian railway and coming through Novosibirsk? It would be on the 13th on January already. We accounted with one day for the city and one for the nature.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,
    Frede Pedersen

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