Friday, 20 December 2019

Russia 7: Novosibirsk: art and railways

We arrived in Novosibirsk early in the morning after a 2 night journey from Irkutsk.  We stayed in the modern Azimut hotel and enjoyed their renown buffet breakfast a day early.  We walked through the town and visited the Alexander cathedral filled with icons.  The Roerir museum is Novosibirsk’s link with the international world. He was born in St Petersburg and he left Russia after the revolution. He explored the Himalayas and Tibet with his family and friends in the 1920’s and produced remarkable work of brightly coloured views of mountains with religious figures included. The museum had a short film about his work but omitted his important work arguing that cultural work should be protected during war, The Roerich pact. He never returned to Russia but is highly regarded here and in India. Fortunately I learnt more about him from Wikipedia.

The state museum illustrated the development of Novosibirsk, driven by the railway development at the end of the 19 c. with Russian and English panels with many photos. I enjoyed an exhibition of Black and White photos by a local woman, capturing people in poses that told stories.

We enjoyed the evening light on the central square with presided over by a statue of Lenin and a huge early 20 century music venue with vast arches, built when the expanding town oozed confidence.

I eat Siberian octopus in a cafe and looking out on silver birches.  In Siberian towns we have enjoyed the summer evening light and seeing families relaxing and street artists performing.

In Novosibirsk I learnt about Siberian development, I enjoyed local art and saw how Roerir’s Siberian work is internationally important.

Train stats 1820 km with 2 nights from Irkutsk to Novosibirsk

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