Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
One of the great sights for early travellers across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway after its opening in 1899.
The construction of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral began just after the foundation of Novo-Nikolayevsk in 1893, but, unlike Ascension Cathedral, it was originally made of stone, so it can be considered one of the first stone buildings of Novosibirsk.
By the order of Emperor Alexander III orthodox churches were built on all main stations of the Trans-Siberian Railway, but Alexander Nevsky Cathedral became the main religious building of the railway, as well as the monument to Emperor Alexander III, the builder of the Trans-Siberian Railway.
As is known, the city of Novo-Nikolayevsk was founded as a settlement of the builders of the Trans-Siberian Railway at its crossing with the Ob river. On the right bank of the river there was the village of Krasnoshchyokovo, and on the left bank of the river there appeared the railway station «Ob», which then developed into the city of Novo-Nikolayevsk. At that time it was the main railway station of the city (Novosibirsk Main Railway Station appeared only in 1929), and it was opposite this railway station that the construction of the cathedral began in 1895. The cathedral was originally built from stone, which was quite expensive for that time.
Cathedral Building Committee chose the site on the hill near the railway station and the railway bridge, at the very beginning of the lane, which then become the main street of the city. Today address of the cathedral is 1а, Krasny Avenue.
The cathedral was laid down on May 15th 1897, and only two years later, in 1899, it was consecrated in honour of Saint Alexander Nevsky. They wanted to to erect the stone cathedral of Siberia in the shortest time possible, so it was based on the ready-made project of a church (the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God the Pardoning) in the Galley Harbour, which was built only five years earlier, in 1890.
The cathedral was shut down in 1937. They tried to blow it up but without success – only the partitions were damaged. They didn’t want to use the bigger amount of explosives fearing to damage the nearby building of Sibrevkom (now Art Museum). Abandoning the idea of ruining the cathedral it was decided to house there a design institute. And then for many years it was occupied by the documentary film studio producing the movie magazine «Siberia on the Screen». The cathedral was returned to the church only in 1989, and it was again consecrated in 1991.