A nice stop along Trans-Siberian route.

The town of Omsk, according to several sources, is considered a town lacking in charm being just a good stop to break the very long trip along the Trans-Siberian railways. Since I didn’t read too much before planning my itinerary I decided to spend here two days. However in the end, I wasn’t disappointed at all because in my opinion Omsk is pleasant and it has a reasonable amount of things to see and do. In this post I will try to recap my impression about the town, what to see and to do based on my experience. This means of course that I could have left out something.

Arrival in town.

Railway station is south of historical centre of the town, quite far, so walking is not an option especially if, Omsk Railways Stationlike in my case, hotel is even further north. There are many buses leaving from the square in front of the station and taxies as well. Bus in OmskI took a taxi at my arrival, mainly because I liked the car, a beautiful old Volga even if this costed me more than expected. Once I had to leave Omsk, instead, I took a local bus and it was just perfect. In the end is enough to proceed all along Karl Marx prospect. The bridge on the small river Om’ marks the begin (or the end) of the centre. As usual on the bus, ticket is bought from the “conductor”, the bus attendant, making it everything easier and efficient. Ticket cost is usually around 40 rubles.

What to see & do.

Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of GodThe church is one of the best I’ve seen in Russia. The golden domes joint to the pale green and salmon walls make it very photogenic especially considering that is perfectly located in the middle of the square without other buildings disturbing it. The interior is not so great but it still very nice. Photos were not allowed but the lady left me one single shot. The church is actually very recent because it was rebuilt in this century based on the original one built in XVIII century and destroyed in 1935 during Stalinist regime.

Modern statues.

As it happens with many towns in Eastern Europe also in Omsk there are many modern statues. Stepan the plumberActually Omsk is in Asia but to be very honest, the most Asian-looking town I saw during this trip was Kazan that is still in Europe while when you are in Yekaterinburg, Omsk and even Tobolsk, you really need to think about it to remind yourself you’re in Asia. However, let’s revert to statues. Three are the most interesting to me. One is located in a small park near the river Om’ and it depicts two lovers drinking coffee. Another one shows a plumber called Stepan getting out from a manhole. It is very, very similar to the monument called Čumil located in Bratislava. The Slovak one was released in 1997 while Stepan saw the light (!) one year later. The third one is not such great but was very surprising to me to find statue of Don Quixote in Omsk. You can see it in the below gallery.

Vrubel museum of fine arts.

One of the Russian artists that I’ve always found more interesting is Michail Vrubel. He can be considered close to the Art Nouveau movement but in my humble opinion he was one of a kind. This brief introduction is quite useless because even if he was born in Omsk, Vrubel Museum of Fine Artsif you like his work you should go to Moscow at the Tretyakov gallery maybe or also at the hotel Metropol where there is a fantastic mosaic made by him. Here in Omsk, in the museum named after him there is only one of his sculptures. Museum is in any case quite interesting since it hosts various items, not only paintings of Russian, Flemish, Italian and French artists but also pottery and other great pieces of decorative art. To me, most impressive is the hall hosting works of Anatoly Konenko, a very peculiar local artist. He is likely the best microminiaturist in the world. To be very clear, when you enter you are provided with a magnifying glass because you can find portrait made on an apple seed…

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