Novosibirsk is the third most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg and the most populous city in Asian Russia, with a population of 1,473,754 (2010 Census). It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of Siberian Federal District. The city is located in the southwestern part of Siberia at the banks of the Ob River and occupies an area of 502.1 square kilometers (193.9 sq mi). Novosibirsk, founded in 1893 at the future site of a Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river of Ob, first received the name Novonikolayevsk , in honor both of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II. The bridge was completed in the spring of 1897, making the new settlement the regional transport hub. The importance of the city further increased with the completion of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway in the early 20th century.
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