Geographically, Omsk city is located in the south of Western Siberia on the banks of two rivers, the Om River and the Irtysh River. The city is almost 290 years old and mainly known to Russians as an industrial center and a place to buy quality shawls. Omsk is home to an oil industry, precise mechanical engineering, and the food and textile industries. The Trans-Siberian railroad reached Omsk in 1894 opening new frontiers for the city's economy and political role. It quickly became a transit gate between neighboring Central Asian States and Siberia. During the Revolution in 1917, Omsk was the head quarter of the controversial general Kolchak, who opposed Bolshevik's reforms. Omsk is a true theatrical city. It is home to five state and three municipal theaters, all-in-all seating 1500. There are more than 42 Institutions of Higher Education, including 17 that are state accredited. If you are a river cruiser, Omsk is a good start for exploring great Irtysh and Om rivers winding peacefully through lowlands of Western Siberia. There are about 1.15 million residents living in Omsk city today.