Barnaul is the administrative center of Altai Territory. The city was founded in 1730th. It is situated in the south of Western Siberia at the place of the river Barnaulka's flowing into the Ob. The area of the city is 321 sq.km; the population is about 649,6 thousand people.
Barnaul is a large industrial, cultural and educational center of Siberia. There are 5 theatres, museums, and monuments of the architecture of the XVIII-XX centuries, nine state institutions of higher education.
The two largest universities of the city - the Altai State University and Polzunov Altai State Technical University - are included into the hundred of the best institutions of university level higher education of the country. In 2006 on the results of the competition "The European quality in education" the sub-faculty of archeology, ethnography and source study of Altai State University was declared the best sub-faculty of the country.
The distance between Barnaul and Moscow is 3419 km. Novosibirsk is the nearest large city (193 km).