Tourist guide to Tomsk

Tomsk at sunset

Tomsk at sunset ©DmitriyPnev/Flick

On the River of Tom, at the south west of the town Seversk, lies one of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk. It dates back from 1604 and was declared a city by the Tsar of Russia at the time, Boris Godunov.

In 1600, Russia was going through a tough time, being really engaged in a major conflict with the Tartars. The Tsar decided to build a fortress on the river Tom. The fort was located on the place that is known today as the Resurrection Hill. So he sent Pisemsky Gavriil and Vasile Tyrkov to find a place where a fort can be built.


In the early eighteenth century the Tsar of Russia has decided to appoint the city of Tomsk as the residence for more settlements in the area, including Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk, and for the entire region of Kazakhstan. Since then, Tomsk began to develop rapidly becoming one of the most important cities in the country.

In 1830 near Tomsk the miners discovered gold deposits, most of the locals making a living from mining the precious ore. In the mid- nineteenth century more than half of the inhabitants were exiled, but those who remained continued to work in mines.

Tomsk as a University center

Towards the end of the century, it had become one of the most important cities in the area, here being founded the Tomsk State University and the Polytechnic University. During the Second World War more than half of the youth there were students the city being called the Siberian Athens. It has earned the name because of the White Movement as well, which was founded here during the October Revolution, led by Maria Bochkareva and Anatoli Pepelyayev. In Soviet times Tomsk became an important administrative and cultural center of Russia.

The city of Tomsk

The city of Tomsk ©c.hug/Flick

The division of the city

The city of Tomsk is divided into four districts : Sovetsky, taking the name from the Soviets, Leninsky, in the memory of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Kirovsky after the revolutionary with the same name and Oktyabrsky because of the Great October Revolution.

Main street in Tomsk

Main street in Tomsk ©c.hug/Flick

Main tourist attractions and famous people of Tomsk

The most important objectives in the region are: the Botanical Garden, the Museum of Archaeology, the memorial statue of Anton Chekhov, the Regional Studies Museum, the Philharmonic Hall with the organ, the Institute of Physics and the Resistance of Materials, the Pedagogical State University and the Business Institute of Tomsk.

Over time, there lived many personalities, such as the revolutionary Sergey Kirov (for which there is now a memorial house), the musician Edison Denisov, the Marshal of the Soviet Union, Leonid Govorov, the poet Nikolai Kliuev, the writer Vladimir Korolenko, the helicopter builder Mikhail Mil, the actor Piotr Sobolevsky the engineer Nikolay Kamov and the playwright Nikolai Erdman.

Tomsk at sunset

Tomsk at sunset ©DmitriyPnev/Flick

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