Tomsk was founded in 1604 by the decree of Tsar Boris Godunov, on the right bank of the river Tom, at the confluence of the Tom and the Ushaika. According to the historian Miller G.F., “you could hardly find a better place in the whole country». Two hundred Cossacks under the command of V.Tyrkov and G. Pisemskiy arrived to Tomsk land in order to build a fortress. From that moment, Tomsk took great importance in conquest of indigenous dwellers, who lived south of it.
There were a number of rises and falls in the history of Tomsk. Tomsk earned the town status in 1629, but in 1643 it burnt down. A new fortress was built instead, surrounded by a wooden wall with six towers and the diameter of about 50 sazhens.
Horse Carrying Service arose in Tomsk in 1738. It gave rise to maintenance staff of the Great Siberian tract — horse-drivers, blacksmiths and craftsmen. Lots of inns and warehouses were built during that period. The city was getting bigger.
In 1804, by the decree of the emperor Alexander I, Tomsk was chosen to be the administrative center of a new gubernia (province), which included the areas of the present Altai Territory, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Eastern Kazakhstan, Tomsk Regions, and a part of Krasnoyarsk Territory. A new chapter in the history of the city started. At that time government and police departments, city hall and city council were established. Stone constructions, such as churches, administrative buildings and later mansions of the wealthy appeared among wooden houses.
By the end of the ХIХ century Tomsk became a major scientific and educational center of Siberia: in 1888, the emperor Alexander III signed a decree to establish in Tomsk the first University beyond the Urals. Later Technological, Teachers’ training, Medical and Architectural Universities appeared in Tomsk.
In 1991 Tomsk was granted the status of historic city. Its heritage protection area covers 950 hectares. This historic protected part of the city preserved the unique peculiarity of the stone building city landscape of the end of XIX – beginning of the XX century and the wooden development with its ancient carvings.
Tomsk Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences is widely known. It consists of a number of famous in the academic circles Institutions, such as Institute of Atmospheric Optics, Institute of High Current Electronics, Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, Institute of Petroleum Chemistry, etc.
Governor’s Quarter includes the area of 36 ha in the historic center of the city. The Governor himself supervises the development of this district, which is under reconstruction now. The center of this area is decorated with four mile stones, which represent four centuries of Tomsk history. Tomsk citizens love walking along the embankment of Tom and Ushaika rivers and enjoying themselves at the music fountain situated there.
White Lake is a lake with a park around it. One of the most beautiful places in Tomsk. Outdoor cafés, variety of entertainments for children, catamarans are available there in summer time.
Novosobornaya Square is one of the major sites of Lenin Prospekt. Famous for its large park with flowers, a music fountain and a monument to Saint Tatiana – the patroness of studentship. A favorite place of Tomsk citizens and guests to spend their free time.
Tomsk Regional Drama Theater is the oldest theater of Tomsk founded in 1885. It is located in the city center, has a vast repertoire of classical and modern plays.
Location: 4, Lenin Square
Phones: 90-68-37, 90-68-39
Big Concert Hall of Tomsk Regional State Philharmonic Society is situated in the city center. Its repertoire includes concerts of popular singers and performances of famous theatres. The Tomsk State Symphony Orchestra plays classical symphonic music on Sundays.
Location: 12A, Lenin Prospekt
Phones: 51-61-95, 51-59-56
Tomsk Regional Museum of Local Lore was founded in 1922. The museum building is a monument of architecture of the XIX century. The former residence of presiding bishopric houses in our days Tomsk Regional Museum of Local Lore and Organ Hall of Tomsk Regional State Philharmonic Society. Open from 10.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.
Location: 75, Lenin Prospekt
Tomsk Regional Museum of Art is situated in the central part of the city. Its collection contains over 600 pieces of art, including pictures of Russian and West European artists, icons, pieces of graphic artwork. Daily exhibitions open from 10.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m. except Mondays.
Location: 3, Nakhanovich Street
Voskresenskaya Hill is a place of the city foundation in 1604. Tomsk burg had been reconstructed by the City’s 400th anniversary; some fragments of pebble pavement are still preserved. There is a history of Tomsk museum, several monuments of architecture, a Catholic chapel and an Orthodox Church to visit there.