Tomsk was founded as a military fortress in 1604 by decree of Tsar Boris Godunov and became one of the outposts
in the development of Siberia.
In 1804 Tomsk was made the center of Tomsk Province, which embraced the present-day regions of Tomsk, Kemerovo and
Novosibirsk, as well as the Altai Territory, East Kazakhstan and part of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. In the 19th century,
the growth of gold mining, smelting and fur trade made Tomsk a center of big business and spurred a revival of trade.
Tomsk became an intersection of important transport routes: the Moscow and Irkutsk Post Roads.
By 1914 Tomsk was one of the 20 largest cities in the country.
In 1888 Tomsk became home to the first University beyond the Urals. The successive years 1900, 1901, 1902 and 1910 saw
the opening of Tomsk Technological Institute, the first commercial school in Siberia, the Teaching Institute and
the Higher Courses for Women. Tomsk became the intellectual capital of Siberia. During World War II the city housed
dozens of evacuee factories and institutions, educational, scientific and cultural. Many industrial enterprises
of Tomsk became part of the Military Industrial Complex, and its maintenance was made a major goal of the city’s
scientific institutions, including the Tomsk branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which was opened
in the 1970’s.
In the 1950’s, Tomsk Region became home to the first world-class Nuclear Center in the Soviet Union: the Siberian
Chemical Combine. In the 1960-70’s, the region started oil production and saw the opening of Tomsk Petrochemical Plant,
one of the giants of petrochemical industry. Tomsk Region is now one of the country's leading centers of innovation
development. It was in Tomsk that the first Soviet industrial park was opened, being Russia's first Inter-University
Business Incubator. In 2006 "Tomsk SEZ", Tomsk Special Economic Zone of Technical and Innovation Type, went into operation.
Siberian Athens is a non-official name of Tomsk, well-deserved due to the six Universities of the city,
including Tomsk State University, being the oldest University in the Asian part of Russia. The name Siberian Athens was
earned by this city of wisdom and learning back in the late 1880's.
By that time, Tomsk had indisputably become the ideological, cultural, scientific and educational center of Russian Asia.
This was provided by the active development of capitalism in Siberia and by the charity contributions of Tomsk merchants
to the development of the city. Tomsk was the first city to the east of Kazan where two imperial educational institutions
were established, the First Siberian Imperial University in Tomsk and the Imperial Tomsk Technological Institute,
as well as several higher education courses (including courses for women). At the same time, Tomsk remained the administrative
center of the enormous Tomsk Province (which embraced the present-day southern areas and regions of Western Siberia and
some of the northern parts of present-day Kazakhstan), including the Altai Mountain District (Barnaul Uyezd).
The cultural influence of Tomsk was the key factor that determined the development of Siberia.
Tomsk is the foundation center of all the scientific schools in Siberia, and above all the physical, radio-electronic,
geological, botanical, historical, and medical schools. Today the city of Tomsk is one of the well-known educational
centers in Russia and worldwide. Officially, Tomsk is home to six Universities:
National Research Tomsk State University (TSU)
National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)
Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics (TUSUR)
Siberian State Medical University (SibSMU)
Tomsk State Pedagogical University (TSPU)
Tomsk State University of Architecture and Building (TSUAB)
National Research Tomsk State University and National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University are
rated by UNESCO as objects of high priority for the National Heritage.
National Research Tomsk State University, Main building
National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Main building
Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics, Main building
Siberian State Medical University, Main building
Tomsk State Pedagogical University, Main building
Tomsk State University of Architecture and Building, Main building
Wooden architecture is one of the symbols of the city of Tomsk, its distinguishing feature. Tomsk is the only city in
Siberia that has so far retained the background of wooden buildings, reflecting the homestead structure of the streets.
Wooden architecture of Tomsk is a unique cultural phenomenon of significant value in the context of the World Heritage.
Wooden buildings in many cases still define the architectural image of Tomsk; the city retains dozens of
buildings which are remarkable monuments of wooden architecture.
Mansion of A.Moskov, built in 1902, Tatarskaya Street 46, also known as "The Gate House"
Museum of Wooden Architecture, Art Nouveau style, built by A.D.Kryachkov in 1910, Kirov Avenue 7
Gagarin Street 44
Mansion of Architect V.S.Khomich, fragment, Belinski Street 19
Mansion of Merchant G.Golovanov, currently The Russian-German House, also known as "The Hip-roof", built by V.S.Khomich, Krasnoarmeiskaya Street 71
Dzierzynski Street 21
Mansion of Architect V.S. Khomich, built by himself, Belinski Street 19
"Shishkov House", fragment, currently known as "The Arts House", built in 1906, formerly the house of V.Ya.Shishkov, a well-known writer, Shishkov Street 10
Ushaika River Embankment
Tomsk Choral Synagogue, the oldest synagoue in Siberia, opened in 1902, Rosa Luxemburg Street 38
Tomsk I Railway Station
Kamenny Bridge (Stone Bridge) spanning Ushaika River
Tomsk Museum of Regional History and Folklore
Drama Theatre "Version", Belinski Street 40
Church of Our Lady of Kazan (built in 1789) and Chapel of Feodor Kuzmich of Tomsk (built in 1904, restored in 1997)
National Research Tomsk State University, Scientific Library
Lenin Avenue in the vicinity of the Tomsk City Administration