Tomsk is a city on the Tom River in the southwest of Siberia which borders on Tyumen, Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Kemerovo regions and Krasnoyarsk Territory.
In 1604, Tomsk was established under the order of Tsar Boris Godunov. 200 Cossacks were sent to construct a fortress on the bank of the Tom River. Thus began the long history of one of the oldest city in Siberia which celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004.
Several events gave Tomsk led to development. One of them is discovery of gold in 1830. However further construction of Trans Siberian Railroad through Novosibirsk took away all attention. Tomsk itself is a small railway center. The main line of the Trans-Siberian railway, built in 1896, passes 50 km south of Tomsk and bypasses Tomsk. Access from Tomsk to the Trans-Siberian railway is available via the town of Tayga.
In the mid-19th century one-fifth of the city’s residents were exiles. Nevertheless Tomsk was reinvented as the educational center of Siberia. Tomsk State University was established and by World War II every 12th resident of the city was a student. That fact gave the city its informal name – Siberian Athens. Tomsk still maintains this status and annually graduate about 5000 specialists with higher education.
During the World War II Tomsk as many Siberians city became a home for numerous factories. The following growth made it possible to establish a new Oblast with Tomsk as a center. Accordingly on August 13, 1944 Tomsk was formed as an administrative and territorial unit. Rapid development has begun.
Nowadays Tomsk represents a mix of styles from different historical periods. City is well-known for its intricate “gingerbread” decoration of its traditional wooden houses. You will be charmed by the mysterious music of old wood and stone and by the famous palaces with their pretty silhouettes.