Tomsk (also spelled Tomck) is a city in Russia, an administrative center of both Tomsk region and district. A large educational, scientific and innovation center of Siberia. The city is rich in monuments of wooden and stone architecture of the 18th-20th centuries.
The city is located on the border with West-Siberian lowland and Kuznetsky Alatau on the right bank of the river Tom, 50 km from the river Ob. It is standing at the edge of taiga: there are thick forests and marshlands to the north, and forests and steppes to the south. Distance to Moscow is about 3,500 km.
Tomsk is an important scientific center thanks to educational institutions. There are a lot of businesses tightly connected with science; IT industry is also well developed.
Tomsk population is about 539,000 (2012), land area - 295 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 3822; postal codes - 634000-634xxx.
Tomsk jail was founded on the southern cape of Voskresenskaya mountain on the right bank of the Tom River, 60 km from the Ob River and not far from the mouth of a small river Ushaika.
By October 7, 1604, the construction was finished and this date is considered to be Tomsk birthday (the City Day is celebrated on June 7, as in autumn nasty weather prevents from holding a holiday).
Tomsk became a strategic military base which provided protection of all local population within the whole 17th century - in 1614, 1617, 1657 and 1698 it repelled the enemy attacks.
In the 18th century, the borders of the Russian state moved far to the south and east, local nomadic tribes were defeated and Tomsk lost its protective importance. Since the mid 18th century till Soviet times, Tomsk was the place of exile.
After Siberian road was built, Tomsk became an important center of transit trade. Gradually the city grew to the status of regional administrative center and, in 1804, it became the center of huge Tomsk gubernia (province), which consisted of current Altay Republic, Altai krai, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Tomsk regions, East-Kazakhstan region (Kazakhstan) and a part of Krasnoyarsk krai.
Starting with the end of 1830s, the population of Tomsk grew rapidly thanks to growing gold mining in Siberia. While Trans-Siberian railway was being constructed, the bridge across the Ob was built much to the south of Tomsk. As a result near this bridge a new settlement was founded which grew into the city of Novosibirsk.
Tomsk found itself apart from the railway and though a railway branch was built to Tomsk, it was a dead-end one and the city lost its role of a railway juncture.
During the World War II, about 30 plants from the European part of Russia were evacuated and they made up the basis of Tomsk industry. On August 13, 1944, Tomsk region was founded with the center in the city.
In 1970, it received the status of a historical city. In 1990s, like in other cities in Russia, there was an industrial decline, especially in machine-building, military-oriented, as well as in light industry which turned out to be not competitive.
Tomsk turned 400 in 2004. In 2005, the government of Russia declared Tomsk to be a special economic area which implies investments in city economy and creating of innovation organizations.
Tomsk places of interest
Among the mostly spread architectural styles in Tomsk one can mark the Russian architecture and modern style (in wood), Siberian baroque, classic and modern styles (in stone). In the 20th century, the construction of typical brick houses was mostly preferable.
There are some outstanding buildings:
- The Court building (1904)
- Scientific library building (1914)
- P.I.Makushin House of Science (1912)
- “Red building” (1904)
- Stock Exchange (1854)
- City pawnshop building (1912)
- T.T.de Vilnev’s house (end of 18th century)
- Governor’s House (1852)
- House with marquee (1902)
- House with dragons (1917)
- Merchant L.D.Zhelyabo’s houses (1895) and others
Beside architectural monuments, there are a lot of interesting places related to history, culture and nature of the city and the region.