Tomsk is located in the “ring” of other, more well-known cities in Siberia. Yet Tomsk remains in memory as one of the cities that amazes travelers from the first time: with Siberian wooden architecture, genuine small town atmosphere and hospitality of locals.
The Secret Behind the Name
The city is located along the banks of the Tom River, on the very border of the West Siberian Plain. In the north it is surrounded by swamps and impassable forests and in the south – by forest steppes. The city got its name from the name of the river.
According to another legend, in ancient times on both sides of the river there were villages. One was ruled by prince Toyan, and the other – by prince Basanday. Children of the princes fell in love with each other, but because of the hostility of their fathers they couldn’t be together. A heartbroken beauty Toma could not survive being separated from her lover and threw herself into the river, which was named after her. A handsome young man Ushay decided to join his beloved in death and jumped into another river that was named after him – Ushaika.
An unusual architecture of buildings in the city is the main cultural wealth of Tomsk. Everywhere there are buildings done in the original style of the Siberian baroque. Resurrection Church is one of the brightest examples of the original Siberian architectural style.
The main attraction of the city is wooden architecture, characterized by intricate forms and splendor of decorative elements. Survived example of masterfully made wooden ”lace” is the work of Tomsk wood carvers on a maternity shelter for poor women on Bolshaya Podgornaya Street, 15. The shelter was opened in 1896.
Other Interesting Places in Tomsk
In Tomsk there are many places that are worth seeing. Be sure to visit the Virgin-Alexius monastery where once a great-grandfather of Pushkin was in custody. Also interesting is the Zoological Museum, where you can go with the whole family: it has animals of the Arctic Ocean. You will also be impressed by a unique museum of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs. This is a horrible prison that ruined a lot of great and innocent people.
Visiting Tomsk is an unforgettable experience of touching the history and culture of Siberia.