Tomsk is one of the oldest and most interesting cities of Siberia. Its main value is unique architectural monuments, some of which are aged over 300 years. The city was formed at the beginning of the 17th century and originally had a defensive significance. Then, the borders of the country were extended and the fortress city turned into a big trade and craft center. There were the largest fairs in Siberia that attracted merchants from all corners of the Russian Empire.
Remarkably, fabulous fairs are still some of the main distinctive features of Tomsk. Like many years ago, you can buy a lot of interesting items and hand-made gifts at the fair. The city attracts travelers not only with architecture, but also with its unique cultural traditions. It will impress those who have long dreamed of acquainting with old Russian traditions and true national holidays, witnessing folk bands’ concerts, and mastering ancient Russian crafts.
The studying of local monuments that are an important city peculiarity is the favorite entertainment of many tourists. In Tomsk, you can see a lot of magnificent monuments dedicated to cartoon and comic heroes, each of which has its own history. In the city, there are also many places for walks. The smallest guests will not be bored in Tomsk too. In summer, tourists can visit picturesque parks and recreation areas with different rides. In winter, city parks and squares are perfectly suitable for winter entertainments. Active tourists will be delighted by the wide choice of attractive cafes and restaurants where they can relax and taste a lot of interesting dishes.
You should start your sightseeing tour with the Tomsk History Museum. The museum opened in 1997 is located in the unique historic building. It was built in 1857 and belonged to the police for many years. Today, the museum houses about 4 000 exhibits including historical documents and the first pictures of the city. Several themed exhibitions dedicated to the famous natives of the city are held in the museum.
The largest culture venue in the city is the Tomsk Local History Museum. Its exposure includes almost 140 000 exhibits. Actually, this museum is a versatile culture center with a library, a planetarium, and showrooms. The museum is located in the luxurious mansion of the 19th century. It was built in the Empire style and opened in 1922.
In Tomsk, there are several preserved unique architectural monuments, the most unusual of which is the Tent House. Originally, this luxurious mansion built at the beginning of the 20th century belonged to one of the local merchants. It was built of brick. The main decoration of its facade is the so-called wooden lace. From the outside, the old mansion resembles a church with its carved tower that looks like the one in the temple.
Another interesting architectural monument of the early 20th century is the Firebird House. The mansion was built for merchant L. D. Zhelyabo. From the outside, it resembles the traditional Russian tower house. The residence is quite big. Now, its walls are painted rich yellow and its roof is painted red. The construction is decorated with carved towers too. The windows are framed with carved shutters.
One of the luxurious wooden buildings in Tomsk is the Mansion of S. V. Khomich. The famous architect built this luxurious house for his family in 1904. Originally, the house was very big, so the owner leased some of its rooms. Over the years of its existence, there were a lot of different institutions in the building. You can learn more about its amazing history during excursions.