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Tomsk (English)
Томск (Russian)
—  Inhabited locality  —
Tomsk Lenin square 7.jpg
The Epiphany Cathedral on Lenin Square
Map of Russia - Tomsk Oblast (2008-03).svg
Location of Tomsk Oblast on the map of Russia
Tomsk is located in Tomsk Oblast
Location of Tomsk on the map of Tomsk Oblast
Coordinates: 56°30′N 84°58′E / 56.5°N 84.967°E / 56.5; 84.967Coordinates: 56°30′N 84°58′E / 56.5°N 84.967°E / 56.5; 84.967
Tomsk city coat of arms.png
Coat of arms
Tomsk city flag.png
Holiday June 7[citation needed]
Administrative status
Country Russia
Federal subject Tomsk Oblast
In administrative jurisdiction of Tomsk Oblast[citation needed]
Administrative center of Tomsk Oblast, Tomsky District[citation needed]
Municipal status
Municipal Status Urban okrug
Mayor[citation needed] Nikolay Nikolaychuk[citation needed]
Representative body Duma[citation needed]
Area (2008) 297.2 km2 (114.7 sq mi)[1]
Population (2002 Census) 487,838 inhabitants[2]
Rank 34th
Density(2008) 1,755.2 /km2 (4,500/sq mi)[1]
Population (2009) 521,635 inhabitants[1]
Time zone OMST/OMSST (UTC+6/+7)
Founded October 7, 1604[citation needed]
Postal code(s) 634xxx[citation needed]
Dialing code(s) +7 3822[citation needed]
Official website

Tomsk (Russian: Томск) is a city on the Tom River in the southwest of Siberian Federal District, Russia, the administrative centre of Tomsk Oblast. One of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004. Population: 521,635 (2009 est.);[1] 487,838 (2002 Census);[3] 501,963 (1989 Census).[4] It is served by Bogashevo Airport.



Tomsk is divided into four city districts: Kirovsky, Leninsky, Oktyabrsky, and Sovetsky. The historical areas of Tomsk include: Voskresenskaya Gora (Resurrection Hill), the Swamp, Belozerye, Greater and Lesser Yelany, Zaistochye (Tatar settlement), the Lakeside, Kashtak, Kirpichi, and Mukhin Mound[citation needed].

In 2005, the city annexed the settlements of Eushta, Dzerzhinsky, Timiryazevskoye, Zonalny, Loskutovo, Svetly, Kirgizka, and Kopylovo.

Tomsk is located about twenty kilometres south-east of the town of Seversk, a major centre of plutonium production and reprocessing and uranium enrichment.


Tomsk has a continental climate. The annual average temperature is 0.6 °C (33.1 °F). Winters are severe and lengthy, and the lowest recorded temperature was −55 °C (−67 °F) in January 1931. However, the average temperature in January is between −21 °C (−5.8 °F) and −13 °C (8.6 °F). The average temperature in July is 18.7 °C (65.7 °F). The total yearly rainfall is 554 mm. In 2006 Tomsk experienced what might have been its first recorded hurricane-force winds which toppled trees and damaged houses.[5]


In 1604, Tomsk was established under a decree from Tsar Boris Godunov. The tsar sent 200 Cossacks under the command of Vasiliy Tyrkov and Gavriil Pisemsky to construct a fortress on the bank of the Tom River overlooking what would become the city of Tomsk. A local tribal leader, Toyan, accepted Russian control and ceded the land for the fortress to the Tsar.[6]

In 1804, the government selected Tomsk to become the center for a new governorate which would include the modern cities of Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk and eastern Kazakhstan. The new status brought development and the city grew quickly.[6]

The discovery of gold in 1830 brought further development to Tomsk in the 19th century. However, when the Trans-Siberian Railway bypassed the city in favor of the village of Novonikolayevka (now Novosibirsk), development began to move south to connect with the railway. In time, Novosibirsk would surpass Tomsk in importance.

In the mid-19th century, one-fifth of the city’s residents were exiles. However, within a few years, the city would be reinvented as the educational center of Siberia with the establishment of Tomsk State University and Tomsk Polytechnic University. By World War II, every 12th resident of the city was a student,[6] giving rise to the city's informal name - Siberian Athens.

After the Russian Revolution the city was a notable centre of the White movement, led by Anatoly Pepelyayev and Maria Bochkareva, among others. After the town’s capture by the Red Army, Tomsk was incorporated into the West Siberia region and later into the Novosibirsk Region.

As in many Siberian cities, Tomsk became the new home for many factories relocated out of the War Zone at the beginning of the Second World War. The resulting growth of the city led the Soviet government to establish a new Oblast centered on Tomsk.[6]


A monument to Lenin in Tomsk

Tomsk is governed by a mayor and a 33-member city Duma. The current mayor is Nikolay Nikolaychuk, the member of The United Russia Party. Ex-mayor Makarov was suspended from his post pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against him. in russian Of the 33 members, 16 are elected from the eight double mandate districts while 17 are chosen from party lists.

In the October 2005 local elections, United Russia was expected to cruise to a solid victory; however, the Pensioners Party put up a strong showing. The final count was:

Proportional representation
Double mandates
  • 10 seats—No party affiliation
  • 4 seats—United Russia
  • 1 seat—Pensioners Party
  • 1 seat—Liberal Democratic Party of Russia


Tomsk has a number of prominent institutions of higher education, including:

The large number of educational institutions in the city have contributed to making Tomsk a major centre for Russia's IT industry. Tomsk was one of the first cities in Russia to possess Internet service, which became available in the early 1990s due to grants received by the universities and scientific cooperation.


Tomsk Museum for Regional Studies and the Organ Hall of the Philarmony

Tomsk has many local cultural institutions including several dramatic theaters as well as a children’s theater and a puppet theater. Major concert venues in the city include the Conservatory Concert hall and the Tomsk Palace of Sport. The city also has cultural centers dedicated to German, Polish and Tatar languages and culture.

One of the city's prominent theaters was destroyed in an act of terrorism in 1905. The Korolevskii Theater (built in 1884–85) was being used by a group of communist revolutionaries when the theater was attacked and set on fire by members of the Black Hundred, a hard-line nationalist organization. Those who escaped the flames were gunned down by Black-Hundred members waiting outside the theatre. Estimates put the number of casualties at between 200 and 1000.

There are a number of museums in Tomsk devoted to various subjects, most notably art, local history and wood carving. There is also a 'Museum of Oppression' housed in a former KGB dungeon. Tomsk State University has a number of small museums with exhibits on archaeology, paleontology, zoology as well as a herbarium and botanical garden

As in many other cities in the former Soviet Union, the revolutionary government destroyed a number of old churches in the city including two that had existed since the 17th century. However, Tomsk managed to retain some of its churches by transforming them into machine shops, warehouses, archives, and even residential buildings. Since the end of the communist era some of the churches have been renovated and returned to their congregations.

Tomsk is well-known for its intricate "gingerbread" decoration of its traditional wooden houses. However, the number of old homes in this style is decreasing due to fire, as the structures have little to no fire protection, and redevelopment.

Trud (Labor) Stadium, in central Tomsk hosts FC Tom’, the city’s professional soccer club. The team’s 2004 promotion to the Russian Premier League gave local fans a chance to see some of the nation's best teams play at their local stadium.

Tomsk has many local media outlets including the TV2 television station, the radio stations Radio Siberia and Echo of Moscow in Tomsk along with several newspapers (Tomskii Vestnik, Tomskaya Nedelya, Krasnoye Znamya and Vechernii Tomsk).

In April 2006 Tomsk received international media attention as the venue of a major summit on economic cooperation, held in the city between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Notable residents

A satirical monument to Anton Chekhov, who made an unfavorable mention of Tomsk in his diaries while traveling through the city on his way to Sakhalin


Energy Generation

Tomsk has the oldest electrical grid in Siberia. There are three powerstations in the city:

  1. TEC-1 (launched on January 1, 1896)
  2. GRES-2 (launched on May 28, 1945)
  3. TEC-3 (launched on October 29, 1988)

Tomsk consumes more electric energy than it produces. The bulk of the city's electric and thermal energy is produced by the GRES-2 (281 MWt) and TEC-3 (140 MWt) powerplants, belonging to Tomskenergo Inc. Tomsk supplements its energy needs with electricity generated at Seversk.


Road network:

  • northern branch of the M 53 federal road;
  • road R 398 to Kolpashevo;
  • road R 400 to Mariinsk;
  • Northern latitude highway PermSurgut—Tomsk (under construction).

There is a commercial and passenger port on the Tom River.

The city is served by Bogashevo Airport.


Tomsk is a small railway centre that is situated on the Tayga (Тайга́)—Bely Yar line (Tomsk branch) of the Trans-Siberian Railway

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. A regional rail line links Tomsk with Tayga.

The Tomsk Railway existed as an independent entity until 1961. At the present time, the Tomsk line belongs to the West-Siberian Railway, branch of Russian Railways Corp.. Trains link Tomsk to Anapa, Asino, Barnaul, Bely Yar, Moscow, Novokuznetsk, Novosibirsk, Sochi and Tayga.

City transport

The main part of inner-city and suburban transportation is provided by marshrutka collective taxis, over 1000 marchrutkas, mainly PAZ) minibuses, serve about 40 bus routes.

Additionally, the city has 11 proper bus routes, 8 trolleybus lines (built in 1967) and five tram lines (constructed in 1949). Private taxis are also readily available.

Air Transport

Tomsk Bogashevo Airport is served by the following airlines:

Airlines Destinations
S7 Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo
Tomskavia Nizhnevartovsk, Strezhevoy, Surgut
Transaero Moscow-Domodedovo
UTair Surgut

The airport is also served by charter flights operated by UTair and Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Tomsk is twinned with:



  1. ^ a b c d Official website of the Municipality of the City of Tomsk. Structure of the Territory's Economy (Russian)
  2. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  3. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров. (All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers.)" (in Russian). Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989). Demoscope Weekly (website of the Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. 1989. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  5. ^ Погода и климат - Климат Томска (Weather and climate - Climate of Tomsk)
  6. ^ a b c d General Information about Tomsk, Kommersant Daily

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

A statue of Lenin in front of Tomsk's Cathedral of the Epiphany on Lenin Square
A statue of Lenin in front of Tomsk's Cathedral of the Epiphany on Lenin Square

Tomsk is the capital city of Tomsk Oblast.


Located on the River Tom, the city was founded in the early 17th century as a military outpost against nomadic peoples. After that it became a place of exile, a trade and transportation center, and, finally, a university town. Today Tomsk has a population of around 500,000, of which every sixth person is a student, coming from all over Siberia, Central Asia and even European part of Russia. Due to this fact, Tomsk probably has a bigger proportion of foreign language speakers than any other Siberian city.

Get in

Tomsk is served by Bogashevo airport, receiving flights from Moscow, St.Petersburg, Vladivostok, Krasnoyarsk, Novokuznetsk and other cities. There is a rail branch from the Trans-Siberian Railway junction at Taiga, Kemerovo Oblast leading to Tomsk. Besides, you can use buses from Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Novokuznetsk, Krasnoyarsk and other cities in the region.

Get around

Most of the city center is within walking distance. There are a lot of buses and trams going around the city - you can expect a fee of about half a euro for a ride. However, the quickest and most convenient way to get around is by taxi - there are a lot of taxicab companies most of which charge around €2-€3 to go anywhere in the city. The problem is the taxi dispatchers and drivers do not speak English, so you would have to learn a couple of key phrases. The possibility of being cheated is close to nothing if you are using a taxicab company, especially if you are using one and the same company several times.

Traditional Russian wooden architecture in Tomsk, sadly going unrenovated
Traditional Russian wooden architecture in Tomsk, sadly going unrenovated

Tomsk State University and other university campuses - Tomsk boasts 6 universities, some of them among the top 3 in Russia in their respective industries. The campuses were built in the late 1800s and are a nice place to visit.

Governor's District - the central location in Tomsk, near the Oblast Administration office, on the bank of the river Tom. It was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city and reflects its history with several attractions, including the city's main cathedral and controversial and funny monument to Anton Chekhov.

Verhnyaya Yelan' - a carefully renovated and well-kept little district with wooden architecture, where old traditional merchant mansions are situated. Stunningly beautiful at night.

Lagerny Sad (Camp Garden) - a WWII monument on the bank of the river Tom which is beautiful by itself and provides an amazing view of the river and the surroundings.


Take a walk through the city center - it won't take you more than several hours to see virtually everything and the town is really beautiful May through September.

Climb the Voskersenskaya hill and go to the city viewing point - see the view the 19th century firefighters watched everyday for signs of fire.

Listen to the church choir in the Epiphany Cathedral or to the Tomsk State University capella performing at what was the University chapel - a must hear for everyone who is interested in vocal music.

Try the Siberian Pancakes (Sibirskie Bliny) with a lot of different stuffings (sold at outlets throughtout downtown).

Have a ride on the Ferris wheel in the Town Park.

Attend a Russian Premier Football League game with the local team called Tom - a great chance to see Russia's best football teams and feel the heat amongst Tomsk football fans supporting their favorite team.

Ask your local friends or guides for other things to do - there is a lot more.


A lot of beautiful souvenirs made from birchbark - from hair brushes to bottles and baskets and maps of Russia. These are characteristic of Western Siberia and you will not get them anywhere else. Also try local souvenir shops conveniently located at the airport and the main railway station for some other traditional local gifts.


The cuisine bears little, if any, difference from what you can try in Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and any other city in the region. Local foods like pelmeni or bliny (pancakes) can be found in practically any restaurant around. The Coffee House and Food Master cafes on the Lenina Avenue are European-oriented and you can eat quite a decent pizza or lasagna in the latter. An average meal there costs from 6 to €10 per person excluding wine.

Want something more traditional? Go to the Korchma u Tarasa (there are several in the downtown) - originally a Ukrainian place, it features a lot of traditional Russian and Siberian cuisine. Zhili-Byli is a Russian-style place resembling a peasant's hut with local pop-music and waiters (and waitresses!) dressed appropriately. The service in both places can be painfully slow, especially on weekend evenings but you will be rewarded with good and relatively cheap dinner (6-10 Euros excluding alcohol that is quite affordable as well).

For a high-class dinner go to Vechny Zov, Slavyansky Bazar or Parmezan - for a price that starts at around €30 plus wine you will get a high-standard European or Russian meal including traditional Russian and local delicacies. Chefs are often invited from France, Italy, etc., so European quality is guaranteed - at a European rate.

There are also a lot of smaller places offering good meals for relatively low prices - ask whoever reads Russian to browse local Internet or look through the papers. Also, don't expect the restaurant staff to speak anything but Russian (except the most expensive places).


...everywhere! If it is a flat or house party - go take a couple of large bottles of Nefiltroff - the local non-filtered beer - cheap, tasty and cheerful! Local vodka is also pretty cheap and considerably well-done. Many supermarkets and small shops are open 24/7 so it's never late to go take another one, though be careful not to walk through the city at night if you are intoxicated.

There are a lot of places to go in the downtown, from coffeeshops to pubs to night clubs - Teatro, Fakel, Trash&Glam, Siberian Pub, Pivlyandia (Beerland), and U Kruegera (Krueger's) just to name a few. Most of the bars offer an international set of beers and other drinks for a decent (sometimes really low) price. Nightclubs usually have pretty high entrance fees to screen out the poorest part of the population causing the most unrest, so be ready for outrageous €25-€30 in the most 'fashionable' places to about €6-€7 in the less high profile ones. Sometimes some places take no entrance fees but add €5-€7 to your bill for live music.

Drinks usually start at €2 for a beer or €4 for a coctail. Vodka's pretty cheap so enjoy your stay. Bartenders and waiters may speak English, especially in places like Siberian Pub where the small expat crowd gathers. The risk of being cheated is scarce, especially in the more respectable places - still take a look at your bill before paying.

Just in case - there is zero tolerance toward drugs, even the softest ones - so take extreme care.


There are no hostels in the city, but the price of stay in hotels is usually lower than in bigger cities, except for places like Hotel Magistrat (Lenina square) or hotel Oktyabr'skaya. There are also plenty of decent and clean little private hotels converted from apartments throughout the city but they are hardly accessible for a foreigner who doesn't know Russian, so ask you Russian-speaking friends or colleagues - they can easily find one for you. Do not expect the hotel staff anywhere except the luxiry hotels to speak anything but Russian, and learn some key phrases before staying.

Stay safe

Tomsk is a pretty safe place in terms of crime, especially if you stay within the downtown, don't look too freaky and don't show off with a lot of cash. Still, there are some useful rules:

You are obliged to carry your passport with you - though cases when you are actually asked for it are extremely rare.

Don't take walks outside downtown at night - it is better and faster to use a taxi and watch the night city from a car. Also, try to steer clear of intoxicated people wherever you meet them.

Don't stop private taxis on the street - there are plenty of reliable taxi companies in the city that can be easily called. Ask your guide or a Russian speaking friend for a phone number.

Try not to drink on the streets - or at least not to show it to local policemen - they are usually quite tolerant and in most cases will just tell you to stop drinking, still there may be accidents.

Call your Russian-speaking friends, your country's representative or your guide immediately if you think you may be in trouble with the police or anyone else.

Get out

You can buy e-tickets anywhere through the Internet, and you can just pick them up in the airport before your flight, as everywhere else. Also, always be in the airport 2 hours before your flight.

Call a taxi to the airport, the railway or the bus station the evening before or at least a couple of hours before the departure and agree on the time - the taxi service is extremely popular with the city's inhabitants and there are a couple of times during the day when it is difficult to get one.

To get out of the country travel first to Moscow or Novosibirsk and then wherever you like.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Tomsk discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. a city in Russia, centre of Tomsk oblast.


Simple English

Tomsk (Russian:Томск) is a Russian city, the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast. One of the largest cities in Siberia. Population 512 600 (2006).

Established under a decree from Tsar Boris Godunov in 1604.

In 1804, the government selected Tomsk to become the center for a new governorate which would include the modern cities of Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Altai, Krasnoyarsk and eastern Kazakhstan.

Tomsk State University is the first university in Siberia (founded in 1878, opened in 1888). The Tomsk State University Library book reserve is considered to be among the richest in Russia.

Tomsk Polytechnic University opened in 1900 is the first technical university in Siberia. Siberian Medical University is one of the oldest and highest rated medical schools in Russia.

Continental climate. The annual average temperature is −1.3 °C. Winters are severe and lengthy, and the lowest recorded temperature was −56 °C in January 1996.

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