Tobolsk: history and modern time
Founded in 1587 upon the confluence of the large Siberian rivers Tobol and Irtysh by
voivode Danila Chulkov, Tobolsk has repeatedly become the heart of Russian historical
events for four centuries of its existence. Many foreign ambassadors visited Tobolsk as the
administrative, cultural, spiritual, and commercial capital of Siberia and the leader of the
rapid land development. The first capital of Siberia was the first one in everything: the first
stone church and the only Kremlin east of the Urals appeared here in Tobolsk. Tobolsk
residents built the first printing house, and the first Siberian newspaper was published. They
opened the first school, theater and one of the oldest museums in Siberia. So, Tobolsk is
called the father of Siberian cities for a good reason.
The richest history of the city is associated with the names of many prominent historical
figures of Russia. Tobolsk is the birthplace of the world famous scientist D.I. Mendeleev,
composer A.A. Alyabyev, architect and chronicler S.U. Remezov, painter of the 19th-
century Russian realist school V.G. Perov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Yu.S. Osipov. P.P. Yershov, the author of the fairy tale "The Little Humpbacked Horse",
lived and worked here. The fortune of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II and his family,
who had stayed in Tobolsk for eight months, was bound up with this city.
Tobolsk along with Moscow and St. Petersburg is one of the spiritual centers of Russia. It is
multinational and multi-confessional city with 13 Orthodox parish and monastery churches,
a Muslim mosque and a Catholic church. There are the Ioanno-Vvedensky Nunnery and
Holy Znamensky Abalaksky male monastery in the near vicinity of Tobolsk. They are
included in the list of all-Russian Holy Places, where Orthodox Christians from Russia and
abroad make pilgrimage. There is also a sacred place for Siberian Tatars in the
neighborhood. It is called Iskerskaya Astana; the first Islamic Preachers rest in peace there.
Tobolsk is a real open-air museum: almost every building here has a historical value. The
unique architectural ensemble of the Tobolsk Kremlin built in the 17th-20th centuries is the
beauty and pride of this former provincial capital. More than 200 brilliant architectural
monuments, prized museum collections and expositions, and magnificent nature make
Tobolsk the Western Siberia tourist center well known in the world tourist
community. Tobolsk population is only102 thousand people, however more than 300
thousand tourists and holiday makers from Russia as well as from the countries of near and
far abroad come here annually for educational, business, scientific, and sports reasons.
Tobolsk is considered one of a kind not only for its unique architecture, but also for its
special creative atmosphere. Some important community centers are located here: the
oldest drama theater in Siberia named in honor of P.P. Yershov, Tobolsk Historical and
Architectural Museum-Reserve, a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
From the earliest time, Tobolsk has been famous for its arts and crafts. Continuing the
traditions of the old masters, the only Russian Bone Carving Factory produces unique
souvenirs made from mammoth tusk.
Nowadays the ancient city is experiencing its rebirth. When the President of the Russian
Federation V.V. Putin visited it in 2003, it was the starting point for the development of
Tobolsk as a tourist and industrial center of the region. Over the last few years, extensive
urban improvement works have been carried out in the city: restoration of the monuments,
road and housing construction, sports and leisure facilities projects, infrastructure
development, creating a welcoming atmosphere.
The visitors will find comfortable hotels and hostels that provide services in a wide price
range - from economy class to luxury rooms, and in different style - from retro to modern
Numerous cafes and restaurants providing traditional European and Russian cuisine as well
as the dishes of Tatar, Caucasian and Turkish national cuisine, will pleasantly surprise
guests of the city.
Tobolsk is actively developing as a center for event tourism in the region. Events of the
international, all-Russian and regional levels attract a new audience every year. It has
become a tradition to host such events as the music festival "Summer in the Tobolsk
Kremlin", "Tsar's days in Tobolsk", the all-Russian festival "Art-plein air", the international
festival "Isker-Dzhien", gastronomic festivals "Ukha-Tsaritsa" and "Siberian pickles
(raznosol)". The festival of historical reenactment "Abalak Field" occupies a particular place
in the raw of the events, combining regular rest and participation in spectacular activities
that allow you to become utterly absorbed in the life of medieval Russia.
Our tour operators will help you to fully get acquainted with the cultural heritage and modern
development of Tobolsk.
The rich history, invaluable centuries-old cultural and natural heritage, and the modern
socio-economic development of Tobolsk make it one of the most picturesque and attractive
cities to visit not only in Siberia, but also in Russia.
Welcome to Tobolsk!