Secrets of the Emerald City: A Trip to Tomsk


by Yulia Nasrtdinova, Ilya Pitalev,

All the beauty of vast Russia is in the photo project #DiscoveringRussia. The diversity of natural landscapes, the diversity of cultures, languages, the beauty, and uniqueness of every corner of the boundless country. Far East, Siberia, Urals, Caucasus, Altai, Central Russia, Crimea. Project of the International Information Agency “Russia Today”.

Four hours of flight from Moscow – and you find yourself in a little-known world, in the Asian part of Russia. Over the course of its 400-year history, this small town has been both a fortress, the capital of the province, and a major trading hub, and now it has become the educational and cultural center of Siberia.

Land of horses

The image of a horse, souvenir-painted horses are at almost every step. At one time, Tomsk was called the city of cabbies. He was famous for his horse breeders. Thoroughbred strong horses were bred here, races were arranged at the hippodrome. Since the second half of the 18th century, a horse has been on the city coat of arms.

“Secrets of Tomsk windows” is another route for tourists, and it runs through the compact historical center: along Herzen, Kartashov, Kuznetsov, Belinsky and Krasnoarmeyskaya streets.
Don’t miss the carved mansion from 1904, which is considered the prototype of the castle from the fairy tale “The Wizard of the Emerald City”. Its author, Alexander Volkov, studied in Tomsk.
The building of Tomsk State University
Students in the building of Tomsk State University (TSU)
Students at a lecture in the museum hall of Tomsk State University (TSU)


Stones from the collection of Svetlana Pavskaya, presented in a gallery in Tomsk
Stones from the collection of Svetlana Pavskaya, presented in a gallery in Tomsk
Collection of stones in the gallery of Svetlana Pavskaya in Tomsk
They say about Siberians – brave, courageous, cheerful. In just a couple of hours, a whole team of Tomsk walruses gathered and met us at the hole in the lake. Winter bathing here is joined at different ages: hardening is a common thing.
Fairytale stories with philosophical meaning are told in the unusual Tomsk theater “2+ku”. Its uniqueness is felt in everything. The building itself is not easy to find, it seems to be hiding in the alleys, but from the outside and inside it looks absolutely fabulous. Guests will be shown magical stories, given tea with sweets and pies.
The dolls are truly alive. Actors perform with them because the main characters fit in the palm of their hands. They are called so: dolls on the wrists because they are attached to the hand and fingers.
The tiny “artist” starts a conversation, closes his eyes, as if thinking, waving his arms, and answering questions.
Actress Olga Sigal with the hero of fairy tales Hedgehog in the theater 2+ku.
Actress Olga Sigal with the hero of fairy tales Hedgehog in the theater “2+ku”
Tomsk is a creative city in general. The works of the local artist and sculptor Leonty Usov were exhibited in 12 capitals of the world: from America to Australia.
“This city inspires, it is absolutely amazing. Whoever comes here, everyone feels its peculiarity. Professors have been living here for generations. This is a city-university,” says the master.
One of the most famous sculptures of Tomsk by Usov stands on the embankment of the Tom River. The idea of ​​a monument to Chekhov arose by chance.
His sculpture has already become a brand of Tomsk: paintings depicting a bronze classic with an umbrella are available in all stores.
There are many good souvenirs here. For example, traditional painted horses were made by local craftsmen. Or postcards depicting masterpieces of wooden architecture and especially recognizable windows with an indispensable pot of geraniums and a cat.
Thank you for your help in preparing the material TIC Tomsk and the Information Policy Department of TSU.


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  1. Siberia Mother! People, nature – everything there has its special beauty and power! I have been to Siberia several times working there.

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