St. Sofia Cathedral.
Tobolsk ( ; ) is a historic
capital of Siberia, now part of
the Tyumen Oblast, Russia.
located at the confluence of rivers Tobol and Irtysh.
The Governor's Mansion in Tobolsk,
where the Russian Royal family was held in captivity between August
1917 and April 1918.
population of the city was 92,880 in the 2002 Russian Census
Tobolsk was founded by Yermak
during the first Russian advance into Siberia near the ruins of the
's capital, Qashliq
. It became the seat of the Viceroy of Siberia
and prospered on trade with China and Bukhara.
was there that the first school, theatre, and newspaper in Siberia
were established. In The Further Adventures
of Robinson Crusoe
made his Robinson Crusoe
character stay in Tobolsk from September 1703 to June 1704.
Swedish defeat at Poltava in 1709,
large numbers of that war's prisoners were sent to Tobolsk.
They numbered perhaps 25 % (sic) of the population. This probably
has to do with the Swedish Chamber
, see below. Many POWs
were not repatriated until the 1720s, and some of them settled
permanently in Tobolsk.
administrative division of the territory, Tobolsk remained the seat
of the Governor-General of Western Siberia until the seat was moved
to Omsk in the 1820s or 1830s. Bowing to the city's
authority, many Siberian towns, including Omsk, Tyumen, and
Tomsk, had their original arms display the Tobolsk
Omsk honors the legacy to this day.
Until the Russian Revolution
, the city served as the capital of the Tobolsk guberniya
. The chemist Dmitri Mendeleev
and the painter Vasily Perov
are the most famous natives of the
city. Some of the Decembrists
and lived there as well. The city's importance declined when the
bypassed it in the 1890s.In August 1917, after the February Revolution
, Tsar Nicholas II
and his family were
brought here to live in relative luxury in the former house of the
Governor-General. After the White
Army approached the city in spring of 1918, the royal family
was moved to Yekaterinburg and shot there, ending the imperial Romanov dynasty.
The economy of modern Tobolsk centers on a major oil refinery. Some
traditional crafts, such as bone-carving, are also preserved.
Tobolsk is the only town in Siberia and one of the few in Russia
which has a standing stone kremlin
or elaborate city-fortress, from the turn of the 17th and 18th
centuries. Its white walls and towers with an ensemble of churches
and palatial buildings spectacularly sited on a high river bank
were proclaimed a national historical and architectural treasure in
The principal monuments in the kremlin are the Cathedral of St.
Sophia (1683-1686), a merchant courtyard (1703-1705), an episcopal
palace (1773-1775) (now it is a museum of local lore), and the
so-called Swedish Chamber, with six baroque halls (1713-1716). The
city contains some remarkable baroque and Neoclassical churches
from the 18th and 19th centuries. Also noteworthy is a granite
monument to Yermak
, constructed to a design
by Alexander Brullov
city's neighbourhood is rich in ancient kurgans
and pagan shrines. Some of these date back to
the 10th century BC.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Tobolsk is twinned