The history of Tomsk begins in 1604 when, by order of Tsar Boris Godunov, a fortress was built on the river Tom for the protection of local Tatars from raids by Khirgiz bandits and to expand Russia's territory further in Siberia. In 1629, Tomsk acquired city status, becoming the center of the Siberian region. The first university in Siberia opened in Tomsk in 1888. The importance of Tomsk as a regional center increased and the territory that it governed over expanded, until the trans-Siberian railroad was built in the 1890s, bypassing Tomsk in the south via Novonikolaevsk (later renamed to Novosibirsk), which led to the growing importance of Novosibirsk over Tomsk.
Siberia was a place of exile in the Russian empire, and in the mid-19th century one fifth of Tomsk's population were political and criminal exiles. However, with the opening of Tomsk State University and later Tomsk Polytechnic University, it turned out to become the educational center of Siberia, and an unofficial name for the city arose - Siberian Athens. Prince Vyazemsky gave this nickname to the city during one of his visits, reflecting the leading position of the city in the educational and cultural paths.
During WWII many factories and research centers had been relocated in Tomsk and Novosibirsk, and later during the Cold War period Tomsk became a closed city, forbidding visits from foreigners due to its nuclear research and development facilities, located primarily in the secret city "Tomsk-7" renamed into Seversk in 1992.
Tomsk has 6 state and 2 private universities:
Scientific research in Tomsk is conducted at the departments and institutes of its universities, as well as the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Siberian branch).
Tomsk region is one of Russia's special economic zones for technology and innovation with focus areas such as novel materials, nanotechnology industrial electronics, and biotechnology. High-tech industries in Tomsk include both large and small companies, as well as technology and business innovation centers.
Although Tomsk is known for its many scientific discoveries, the city has a rich cultural heritage. Having embedded the customs and traditions of many different peoples, the city developed a unique warmth and comfort. The streets are lined with historic wooden houses, and the atmosphere allows the people to escape from their hectic lives and enjoy the surrounding beauty. The wooden art of Tomsk is included in the list of "Six Russian attractions which may cease to exist." Therefore, conference participants will have the unique opportunity to capture this beauty in their memory.
In autumn, Tomsk is particularly beautiful. Trees are dressed in shades of yellow and red, and the leaves fall and rustle underfoot. In this weather, walking along the embankment of the river Tom and exploring the city, looking at the Voksresenskaya (Resurection) Mountain, the place where the city first began is particularly enjoyable and memorable. In parks and squares you will happily meet squirrels, and they would be happy to take your meals.
When you visit new cities and countries, you would want to taste the culture and life of each new place. Any stay in Tomsk can be remembered by guests visiting interesting museums and restaurants with distinct cuisine. And when you leave take a souvenir of birch bark and pine nuts, to always remember the warm and cozy city in the midst of cold Siberia. As the Russian proverb says: "Better to see once than hear a hundred times", so...Welcome to Tomsk!
Cafes and restaurants
Walking around the city, you can discover these cafes and restaurants, along with many others. And if you ever need help getting to your destination, the locals will always be happy to assist you.