"Beautiful Tobolsk" Tyumenskaya Oblast' by jorgejuansanchez
Tyumenskaya Oblast' Travel Guide: 55 reviews and 229 photos
I had been in Tiumen city in the past (1997), for a whole day, but at that time I did not go further north, to Tobolsk.
Tobolsk was the fist Russian settlement in Siberia, a town founded in 1585 by the Cossack Yermak Timofeyevich (there is a monument devoted to him in Tobolsk, next door to the Kremlin), and was the old Siberian capital.
I stopped there in July 2009 for two days during my way by train to Khanty Mansiysk Okrug.
The train station is far from the downtown and I arrived about midnight, so for about 300 rubbles (10 UD Dollars) I hired a room in a dormitory in the same station, together with several Russians, all snoring in the night like horses. Russia is a cheap country (apart from Moscow and Saint Petersburg).
In the morning I caught a bus to the downtown and got off in the Kremlin (the only Kremlin in Siberia), a beautiful walled building sheltering an Orthodox Cathedral.
The town was impressive, very beautiful, situated at the banks of the River Irtish, a tributary of the River Obi, with many churches and old buildings, worth to spend a couple of days there.
In the same square where was situated the walled Kremlin there was a museum, that I visited, and then descended to low part of the town to visit the house where the Tsar family lived some months, from August 1917 until April 1918, before being sent to Yekaterinburg, where they were assassinated by orders of Lenin.
The house is today a museum and in the second floor they still preserve the Tsar Nikolai II objects and many pictures of the whole royal family.
At about 15 kilometres from Tobolsk there is a men monastery and a kind of thematic park for children, that I visited, and in the way back to Tobolsk I stopped in a women monastery, also very stunning and unexpected in that part of Siberia.
That visit to Tobolsk was wonderful and I fell in love with that city at the first sight!
I can say that apart from Irkutsk (because the Lake Baikal) the most spectacular town in Siberia is Tobolsk. After Tobolsk, perhaps Omsk and Kyzyl plus Chita are the most interesting Siberian cities.
After Tobolsk I took a train to Surgut, in Khanty Mansiysk Okrug.
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