Tomsk is a city and the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Tom River. One of the oldest towns in Siberia, Tomsk celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2004. Tomsk was established under a decree from Tsar Boris Godunov in 1604 after Toyan, the Tatar duke of Eushta, asked for the Tsar's protection against Kirghiz bandits. The Tsar sent 200 Cossacks under the command of Vasily Tyrkov and Gavriil Pisemsky to construct a fortress on the bank of the Tom River, overlooking what would become the city of Tomsk. Toyan ceded the land for the fortress to the Tsar.
Energy generation: Tomsk has the oldest electrical grid in Siberia. There are three powerstations in the city:
- TEC-1 (launched on January 1, 1896)
- GRES-2 (launched on May 28, 1945)
- TEC-3 (launched on October 29, 1988)
Tomsk consumes more electric energy than it produces. The bulk of the city's electric and thermal energy is produced by the GRES-2 (281 MWt) and TEC-3 (140 MWt) powerplants, belonging to Tomskenergo Inc. Tomsk supplements its energy needs with electricity generated at Seversk.
Tomsk has many local cultural institutions including several drama theaters as well as a children's theater and a puppet theater. Major concert venues in the city include the Conservatory Concert hall and the Tomsk Palace of Sport. The city also has cultural centers dedicated to German, Polish and Tatar languages and culture.
One of the city's prominent theaters was destroyed in an act of terrorism in 1905. The Korolevsky Theater (built in 1884–85) was being used by a group of communist revolutionaries when the theater was attacked and set on fire by members of the Black Hundred, a hard-line nationalist organization. Those who escaped the flames were gunned down by Black Hundred members waiting outside the theater. Estimates put the number of casualties between 200 and 1000.
There are a number of museums in Tomsk devoted to various subjects, most notably art, local history and wood carving. There is also a Museum of Oppression, housed in a former KGB dungeon. Tomsk State University has a number of small museums with exhibits on archaeology, paleontology, zoology, as well as a herbarium and a botanical garden.