Once the official capital of Siberia, this now tiny town in the Tyumen Oblast region is rich in history, and boasts an impressive Kremlin as well as a fascinating old city center. The picturesque location is right next to the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh Rivers, and the vast expanse of water can be seen from above by taking a trip up the Kremlin overlooking the town. Founded in the 16th century as a major city on the Great Siberian Road, Tobolsk’s significance – and ultimately size – began to decrease when the influential road started to take a more southerly route and skip the town altogether.

Still, Tobolsk’s appeal for travelers remains strong today, with the fortress-like Kremlin being the must-see attraction for the modest amount of travelers that make it this way. The town also boasts a number of worthwhile museums, a cathedral and various historical monuments depicting the long and fascinating history of the region.


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Castle Prison Museum

Also known as Tyuremny Zamok, this museum offers a poignant insight into the hardships that prisoners faced during their time spent in this notorious prison. Captives were held here during Tsarist and Soviet times, with many exiles imprisoned here before being sent on to Moscow or other major Russian cities.

Deputy’s Palace Museum

Known to be the finest museum in town, Deputy’s Palace Museum is set in a wonderfully restored 18th century building next to the Kremlin. Inside, there’s an excellent array of exhibits depicting the modern and ancient history of Tobolsk, as well as the surrounding Siberian region.

Tobolsk Kremlin

Perched atop a hill overlooking the town, the iconic Tobolsk Kremlin remains the town’s star attraction, both in appearance and historical significance. Erected at the end of the 16th century, the main Cathedral building has been subject to continuous restoration work and its bright white walls and grey-gold turrets still shine today.

Yermak Monument

This modest structure sits in the town center, and was designed by the Russian architect Alexander Brullov in 1839. The monument commemorates Yermak Timofeyevich who led the Russian conquest of Siberia during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.

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