Cultural center of Siberia
Over the past century having a desire for a new, permanent variability and loyalty to the traditions had created a unique look to Tomsk - Siberian Athens. Tomsk is popular among both Russians and foreigner visitors for its special aura and culture.

In 1860 Tomsk transformed itself into an educational and cultural centre for Siberia by opening new schools and publishing newspapers. In 1900 the Tomsk Technological Institute was opened and the city has become a real talent foundry. Since that time it is called Siberian Athens.

Currently there are six universities, Tomsk Economics and Law, Agricultural institutes, and different branches of metropolitan universities. Tomsk State University and Tomsk Polytechnic University have received the status of particularly valuable objects by the Russian people’s cultural heritage. 20 percent of the residents of the city are either students or educators. The concentration of the highest qualified workers in Tomsk is the largest in Russia. For students of Tomsk Universities the city is associated with a “special” time for youth. The city harks back to the “merry mess” students’ years, to wander through the familiar streets and to look through old portfolios in the libraries. Actually, the streets of our ancient city are full of modern, high-tech enterprises, advertising, computer firms, and banks, combined with facades of old buildings. A new look of the city creates an affiliation with Tomsk Universities research institutes and enterprises which are some of the most advanced. Two Universities from Tomsk (of 17 Russian) were the first, who got grants as innovative universities. Also the Special Economic Zone opens the citizens and residents of Tomsk new bright and great future.

Creative unions and associations:
The activity of the Creative Unions and Associations can be found here.

The main theatre of Tomsk was opened in 1850, when Nicolay Evtikhiev Filimonov, gold industry entrepreneur and the Head of the city of Tomsk (1840 – 1848), built the first wooden Tomsk Theatre, which had been existing for 32 years.
Currently there are 8 theatres in Tomsk:

Regional Drama Theatre
Grand Concert hall
A Chamber Drama Theatre
Theatre of young spectators
Skomorokh Regional Theatre of Puppet and Actor named after Roman Vinderman
Two-plus-Ku Theatre of Living Dolls
Ethnos Theatre of actors, puppets and shadows
Versiya Theatre

Tomsk is a city with rich history and a unique culture. It is one of the most important centres for culture, with a large number of museums, both municipal and departmental which are attached to Universities, technical schools, colleges and general schools.

You can explore Tomsk museums at museum portal of Tomsk and Tomsk region.
A list of wooden art buildings can be found on the website.

Art of buildings:
Until the revolution of 1917 Tomsk was built mostly out of wood. The city had many fires over the years and when the city would be burned down it would be rebuilt again. Today a great number of old houses, mansions of wooden Classicism, and Empire style saved from the XVIII century can be found here. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century a large number of richly decorated apartment houses were introduced. Great artistic merit can be seen in Tomsk wooden buildings done in a modernist style. Tomsk wooden buildings are recognized by specialists as a unique global, cultural, and historical phenomenon. The uniqueness is generated by the building materials used in the construction of the houses and buildings. Tomsk is the only city in the world where you can find so many magnificent and an artful array of wooden buildings.

Churches and monasteries:
Currently all of Russia's traditional religions are represented in Tomsk: Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism of all persuasions, Muslimism, Judaism and Buddhism. According to the Office of the Ministry of Justice from the 6th of May 2006 there are 125 religious organizations, which represent 16 confessions.

Botanical Garden:
The Siberian Botanical Garden of Tomsk State University was founded in 1880. Currently it is a separate structural unit of TSU, situated on 126 hectares, with an original Green-house that spans a 6500 mІ complex and is unique for housing some 7000 species of plants in a hospitable northern climate.

More information can be found here.