Tobolsk

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Tobolsk (Тобо́льск; Tatar: Tubıl) is a town in Tyumen Oblast, Siberia, Russia. It is located at the confluence of rivers Tobol and Irtysh. In 2001, the population was about 95,000.

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Panoramic view of Tobolsk Kremlin

Tobolsk was founded by Yermak in 1585-86 during the early Russian advance into Siberia. It became the seat of the Czar's Namestnik (Viceroy) of Siberia. With administrative divisions of the territory, Tobol'sk remained the seat of the Governor-General of Western Siberia until it was moved to Omsk in 1820-30s. Until the 1917 Russian Revolution, the city served as the capital of the Tobolsk guberniya (region). Bowing to the city's authority, many Siberian towns had their original arms display the Tobolsk insignia. This included Omsk, Tyumen and Tomsk; Omsk honors the legacy to this day.

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Pokrovsky Cathedral
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St. Sofia Cathedral

Tobolsk is the only town in Siberia and one of the few in Russia which has a standing stone kremlin, or elaborate city-fortress. The medieval white walls and towers with an ensemble of churches and palatial buildings spectacularly sited on a high river bank are a national historical and architectural treasure.

Tobolsk is the birthplace of the chemist and founder of the periodic table, Dmitri Mendeleev.

In August 1917, after the February Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family were brought here to live in relative luxury in the former house of the Governor-General. In April 1918, after the Bolshevik October Revolution the entire family, on their way to Moscow, was shot in Jekaterinburg, thus ending the Romanov-dynasty.

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