The Tobolsk prison castle or the Tobolsk Central Prison had the strictest custodial system in tsarist Russia. The Tobolsk prison castle is located near the Tobolsk Kremlin on the high bank of the Irtysh river. It remained the prison until 1989. Now it is a museum.
Tobolsk became the place of exile already in 16 century and almost at once a prison was built there. However, during his visit to Tobolsk in 1837 the prince Alexander Nikolayevich noted the inconvenience of the old prison and by 1855 there was finished the today Tobolsk prison castle.
At various times the prisoners of this castle were F. М. Dostoevsky (this prison is described in the epilogue of his novel «The Crime and Punishment»), N. G. Chernyshevsky, V. G. Korolenko (he described the Tobolsk prison in his story «Yashka»), Fanny Kaplan, М. I. Mikhailov and some other well-known people.
The Tobolsk Central Prison was used especially actively in the period of the purges of 30th of the past century. For example, only in March 1930 the prison received over 22 thousand people. Mass executions of the «enemies of the people» also took place there. During 1937-38 at the wall of the prison castle 2.5 thousand people were executed (on the night to October 14, 1937 there were shot 217 people).
The prison complex consists of 5 buildings: building 1, for dangerous special criminals, buildings 2 and 3,for deportees and convicts, and hospital and administrative buildings. All the buildings were connected by underground passages. The inmates of the prison were always in irons and their communication both with one another and the outside world was ruled out. Each building had its exercise yards where the prisoners were allowed to be 60 minutes a day.
Today most of the prison buildings are open for visiting. In some cells one can even see the wax figures of prisoners. In the Tobolsk prison castle excursions are conducted, as well extreme tours and quest games «The Escape from the Prison Castle». On the territory of the former prison the hotel «Prisoner» is located where anyone who feels like it can spend a night.