The Tomsk ostrog (fortress) is on Voskresenskaya hill rising above the river Ushayka and Lenin Square. In 1604 in this place there appeared a fortress significantly extending the Siberian possessions of Russia. It was built by the order of the Russian tsar Boris Godunov.

By the beginning of the 17 century the Russian possessions stretched up to the river Ob, with Tobolsk being the main town of all Siberian lands. However, the embassy of a small Tatar tribe led by prince Toyan came to Moscow on January, 20 1604. They asked the Russian tsar to include their land in the Russian state and build a fortress near the river Tom to defend them from the aggressive neighbors.

And this implied a significant extension of the territory of the Russian state. Serving only a defensive purpose during the first years of its existence eventually the Tomsk ostrog became the center of the settlement of Siberia. And so the functions of the main town of Siberia were transferred from Tobolsk to Tomsk.

The Tomsk ostrog is similar to the medieval «kremlin». It was in the center of the settlement dominating the surrounding area. The Tomsk ostrog was built during the summer and autumn of 1604. About 50 Tyumen Cossacks headed by their ataman (chieftain) Druzhina Yuryev and at least 100 service class men from Tobolsk, Surgut and Pelym took part in the construction. After the Tomsk ostrog had been finished the settlers and the convicts began to come there from the European Russia.

Unfortunately, there remained no original buildings of the Tomsk ostrog dating back to the 17 century. All of them were made of wood and for several centuries a lot of big fires happened in Tomsk.

Today on Voskresenskaya hill one can see the reconstruction of the original Tomsk fortress, as well as the Tomsk history museum occupying the building of the fire station. The latter houses the exposition «The First Centuries of Tomsk» as well as the interiors of the 19-century houses. By all means should you ascend to the top of the fire tower to have a wonderful view of the historic center of Tomsk. 

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Tomsk ostrog (prison) is the place where Tomsk was laid down in 1604 
The fire tower, the highest point in the city, on the territory of Tomsk ostrog (prison) 
A stone on the edge of Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount, the place where Tomsk was founded
The look of the Kremlin of Tomsk at the time of its foundation
Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount, the place where Tomsk was founded 
The tower of Tomsk ostrog (prison) on Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount
The building of the fire station housing a museum
The Ushayka river dominated by Tomsk ostrog (prison) 
Tomsk ostrog (prison) on the top of Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount
The ascent to Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount where Tomsk ostrog (prison) is located
The figure of a fireman on the top of the fire tower
The new residential quarters of Tomsk as viewed from the fire tower
The old quarters of wooden houses in Tomsk
The old quarters of wooden houses in Tomsk
The old quarters of wooden houses in Tomsk
The Church of Resurrection in Tomsk
The oars for the wooden boats the streltsy used to sail on the rivers of Siberia 
The streltsy sailed down the rivers of Siberia in such wooden boats 
The inside view of a peasant log hut 
The weapons of the streltsy and the garments of a princess
A glazed tile stove and kitchen utensils
The interior of the room of the 19 century
A gun on the top of Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount
The palisade of Tomsk ostrog (prison) on the top of Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount 
The stone buildings of the 19 century at the foot of Voskresenskaya (Resurrection) mount