Archeological landmarks attest to the fact that the territory Tyumenskaya region has been settled since olden days. Finding itself on the path of caravans between Europe and Asia. The Tyumen region has absorbed many of the achievements and riddles of world, including the clandestine vestiges of the Aryan tribes and the hidden gold treasures of the Scythian Kurgans.
The southern part of Tyumen is situated beyond the Urals within the boundaries of the western Siberian plain. The cliate is continental. Its uniqueness is consistently cold winter and hot summer. The difference between summer winter and summer temperature is about 350ْْº.
The largest rivers in the South are the Irtysh (4,248 km), the Tobol (1,674 km), the Ishim (2,450 km) and the Tura (1,030km).
Tyumenskaya region is rich in medicinal underground mineral waters. The mineral water swimming pools and drinks are very popular. Among which is “Tyumenskaya”,”Taraskulskaya”, “Isetskaya” and others. Large tracts of the southern territory of Tyumenskaya region is a federally protected nature reserve.
The territory of Tyumenskaya region boasts a wide spectrum of nature zones –from steppes to the Tundra. In the southern part of the region, mountain forests and mixed forests occupy 21% of the territory. There are about 70 different mammals in the region the beaver can be found in all rivers and streams of the southern region. In 1952-1960 over 900 Barguzinski sables were released into the Tyumen taiga and their population has gradually returned to normal. Beside sable, one can encounter marten, badger, ermine, polecat, otter, hedgehog, mole and ferret. In flood plains and swamps up to Tobolsk. One can find an arctic fox. Tne wolf , the fox can be found in all of the region along with roe deer. One of the largest animals, the brown bear reaches 2 meters in length. The largest animal of the region is the elk.
The lakes and rivers of the southern region are full of fish: starlet, sturgeon, nelma, muksun, bream, burbot, gudgeon and many others. Many iother fish are artificially raised in reservoirs. The plentiful fish in the Tyumen region is carp both golden and silver. Carp is capable of surviving the extreme cold – when all other fish die for lack of oxygen, carp remains alive. It survives in reservoirs which freeze solid.
The lakes of the Tobolsk-Ishim mountain forests are nesting grounds for large colonies of webbed foot seagull-like birds such as the gray heron and many many others. The Tobolsk-Ishim mountain forest is a sanctuary for many endangered species of birds.
Andreevskoye lake is on the Road to Yalutorovsk , about 11 kilometers from Tyumen. This is a very popular rest area for locals. Tatars called it Indrey-cul or Indrey. Because Indrey sounds like Andrey , the lake became known as Andrey`s lake or Andreevskoye lake. In 1970 a resort area was created on the northern shore of Big Andreevskoye lake. A clean sand shore about half a kilometer long and a hundred meters wide attracts many locals in the summer. Lake Lebyazhye (Swan lake) is small but very beautiful lake located about 10 kilometers from Tyumen. Its shores are a birch and pine grove with thick black berries. Swan lake was once the site of a top secret resort for top communist officials. Small Taraskul lake is about 15 kilometers from Tyumen and is surrounded by thick pine forests. The bottom is sandy and there are sapropelevic deposits which are used fir heath cures. Sinitski Bor is a unique natural monument forest massive with ancient pines and rare types of flora ( such as ferns) preserved from ancient times and recorded in the red book of the Russian federation. There are hot mineral springs with rare healing properties. There is therapeutic mud used by visitors for various cures I close proximity to the lake. Gorko-Solenoye lake is about 18 kilometers from Ishim. Mud from the lake has highly medicinal qualities. The lake itself is nature reserve and historically significant.
After the legendary victory of Ermak`s army, the territory of Tyumen region became known as “the Gates to Siberia”. Tyumen and Tobolsk – the first towns beyond the Urals were founded here. These towns are playing an important role in the history of the Russian government in the East. The historical and cultural heritage of these towns carries the imprint of the prominent deeds of renowned Siberian explorers, missionaries, merchants, industrialists, statesmen and social scientists. In these towns there are great many places, including beautiful old churches and distinctive historic monuments, which continue to amaze newcomers. Two of the main tourist pearls of the region are the unique, for their beauty ensemble Tobolsk Kremlin and the Abalak Monastery.
Side by side, with the leading role the Tyumen region played in the development of Siberia, the wealth of which increased the might of Russia, its life was intimately tied to many sad pages of native history.
The first political exile arriving in Tobolsk became the Uglich Bell. This symbolic punishment of a Bell deigned necessary because it sounded the alarm about the body of the murdered son of Ivan the Terrible - Dmitry , calling the people to rebel against the boyars. It was whipped and its tongue was torn out. The bell remained in Tobolsk exile for 300 years. The Archpriest Avakum found himself in Tobolsk imprisonment and prince Menshikov and members of the Dolgorukiy Family passed through Tobolsk on their way to Berezovski exile. Peter’s the Great moor Hannibal, fallen into disfavor, served in Tobolsk garrison. From December 1790 , for 7 month, Alexander Radischev found himself in Tobolsk exile. The arrival of the Decembrists in Tobolsk and Yalutorovsk constitutes one of the brightest and dramatic pages in Siberian history.
The family of the last Czar Nicholas II spent a month in Tobolsk, departing in 1918 form here to their last journey to Russian Golgotha. The unfortunate love of the first Romanov Czar Michael Fedorovich was sent to Tobolsk through a boyar conspiracy. Situated on the road between Tyumen and Tobolsk is the village of Pokrovskoye, the birthplace of another bright historical figure, tied to the Romanov family – Gregory Rasputin.
In the recent years, the infrastructure of tourism has been rapidly developing in the Tyumen region: hotels, highways, airports, train stations, tourist complexes, and other structures are being renovated with respect to modern standards.
Western Siberia is the cradle of rich and original cultures, homeland for ancient and survived nations. As early as in the Paleolithic epoch (approximately 15-20 thousand years ago) men began to develop the west-siberian plain. In the second quarter of the 1st century B.C. started the Iron Age on this land. That time a significant territory of the region was inhabited with Sargathian tribes. We can judge about important social processes of that period by the fact of appearing of huge fortified settlements with the population of at least several hundred people among numerous identical communities. The total area of Rafailovskoe -one of such sites of ancient settlement is more than 60 thousand square meters.
Many nations with their national culture have been developing on the territory of the west-siberian plain in the course of several thousand years. By the 16th century forming of nations which survived till nowadays has been mainly completed. By that period considerable territories of the Tyumen region were settled by such nations as Khanty, Mansi, Nenets and Selkups. Khanty and Mansi hunted and went fishing to survive. As Khanty settled on the banks of big rivers, they mostly ate fish. Mansi, who lived by upper reaches of rivers on the western flanks of the Urals mostly hunted for elks, whose migratory way passed there. In winter Mansi hunted on foot. They pursued dears and elks, using wide skis lined with skin of true otter (this prevented them from sliding down from a hill).
Approximately thousand years ago Turkic tribes of Kypchaks came to this land. Some of them were removed from the steppe regions by Mongolians. Local Ugor population moved to settle northwards, and part of them assimilated with the newcomers. Little by little, an ethnic group of Siberian Tatars has been formed here. This group included Turkic, Ugor, Mongolian and other ethnic components. Hunting, fishing, cattle-breeding and farming were the main activities of Siberian Tatars, who settled in forest-steppes and near taiga areas.
After Siberia had become a part of Russia because of Ermak`s successful campaign, the Russians began to settle down in this region intensively . This resulted in wide dissemination of Christianity on this area.
Nowadays on the territory of the Tyumen region live people of 100 different nationalities. The most multitudinous of them are the Russians, the Ukrainians and the Tatars.
Carved Bone in Tobolsk
Carved bone products present miniature sculptures made out of bones or tusks of mammoth, bison, deer, or out of cachalot teeth processed under a specific technology. Through the language of plastic the miniatures present scenes of everyday life of indigenous people. Bone carving goes deeper into ancient times. The first samples discovered by archaeologists can be dated to the Stone age. Initially it were indigenous peoples from the North khanty, mansy, and nentsy who got started bone carving. They made first and foremost cult items – amulets, decorations for clothes, and hunting weapons. First samples of bone carving in Russia were dated to the Xth century. In Russia first carving centers were formed in coastal areas. Carving reached its fullest flower at the end of the XVII- the beginning of the XVIIIth centuries in Arkhangelsk.
Tobolsk carving as a unique and recognized handicraft had formed by the middle of the XIXth century. By that time co-operatives of carver had been organized. ‘Deep penetration into everyday life is characteristic for Tobolsk carving. Surely, carvers had a capability for a generalized plastic vision, and would only model the essentials, while in surface elaboration they tried to convey tangibility of physical nature and went deeper in detail. They appreciated the material structure as it was, its glacial surface associated to perennial frost. Carving is still being developed in Tobolsk. The second half of the XXth century demonstrated expanding of visualizing range of carving. Some carvers would go beyond the limits of traditional handicraft, and create integrated compositions combined with other plastic materials, or would appeal for non-conventional topics.
Wood carving in Tumen
In the second half of the 19th century in tandem with the development of capitalism, towns which were ideally situated and economically began to grow quickly in Russia. Such was the history of Tyumen because the rail road lines reached her long before they reached other towns. The growth of capital concentrated in towns lead to visible changes in Siberian towns. In Tyumen and other areas where there were previously many wooden houses, new modern houses began to appear.
The casing, jambs and lintels of windows of Russian wooden homes facing the street received special attention-through decoration and design the home is integrated with its environment. Often the most intricate design faced the street, the sides were more modest and the most simple were in the rear.
The gates and fences were decorated in the context of the general design. The attics,cornices balustrades, balconies, mezzonis and other architectural details of wooden houses were decorated very pictorially.
Siberian towns looked to the west, which determined their uniqueness. Orientation toward masonry architecture and a fairy sensitive reaction to a change in taste and architectural style in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
One can say thatmasters created a unique style of wooden architecture, carried out with expressiveness and nobility.
The Ingaklskaya Valley
Monuments discovered in the Ingaklskaya Valley are very interesting. The results of the archeological excavations of the burial ground Buzan-3, which became a sensation prove it the best. On its area 13 burial hotels of the Stone Age were have been found out during 2 years. Judging by their position, the burial complex had a linear or circular planning. In the most of the graves the remaining of the dead people have absolutely disappeared. Though considerable variations of the graves` sizes and give a reason to presume that they contained not only grown-ups` bodies but children`s ones as well. At the bottom f the graves some traces of ocher are found, their equipment included few stone things and polished pieces that supposing were attached to their clothes. In one of the graves a stone knife is found (obviously a ritual one) with a bird`s head on the top – it is a real masterpiece of ancient art of decorating.
Though the most interesting results appeared during the investigation of the burial chamber complex. Its size impresses – about 6×4 m at the top and 2,5 m depth. At the bottom of the grave the remaining of a wooden hollowed boat, with the bow decorated with a large sculpture. A part of the boat had been burnt before being buried, and some parts the still have the traces of the ocher. The leftovers of tar covering the bottom were managed to notice. Graphical, photo and video recorders give a chance to study the boat in more detail, including by means of recreation the wooden copy of it . More than 170 polished stone pieces and some stone arrow tips were found at the bottom of the boat, and this facts contributes to the idea of burring. One more group discoveries was cleared up near the chamber. It contained more than 250 knife-like plates, a series of arrow tips and a stone object cylindrical with a hole in the middle and some signs engraved on the surface and reminding an ideogram. This object could possibly have been a power symbol. In a special ground boat shaped hole, probably, the second hollowed boat lied and it could have been totally decayed.
On the basis of coal gathered in one of the side graves a radio carbonated data of the burial complex – 3,190years. plus-minus 60 years B.C.
The boat found in the central grave can be considered the most ancient finding on the Siberian area and the surroundings. A great interest is evoked by the data showing a special status of a person being supplied by not only luxurious burial equipment but also two boats on the way to the Other World.This can be an evidence of social differences in population of western Siberia during the transit form the Stone Age to the Metal Age.
The Tobol and the Isaet memorial complex is peculiar by great sizes which dominate abve many regions and unique number of memorials of different epochs as well as perfectly survived archeological objects gathered here that emphasizes very rare household usage of the territory both in the past and in the present. Though the value of the Ingalskaya valley is not sufficed by this only fact. Ecological and floristical investigations here allow to consider this region as a unique natural reserve having rare plant species, forest, taiga and step landscapes almost untouched by the industrial factors and to preserve them all is a very important problem. All being said opens beneficial perspectives of creating a landscapes archeological park within the microdistrict, the aim of which will be not just investigation and protection the memorials discovered here, but saving the natural and involving this unique object into the activities developing , aimed into developing of science, education and culture in tyumen region, into the home and international tourismspheres. Unfortunately, we have to admit that the unsufficient financing of the investigations threatens to stop studying the Ingalskaya vally and gradualdecay of its memorials during the industrial development of this unique region.
Before the time the Tobolsk stone Kremlin was built at the beginning of the XVIIIth century, a lot of its wooden precedents had been constructed on the Troytsk cape. The first wooden Kremlin was built in 1594. In 1621 , when the first Siberian archbishop Cyprian arrived in Tobolsk, an archbishop house was built in the place of the wooden Kremlin with the Church of St.-Sophia adjacent to it.
The history of Tobolsk over the XVIIth century was marked with numerous devastated fires resulting in frequent re-structuring of the town. So, in 1643 the whole town was re-built anew. In 1644 a new log-built nine-tower Kremlin was erected. Later, near the archbishop’s house a new thirteen-domed Sophian Cathedral was built. That outlay of the Kremlin survived but a short period. In 1677 it was demolished by the fire. The wooden Tobolsk Kremlin was re-built six times.
At the end of the XVIIth century stone construction was started in Tobolsk. Partially it was considered as a protective measure against fire, and partially it was determined by a growing meaning of Tobolsk as an administrative and spiritual center of immense Siberian territories.
In 1697 Semen Remezov was given the order to elaborate a project for the stone Kremlin. The project had to get all the scattered buildings on the Troytsk cape incorporated within a unified architectural and military scheme. In 1698 Semen Remezov went to Moscow to get the insight into architectural implications of the leading architects of that time. In May 1700 the first Kremlin building, the Department Chamber, was started. Later the Gostiny Dvor and the Rentereya were built. In 1714 a Decree was issued by Peter I forbidding stone buildings anywhere outside St.-Petersburg. The construction of the Kremlin was suspended for a while, but in the middle of the XVIIIth century new stone buildings were restarted.
At the end of the XVIIIth century the Kremlin lost its significance as a fortress. New premises were built on its territory – an archbishop’s house, a monks’ apartment, and a consistory. The major accent in the architectural outlay of the Kremlin was focused upon the Cathedral Bell tower, which had been preserved till today. For a long time the word ‘Kremlin’ implied a meaning quite different from what we call it now. Initially the Kremlin only implied a stone town projected by S. Remezov, and later in the XIXth century the Kremlin incorporated all the buildings on the hill – both the Sophian Cathedral and the stone town.
Znamenski monastery in Abalak
Before annexation to Russia Abalak was a tartar settlement named after a tartar prince Abalak, a son of a Siberian khan Mara. During Ermak’s campaign Abalak became a place of decisive battles. In 1585 Ermak won a victory over a tartar regiment that was many times superior in number. The sort Siberian chronicle stated that St. Nikolas appeared before Ermak immediately after the victory, and told him that this place would be destined to become ‘ a home of God’. The chronicle also stated on numerous omens that were regarded as an anticipation of the monastery at this place.
In the XVIIth century Russian people started inhabiting Abalak. As time went on Abalak became a Russian settlement. In 1636 a poor widow Mary lived in Abalak. She would witness numerous omens warning her that she had to tell the people in Abalak that a church of Virgin had to be built. Archbishop Nectarius gave his blessing to this. A lot of people from Abalak and Tobolsk took part in the construction of the church. At the same time St. Paul in the shape of a poor man was told to come up to an ill peasant Euphimium and to tell him:’ Give a promise to paint a sacred image to the church, and God might forgive and relieve you through your faith and diligence.’ After blessing of archbishop Nectarium a sacred image was ordered to a monk Matphey who was considered the most skillful artists in Tobolsk Once the icon was completed Euphimium got marvelously relieved of his illness, and brought the icon for consecration himself. Since then the residents of Abalak and pilgrims had witnessed miraculous healing of seriously ill through the icon. In summer 1665 heavy rains befell upon the vicinities of Tobolsk, thus threatening with poor harvest and famine. The Tobolsk archbishop Cornylius sent a sacred message to Abalak, and in June 7-8 the icon of Virgin was carried to Tobolsk by a clerical procession. Since then the icon had been carried annually to Tobolsk from 8 to 20 of June.
After the wooden church in Abalak burned out in 1680, a stone Znamenski cathedral was started to be built in 1680 and finished in 1691. In 1748-50 a winter church of St. Nicolas miracle-worker was erected near the Znamenski cathedral, and in 1752-90 a bell tower was constructed and a church of Mary Egyptian. In 1783 an Abalak monastery was organized. The main reason for this was the miraculous icon and wonders related to it. Over times the monastery remained an important center of culture in Siberia, and would attract a lot of pilgrims from all parts of Russia. In 1924 under the Soviet regime the church was abolished. It was only at the end of the XXth century that the Abalak monastery was started to get revived.
Monastery of the Holy Trinity
In 1616 near the Dray settlement a Transfiguration male monastery was built by an elder monk Niphont Kazanski. Some time earlier a monastery for virgine females and the Ilia church were founded on the bank of the Tura river.
The XVII century was manifested by appearance of stone buildings in Tyumen. In 1700 on the bank of the Tura river stone-made treasury storehouses were built with the Annunciation church over them. In 1715, on the territory of the Transfiguration monastery the Trinity cathedral was completed that gave a new name to the monastery. Here also were built the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the abbot’s premises. Construction of the Trinity monastery was supervised by the Siberian metropolitan Philopheum Leshinski. In 1717 the church of the Forty Martyrs was built. Adjacent to it was a two-story tower, where Philopheum Leshinski lived till his death as he became a monk. The Siberian metropolitan bequeathed to burry him at the entrance to the Trinity monastery, so that ‘passers by should trample on his remains’.
On July, 10, 1941, under extreme secrecy, a special cargo arrived in Tyumen. Vladimir Lenin’s body, evacuated from the Moscow Mausoleum, was brought to Tyumen. The sarcophagus was placed in the School of Agriculture. Like in the Kremlin, an honor guard attended the body at all times. In March 1945 Lenin’s body was returned to Moscow.
On the 29th of July 1586 the construction of the Tyumen burg was started that became the first Russian city in Siberia. The founders of the burg, voivodes Vassili Sukin and Ivan Myasnoy, had chosen a territory well-protected by the banks of the Tura and Tyumenka rivers.
The first inhabitants of the burg were strelets and Cossaks. They got the place encircled with log walls, built a wooden church of the Virgin, an office, some houses, and ration barns.
First, the burg was intended as an outpost, but in 1593 a wooden-built town was found in its place. Initially, all the buildings were confined within the Kremlin territory, which was surrounded by log-cut walls with loop-holes and watchtowers. The Kremlin incorporated a voivode’s house, the Christmas and Nikolas churches, a treasury, grain barns, salt stores, a vine cellar, a jail and some other premises.
Soon the neighboring Yamskaya settlement formed next to Fort Tyumen. By the beginning of the 17th century there were 570 domiciles and about 1700 inhabitants. The church elder Nifont Kazansky founded the Transfiguration monastery next to the Yamskaya settlement in 1616. Slightly earlier, a convent was founded at the Ilyinsky church on the shore of the Tura river. The 18th century marked the beginning of masonry construction in Tyumen. In 1700 on the banks of the river Tura , stone warehouses were built to house the town treasury with the cathedral of the annunciation above them. In 1715, the Trinity Cathedral was built in stone in the transformation monastery, giving the monastery a new name.
The merchants of Tyumen were the leading social force in Tyumen from the 14th through the beginning of the 20th century. Among them were many patrons of the arts and philanthropists, recognizing the necessity of cultural enlightenment in their native town.
In the second half of the 19th century through the beginning of the 20th century, the town of Tyumen began to distinguish itself as an industrial center. By volume of output it occupied the leading position in the Tobolsk province. The tanning industry, flour mills, distilleries, woodworking, tallow meeting, candle making and bell foundries were the most developed in Tyumen. In the latter half of the 19th century Tyumen became a famous Siberian shipbuilding center.
After the 1917 revolution, the governors seat was moved from Tobolsk to Tyumen. In August, 1944 the Tyumen region was created, becoming the largest in the country. It occupies an area of 1435 thousand square kilometers. England, France, Finland, Italy and Denmark would fit in its borders. From the most south point of the region to the most northern is 2,100 kilometers ( the distance from Moscow to Tyumen) and from West to East -1,400. In the first half of the 20th century, many scholars frequently expressed conjectures about the existence of important mineral deposits in the northern territories of the region. The systematic development of the natural resources of Tyumen began with the Tyumen oil exploration expedition , organized in 1948. In its framework, the first exploratory oil well was drilled on the edge of Tyumen. In 1953, in the village of Berezovo, the first large deposits of natural gas were discovered. Shortly thereafter large deposits of natural gas were discovered in the vicinity of Shaim, Oost-Balyk, Megion, Surgut, Yamburg, Urengoy and a host of other territories, which became known as Northern Tyumen. An important event was the discovery of the extensive Samotlor oil deposits in 1965. In a short time, the town of Tyumen became the administrative center of the country`s largest oil deposits. The rapid pace of industrialization of the northern Tyumen region contributed to the rapid growth and development of the regional center. Such intensive development of the town had a profound effect on its cultural life. In contrast to many towns in the Urals and Siberia, the appearance of which was greatly altered though industrialization, Tyumen continued to maintain its historic character.
A significant part of the town was comprised of wooden structures, many of which represented original examples of traditional decorative woodcarving. A distinctive factor in Tyumen in the second half of the 20th century co-mingling of rapidly growing administrative and residential neighborhoods with neighborhood of old wooden homes.
Contemporary Tyumen is one of the most important administrative , economic, industrial, cultural and educational centers of the Ural-Siberian region. In recent years dynamically developing infrastructure of Tyumen has fostered the development of a large tourist center. Hotels, roads, airports and train stations are being built and re-built with respect to contemporary standards, allowing the realization of international tourist programs. Tyumen has become the site of large international exhibitions and conferences. Numerous historic monuments and the architecture of the oldest Siberian town have become an important resource to culture-cognizant tourism. Ecological tourism, sanatorium rest, hunting and fishing are bountifully accessible in the vicinity of Tyumen.