I've been to Tomsk at least 7 times, but every time I come I realize there's still a lot to see there. Tomsk is more than 400 years old; the locals are aware that the city is attractive for visitors and they are doing their best to make it more appealing. I must admit that Novosibirsk, the city I'm based in, is just a transfer point on the way to Tomsk for many foreign guests. But I don't complain. I love Tomsk and I'm happy to be there, to discover it again and again.
This time our visit was short. We walked a bit in the downtown and managed to visit only one museum, completely new for me, but not really new for the city. It was opened in 2007 and it is one of the most 'advanced' and welcoming museums in the city.
Slavic Mythos is a popular trend now, when all the mankind is looking for its roots to find a path to a better future, which is based on the understanding of the past.
You hardly find any ancient objects in this museum apart from a couple of household devices. In fact, it's more of an art gallery. The exposition consists mainly of paintings of modern artists, but devoted to the array of Slavic Gods and Spirits, as well as everyday life and military achievements in Russia before it was Christianized.
A visitor gets an audio guide to hear comprehensive information about each painting and its idea.
If you are brave and strong enough, you may want to know what it felt like to be a warrior in the pagan time - try on a copy of a real chain mail and a helmet! The chain mail is impossibly heavy and only a real warrior feels comfortable in it.
The Slavs were great at predicting natural phenomena and understood nature well. One section of the gallery is all about nature; here you can look at the ancient Slavic calendar where even the months names reflect deep understanding of the world.
The souvenir shop is just fantastic! You simply can't leave without buying something! A huge selection of matryoshkas, all sorts of traditional kitchen utensils, traditional costumes, sweets and books!
And you won't leave without a cup of firetop tea, a traditional Russian tea! Of course, on the house! It's a sign of Russian hospitality.
And last but not least! Every Russian kid knows a fairy tale about a poor boy Yenelya, who was so lazy that he spent all his time lying on the stove. But one day he was lucky to catch a magic pike, who asked Yemelya to let her go but promised to implement all the guy's wishes. Yemelya did and married the tsar's daughter very soon. You surely want your dreams come true? The museum has the magic pike. Just take a paper, write your dream down and out the paper into a box. On St.John the Baptist's day all the papers will be burnt and all the dreams will be heard and accomplished! My wish is in the box, too, so on July 7 I'll check if the pike sticks to its words:)
Be sure to visit the museum, if you come to Tomsk. It's in the historical downtown, close to another 'must-see' museum, the one of the city history.
Location: Zagornaya St.12. Open all days except for Monday. http://slav-museum.ru/in-english/
Read more about Tomsk. Interested in a day trip or a longer trip to Tomsk from Novosibirsk? Contact me.