History and Cultural Geography

Tobolsk Тобольск was the first capital of Siberia. It was founded in 1587 and the Kremlin in Tobolsk was the first in Siberia to be built from stone rather than wood. Tobolsk was strategically located at the confluence of the Irtysh and Tobol Rivers, which were important trade routes during the early days of the Russian Empire's colonization of Siberia. Huge numbers of furs were brought up from the river docks into storehouses next to the Kremlin; furs were a major source of wealth in Tsarist Russia and one of the important motives for the eastward expansion. The lower city along the river was inhabited mainly by tradesmen, fishermen, farmers and other laborers while the upper city was where wealth and power was concentrated. A canal was eventually built to move the river away from the base of the cliffs and reduce flooding in the lower city. Tobolsk eventually waned in significance in the Russian economic and political landscape, and is now sometimes referred to as the "Forgotten Capital of Siberia." Even still, Tobolsk has produced a number of famous people including Decembrists, writers, and the famous chemist, Mendeleev, who developed the periodic table of the elements


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