Tyumen: a complete travel guide to the oldest Siberian city

It is the oldest city in Siberia and the center of oil production in Russia. A complete guide to Tyumen, one of the most amazing cities in Russia.

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Tyumen
Tyumen

The first Siberian city founded in 1586. Tyumen is unofficially titled oil and gas capital of Russia. The city’s population is 707 000 people and it continues to increase. According to the RBC Holding Tyumen is one of ten the most quick-growing cities of Russia. Don’t let mention of oil-hungry businesspeople leave you thinking that this is a dull, money-focused city though. The city has a buzzing street life in summer and a couple of worthwhile sights that, taken together, will keep you entertained for a day or so. Tyumen is also the stepping stone to the gorgeous old town of Tobolsk, a few hours’ bus or train ride away. Tyumen is a cultural, business, educational and administrative center of the Tyumen region. The majority of city’s population consists of young people of age under 35. Here are always places to go in the evening and to see during weekends. Cozy cafes, luxurious restaurants, best theatres and philharmonic concert hall, museums reminding about a rich history of the city — all that is Tyumen. These are the best places to see in Tyumen, Russia.

 

1. Tyumen’s Holy Trinity Monastery

Tyumen’s Holy Trinity Monastery is located in the historical center of Tyumen just a few minutes’ walk from the Tura Embankment. The monastery was founded on the picturesque bank of the Tura River in 1616. Almost a century later in 1708 the old wooden monastery was rebuilt with stone. Shortly after the monastery was named Holy Trinity. The building process was conducted under the leadership of metropolitan Philophey Leschinsky. Later on he took monastic vows and lived the rest of his life in seclusion. After his death in 1727, he was buried at the monastery’s entrance.

Tyumen’s Holy Trinity Monastery
Tyumen’s Holy Trinity Monastery

During the Soviet period the monastery was used as a dormitory for a military platoon as well as the headquarters of the city’s water control system. The monastery was returned to the Tyumen diocese in 1995, but the first service was not held there until 2003. In 2005 the relic of prelate Philophey was uncovered and is now kept in the monastery of Peter and Paul Cathedral. In 2007 a square was dedicated to Philophey near the monastery. Today Holy Trinity Monastery is open for everyone to see and tour while it continues to hold regular liturgical services.

 

2. Znamensky Cathedral

The history of Znamensky Cathedral finds its roots in the first half of 17th century when an a small wooden chapel was first erected at the site of the current Cathedral. The old wooden chapel was replaced with the construction of a stone church which began on September 1st, 1768. The church’s previous name was given in honor of Mary the Mother of God and her icon within the church. The building was dedicated only 33 years later in 1801. The church’s first stone building was painted white and consisted of a main chapel, a bell tower, a refectory and a porch.

Znamensky Cathedral
Znamensky Cathedral

After the Revolution of 1917, the cathedral was used as a transit prison, but in the period between 1933 and 1941, the church was returned to the diocese. With the beginning of World War II, however, it was once again taken over and used to house dislocated army forces. Finally the cathedral was returned to the eparchy. On June 19th, 1994 the clergy held a liturgical service for the first time in many years. Today Znamensky Cathedral is a functioning church and one of the most wonderful symbols of Tyumen.

 

3. Tyumen Bolshoi Drama Theater

In 2008, The Tyumen Bolshoi Drama Theater got the new building which was built in record time for 1 year and 8 months. The theater with 158-year history is the biggest Drama Theater of Russia. History of the Tyumen theater began even before the first building. It is known that in 1858 the St. Petersburg guest expressed his admiration for Amateur performances. This fact was recorded, and the theatrical history of the city was reckoned from it. History tells us that in 1890, the first Guild merchant, an honorary citizen of the city Tekut`ev Andrei Ivanovich was founded a permanent theatre, which entered the history of the town called Tekut`evsky. Andrei Ivanovich, in love with the spectacle of dramatic scenes, supported theatre for 26 years.

Tyumen Bolshoi Drama Theater
Tyumen Bolshoi Drama Theater

In 1916, before his death, he bequeathed the theatre to the city. The city Council accepted the gift, and newspaper announcements began to inform about the performances not in the Tekut`ev`s theater, but in the city theatre named Tekut`ev. After the October revolution, the theatre received the name of V. I. Lenin. Under the leadership of the Petrograd director Valmar it was staged such performances as “Idiot”, “the Power of Darkness”, “the Living corpse”, “the Day”. In subsequent years the core of the repertoire included Russian and foreign classics, the best works of modern drama.

 

4. Saint George Ascension church

This church was erected on the left bank of the Tura River through the efforts of the parishioners. The church began as a stone two-storied building with a bell tower and two thrones: one is on the first floor in honor of Saint George and the other in honor of Ascension of God is on the second. After the October Revolution in 1929 the church was closed and its building was used by a workshop of tanners and chemists. In 1934-35 the church became a dormitory for driving school students and combine operators. Later the building was under the governance of Tuymen’s fur coat fabric company.

Saint George Ascension church
Saint George Ascension church

Only in 1996 the building was returned to the diocese of Tobolsk and Tyumen. Two years later services were resumed there. Step by step in 2005 the bell tower was restored and in 2006 the church became a participant in the government program entitled “Cultural memorials restoration.” Now it is a functioning church that adorns the historical center of Tyumen.

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