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he fortress of Tomsk was established in 1604 on the right bank of the Tom River, by a decree of the Russian Tsar Boris Godunov. The new settlement came into existence on the lands of the Tatar prince Toyan, who took Russian citizenship.

n the end of the 19th century Tomsk became the largest scientific and educational center in Siberia: in 1888 the first university east of the Ural mountains was opened, in 1900 - the Technological Institute (presently the Polytechnic University). Attached to the University, medical clinics were organized, as well as the Bacteriological Institute, the only one in Siberia.

fter the revolution of 1917, Tomsk became a part of the Siberian Krai and later of the Western-Siberian Krai. In 1937 Tomsk and its attached territories became a part of the Novosibirsk Oblast.

he administrative and economic position of Tomsk changed during World War II. When the military operations started, 30 plants were evacuated to Tomsk. This laid the basis for the industrial development of the city. During the years of war the industrial production of Tomsk grew by a factor of 3. New industries appeared - electro-engineering, optomechanical, rubber-engineering, and such industries as mechanical engineering, metal processing, light industry and food processing developed greatly.

n August of 1944 according to a government decree, the Tomsk Oblast was created, consisting of 16 districts, and the city of Tomsk again acquired its former status as the oblast center.

oon after World War II, Tomsk became a world reknowned center of nuclear testing and production. In 1953 the isotope separation plant, a part of the Siberian Chemical Plant (SCP) which is situated in the vicinity of Tomsk, put out its first production of enriched uranium. In 1958 the first Siberian nuclear power station was opened at the SCP and a new town was founded, called Seversk, where presently about 120 thousand people live.

n the 20th century Tomsk has broadened its fame as an educational center nicknamed 'Siberian Athens'. In the beginning of the 30's the Medical and Pedagogical Higher Schools were opened, in the 50's and 60's years - the Engineering Construction Institute, the Institute of Radioelectronics and Electronic Engineering, a number of research institutions were opened, and the Academic Town (Akademgorodok) was built. The Tomsk Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences is widely known. It includes such research institutions as the Institute of Atmospheric Optics, the Institute of High Current Electronics, the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, the Institute of Petroleum Chemistry, the Institute of Optical Monitoring and other research centers weighty in the world of science.

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