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Tomsk is a city of the old and the new. In January 1604 the leader of the most numerous group of the Tomsk Tatars was sent with a petition to the Czar Boris Godunov. They asked to defend them and to build a Russian town in the lower part of the Tom river. Boris Godunov sent a military detachment led by Gavrila Pissemky and Vasily Turkov to find a place for a fortress. By 1604, the construction work was completed. A wooden quadrangular fortress was reinforced by walls 210 meters long and with towers in the four corners. By the end of the 18th century, the population was five thousand people, the majority merchants and craftsmen.
Today the city is a large industrial and cultural center. It is particularly known for its scientific achievements, beautiful wooden architecture, exile stories and warm people.