Tomskaya Oblast is situated in the southeast of the West Siberian plain. Tomskaya Oblast borders upon Kemerovskaya, Novosibirskaya, Omskaya oblasts, Khanty-Mansiysky autonomous okrug and Krasnoyarsk Territory.
The main rivers are the Ob with its tributaries (the Tom, the Chulym, the Ket, the Vasyugan). There is a plenty of lakes here. The climate is continental. The average temperature of January varies from -19 to -21 degrees, of July from +17 to +18 degrees centigrade. Precipitations are 450-700 mm a year. The floraflora is represented by coniferous woods (Siberian pine, fir, fur-tree, pine). The oblast was formed on the 13th of August, 1944. Its area is 316,9 thousand sq. km. (1,86 % of the total area of the Russian Federation, 18th in the list).
Tomskaya Oblast includes 16 districts, 4 cities, 4 urban districts, 14 urban settlements and 199 villages. The regional centre is Tomsk. The city was founded in 1604. The distance between Tomsk and Moscow is 3500 km. The city consists of 4 districts: Kirovsky, Leninsky, Oktyabrsky and Sovetsky. Other cities are Asino (1952), Kolpashevo (1938), Strezhevoy (1978). The main cities are Tomsk (477.7 thousand inhabitants), Seversk (118.6), Strezhevoy (44.6). The population (on January 1, 1998) is 1073,6 thousand people. Density of population (on January 1, 1998) is 3,4 per 1 sq. km.
Tomskaya Oblast was formed on August 13, 1944, being separated from Novosibirskaya Oblast. At first Tomskaya Oblast was a part of Siberian Territory (1925-1930), then of the West-Siberian Territory (1930-1937). But the predecessor of Tomskaya Oblast was the Tomsk province (1804-1925). Tomsk, the administrative centre of Tomskaya Oblast, arose in 1604 as the Russian fortress on the bank of the river Tom. In 1629 the city became the centre of the region, later the trading and craft centre of Siberia. In 1719 Tomsk was added to the Yenisei province, in 1726 - to the Tobolsk province, since 1782 it is the regional city of the Tobolsk region ruled by governor-general.
Due to construction of the Siberian high road Tomsk became an important transit trade centre. Since 1804 Tomsk is the centre of the Tomsk province. At the close of XIX century the city played a role of the large economic and cultural centre of Siberia. In 1880 the first in the Asian part of Russia university was founded here, in 1896 - the first in Siberia higher technical institution - the Institute of technologies. Nowadays Tomsk keeps the status of the educational centre of Western Siberia.
In the region there are 28 species of wild animals, more than 40 species of birds and 15 species of fish that have commercial value. Nuts, mushrooms and berries are stored up here.
The oblast is of special interest among tourists. Cultural (cultural - historical, cultural - cognitive), ethnographic, archeological, religious (pilgrim) tourism may be developed here.
There are 1687 monuments of history, architecture and culture in the region. Tomsk included in the list of historical places of Russia.
The overland route called "the tea way" left its traces in the Tomsk appearance. During two centuries the Moscow - Siberian high road influenced the original architectural and historical look of the city.
Tomsk is known for its cultural traditions. Such remarkable Russian writers as Radishev, Chernyshevsky, Dostyevsky, Korolenko, Uspensky and Chekhov visited the city. The Tomsk society of amateurs of Arts, formed in 1909, may be considered as the first association of artists of Siberia. The actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky and the composer Edison Denisov were born here.