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Catch a Glimpse of Tomsk Before It’s Too Late


For the past few days, I have enjoyed walking the streets of Tomsk, Russia.

The wooden lace architecture fills them with both color and a feeling of rustic beauty — and some with a worry of whether or not a building is about to fall onto itself at any moment!

Tomsk dates back to 1604, and this specific ornate, carved wooden architecture is a symbol of pride for the city — one that some are trying hard to preserve. Even with last year’s 90 million ruble investment, the sad truth is that preservation is often the most expensive option for building owners.

Today, wooden lace architecture populates entire blocks of Tomsk, but as you can see from some of my photos below, there is only the question as to how long that will last.



wood lace architecture of Tomsk








wood lace architecture in Tomsk




wood lace architecture of Tomsk








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22 Responses to Catch a Glimpse of Tomsk Before It’s Too Late

  1. Michelle June 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    How beautiful! The architecture is like nothing I’ve ever seen before – almost like toy houses.

    • Brooke June 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      Yes, they do almost look like toy houses! To think that people actually spent that long on the small details of a house amazes me. Loved it.

  2. Candice June 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    That looks UNREAL, I want to be there!

  3. Andrea June 20, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Wow, how beautiful, and how sad that they might not be able to afford to maintain them. Are those buildings currently occupied?

    • Brooke June 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Yep, it did appear that most of them were occupied… even the slanting ones I feared would fall over!

  4. Paul June 20, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Tomsk looks like a really interesting place. We’re thinking of visiting Russia next year and may have to add this into the schedule!

    • Brooke June 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      I loved Tomsk. Besides the fun architecture, it is a clean college town, with lots of cafes, bars and restaurants… lots of green parks and more ice cream stands than people! Worth a stop.

  5. jade June 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Beautiful photo tour- great shots!

  6. Izy Berry @ The Wrong Way Home June 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Wow, that looks absolutely stunning! I’m in awe of the gorgeous little detailing around the houses. Really lovely, thanks for sharing.

    • Brooke June 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

      Thanks for viewing 🙂 The detailing is unreal. I want my future house to look like this.

  7. Erik June 24, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    It’s so interesting see and reading about places that I’ve never heard of (but also will probably never visit!)

    • Brooke July 3, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      Why would you never visit?

      • Erik July 4, 2012 at 11:05 am #

        I’d love to visit, I just have so many places on my list before Russia, hard to see myself actually getting trough all of them Here’s to hoping, though!

  8. Larisa June 29, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Come! In Russia there are a lot of most beautiful places

    • Brooke July 3, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      Where else would you recommend in Russia?

  9. Masha (2away) July 1, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Very happy you liked Russian wooden architecture! When we visited Tomsk last summer we could also not get enough of it 🙂 Truely special!

    • Brooke July 3, 2012 at 7:31 am #

      Yep, such a pleasure to the eyes! Well else did you go in Russia?

      • Masha (2away) July 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

        We made quite some stops during our Trans-Siberian trip, but the ones we liked the most were: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Suzdal, Kazan, Nizhniy Novgorod, Tomsk, Tobolsk, Irkutsk, Olkhon Island and Ulan-Ude 🙂 Did you have a chance to stop in any of those as well?

  10. Ryan Hoody July 1, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I have a constant debate about the importance of preserving historical buildings and architecture. Sometimes it seems like the money poured into these places isn’t worth it, but the chance to step back through time when entering them is unrivaled. What do you think? Should we always make sacrifices to preserve historical sites so younger generations can experience them?



    • Brooke July 3, 2012 at 7:31 am #

      That’s a tough one. I think for Tomsk, it is also a huge draw for their tourism sector… so keeping them around can help with that as well.

  11. Larisa July 3, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    In Russia the best is the Russian North. Kizhi (now there is a large-scale restoration). The Solovki – a unique historical and natural place.

    • Brooke July 14, 2012 at 1:36 am #

      Thanks for sharing, Larisa!

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