Nearest places

Museum of TPU History
Here are collected more than 15000 items – some of them are modern, like equipment, photos and university’s awards, while some of them are genuinely unique and even as old as the university itself.
Tomsk Polytechnic University (the 3rd building)
The building number 3 is usually called the Physics Building. In 1923 there was created the first Siberian Scientific Research Institute – the Institute of Applied Physics.
Tomsk Polytechnic University (the 2nd building)
This TPU building (the Chemical building) is the second one in the modern numbering of TPU buildings. It was also built the second – soon after the construction of the Main building.

Tomsk Polytechnic University (The Main Building)

Tomsk Polytechnic University, 2013
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev
There may have been no Polytechnic University in Tomsk had it not been for the contribution of people like Sergei Yulyevich Witte and Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev. The TPU was built more than a hundred years ago and it was the first technical higher education institution beyond the Urals, and the architectural ensemble of its buildings was then called the St. Petersburg Corner.
The Main building is an administrative building. It is the only one among other twenty-one buildings of TPU, which has no number. It serves as a residence for the university’s administration, the TPU History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Exhibition Center (where the most recent developments of various TPU departments can be seen) and only 6 classrooms (designed for about 200 people each).

Who invented the TPU?
The TPU (it was initially called the Tomsk Institute of Technology) was founded in the end of the XIX century. Sergei Witte being the Minister of Finance of that time applied to the Minister of Education for constructing an Institute of Technology in Tomsk to train engineers for Siberian factories right in Siberia. Witte noticed later, that Mendeleev played a major role in the creation of TPU being a great advisor in this matter.
The Emperor Nickolas II supported the initiative and signed the order, and in 1896 the Main building of institute was founded.
Sergei Yulyevich Witte (1849—1915)
Развернуть

Sergei Yulyevich Witte (1849—1915)

He was a statesperson, the Minister of Transport and Communications, the Minister of Finance and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. He is best known as the author of the currency reform of 1987 and the state monopoly on alcohol. He contributed to the creation of the Russian Railway Regulations, accelerated the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and initiated the creation of the State Duma.
Sergei Witte was born and raised in Tiflis (the former name for capital of Georgia – Tbilisi). His father belonged to the Baltic Germans, and his mother was a daughter of a Governor of Saratov. After graduating from the gymnasium, he moved to Odessa and entered the Department of Physics and Math in Novorossiysk University, where he wanted to stay after his graduation, but his relatives argued against it: to pursue science was not of the nobility (of the nobility was then to serve the Emperor and the Empire).
After working in a chancellery of the Odessa’s governor for some time, Witte entered the service of the Railway Administration and then became its head, and in 1879, 30-yeard Witte moved to St. Petersburg, where he lived until the end of his days.
At that time, most of railways were private. Witte started the buying-up policy, reasoning that the railways would be the most efficient under the government control.
At the post of the Minister of Finance Witte did away with collective responsibility and corporal punishment in obshchinas (peasant communities), simplified the passport regime for peasants and took a stand for peasants’ free leave from obshchinas. Later on, he blamed Pyotr Stolypin for stealing his ideas.
Witte believed that the future of Russia depends on the development of production sector, trade and the growth of the internal market. He realized that the Russian Empire, following an example of all developed countries, would inevitably come to the capitalism and the nobility should master industry and be bourgeoisified. Witte contributed to the establishment of technical universities, including the for-profit ones.
The photo from the TPU Museum Complex, 1990s
The photo from the TPU Museum Complex, 2004
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013 
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013 
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013 
Architectural style
The construction of the Main building was directed by the Tomsk architect from Dagestan, Fortunat Gut. Among other buildings, he constructed the Main building of Tomsk Pedagogical University. A Tomsk architect Andrey Kryachkov completed the construction of the north and the south wings of the building, which had been designed by Gut and emerged in 1907.
The Main building of TPU together with the entire architectural ensemble built later were made in a so-called eclectic style (a mixture of other styles), which combines elements of Classicism and Renaissance. These buildings can be distinguished by the monumentality of its facades, its simplicity, lack of décor pretentiousness, while the form and internal design correspond to the intended purpose - the function of the building. Thus, for example, the ceiling height was selected to provide enough daylight in classrooms and laboratories.
Earlier the building had an independent hot-water heating system and a complicated air ventilation system with a ventilation trunk in the basement and ducts in supporting walls.
The TPU Main building is located on 30, Lenina prospekt. During the last hundred years, it “moved” to several different addresses: Timiryazavski prospekt 9 and Sadovaya 9 – these are the names of certain parts of the main Tomsk prospekt in different years.
By the fall of 1900, the construction had been completed and the building got fully equipped, so the university started its first admission campaign for the Mechanical and the Chemistry Departments. The studies started that very year.
The photo from the TPU Museum Complex
The photo from the TPU Museum Complex
The photo from the TPU Museum Complex
A post card from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
A post card from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
A twin brother in Karlsruhe
This German city has a copy of the TPU Main building. How did this happen? Robert Marfeld was assigned to be the leading architect of the first Polytechnic University building – he worked in Russia at that time.  He has also designed buildings in Irkutsk, Kalyazin and other cities. The Tomsk project was one of the most important of his works. This district of the governorate center was called the European quarter or the Petersburg Corner.
Later Marfeld built an identical building in his hometown Karlsruhe, but during the Second World War the TPU twin sustained a great damage due to the bombardment of American and English air forces, and after the restoration it has lost all of its décor.
The TPU Main building not only preserved its facades, but also the interior of its buildings: the ceiling stucco work with complicated ornaments, alcoves and reliefs, high heavy doors.
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013 
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013 
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013 
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013
Photo by Vladimir Lavrentyev, 2013
“To change the status”
The Polytechnic has changed its name for six times. It was the Tomsk and then the Siberian Institute of Technology, first named after Nickolas II, then after Dzerzhinsky. The Siberian Institute of Mechanics and Machine-building, the Kirov Tomsk Industrial Institute. In 1991 it became the Tomsk Polytechnic University and in 2009 it was granted the status of the National Research University.
Eventually the university became the world-class education and science center. Today it trains more than 25000 students from different countries. In 1997 the TPU was classified as the Valuable Object of Cultural Heritage of Russian Federation.
Honours of Tomsk Polytechnic University 
A photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex
… for the outstanding service in training industry specialists To award the Order of the Red Banner of Labour to the Kirov Tomsk Industrial Institute
From the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, 12th December, 1940
On the 11th May 1971 the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarded the Order of the October Revolution “for the great service in training specialists in national economy and developing scientific researches and in honor of 75th anniversary of the founding” to the TPU.
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex. The assembly hall, the beginning of the XX century
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex. The assembly hall after the Revolution
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex. The assembly hall, September 2004
Photo from the assets of the TPU Museum Complex. The assembly hall, November 2009
The information prepared with the help of TPU Museum Complex staff and the TPU On-line Encyclopedia