PRISON CASTLE

In the northwestern part of the Tobolsk Kremlin, after the dilapidated Trinity Church was demolished in 1791,  a considerable ground was vacant and on this place one of the most gloomy buildings of the city - the Prison Castle was built.

The history of its foundation is associated with the visit to Tobolsk Crown Prince Grand Duke Alexander Nikolayevich in 1837, who drew attention to the inconvenience of the old prison castle, set up in the city in the XVII century, and commanded to construct a more convenient building. The assistant of the Tobolsk city architect, artist of the 14th class Vaygel was instructed to draft a new prison, which on completion of the work, in April 1838, was approved for No. 1341 by the superintendent of roads and public institutions.
 
In 1855 the construction of the Tobolsk prison castle was completed. The building on which construction it was taken away according to the estimate of 154590 rub 15,5 kopeks in silver, consisted of 5 main buildings: administrative building - the headquarters, in which the room for the inspector and the guardroom were located, the hospital building, the prison building No. 1 for the maintenance of especially dangerous criminals, and prison building No. 2 and No. 3 – for deported prisoners and hard-labour convicts (katorzhniks)
The main tasks entrusted to the Prison Castle were: the maintenance of the prisoners in the fortress, sending them out to the penal servitude and to settlement. In the prison castle there were criminals of the categories "exiled" and "transit", "prisoners for terms according to adjudications", "urgent" and "termless".When placing the prisoners in the jail cell the requirements of the law on the division according to their gender, age and type of crime were followed.

           The most famous prisoners of the Tobolsk prison castle were writers: M. I. Mikhailov, V. G. Korolenko and  N. G. Chernyshevsky.

           Under the temporary Government, Bolshevik rule and temporary Siberian Government the authority could not do without coercive measures. Tobolsk prison complex was used for its intended purpose during the period of each political regime set in the state or a region.

          In the 20s -30s of the XXth century Tobolsk, along with the towns Solikamsk and Nadezhdinsk, was given a role of a transit point for a huge number of exiles. Only in March, 1930 8 thousand carts in which there were more than 22 thousand people arrived from Tyumen.

           In the 30s of the XXth century, in the years of Stalin terror, there were mass executions of «enemies of the people» in Tobolsk prison castle. All the party leadership was involved in the repression. It is known that in the period from 1937 to 1938 more than 2,500 people were shot.

           In 1941, during the approach of fascist armies to Moscow the prisoners from Butyrska and Lipetsk prisons were evacuated to Tobolsk, that caused in the future approval of the Tobolsk prison as the institution of strict regime.Since 1972 there were approximately 1,500 people in Tobolsk prison. In 1989 in the interest of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and inhabitants of the town it was decided to close the prison.

         Presently on the territory of  the prison castle museum exhibitions are opened, guide and extreme tours with the opportunity of night stay at the territory of prison in  the hostel  «Prisoner» as well as participation in the quest game «Escape from the Prison Castle» are offered.
Open: from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00p.m without a break. Day off – Monday.
 

        Contact information:

        Head of the  Museum complex "Tobolsk prison castle" - Burnashev Eduard Grigoryevich, ph:. 8(3456) 22-37-67

        Ticket office of the Museum complex: ph.: 8(3456) 22-27-76