Founded in 1586, Tyumen is the first Russian town in Siberia. This is the country’s unofficial oil capital and also a hub of the Trans-Siberian.
It was meant to be the base for exploration of Siberia and the Far East. In the late 17th century the wooden town burnt and a new one, built in stone, started to grow. In the 18th Century Tyumen was famous for such industries as smithcraft, church bell casting, soap-boiling, furniture production and skin dressing.
Like most of the Russian cities and towns, during the Great Patriotic War (WWII) Tyumen contributed to the victory over the Nazis. However, in some cases the town’s participation was far from ordinary. For example, in those years the body of Vladimir Lenin, preserved in the mausoleum on Red Square in Moscow, was stored in Tyumen. In order to help the country’s “second capital” Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) recover from the war aftermath, the police (militia at that time) were catching cats around town for two weeks in February 1944. During the blockade the number of mice and rats became enormous, threatening to damage unique works of art in the Hermitage Museum. So the Siberian town sent 238 cats to the northern capital to help guard the masterpieces.