Kuklin House (1790s; after 1817), Governor's Mansion, Study of Nicholas II, who Lived Here with his Family from August 1917 until mid April, 1918, Tobol'sk, Russia


This photograph of the study of Nicholas II at the Governor General's Mansion in Tobol'sk was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Tobol'sk was founded in 1587 by the cossack leader Daniel Chulkov near the confluence of the Tobol' and Irtysh rivers. Thereafter, Tobol'sk became the main administrative center of Siberia until the mid-19th century. A factor in its decline was the routing of the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the south, through Tiumen'. Among the city's notable secular buildings is this house built by the merchant and tax farmer Kuklin after a fire that swept through the city in 1788. The neoclassical mansion was taken by the government after Kuklin's bankruptcy in 1817 and converted into a residence for the provincial governor. It was here that Nicholas II and his family spent several months, from August 1917 through April 1918, before their transfer to Ekaterinburg, where they were murdered in July 1918. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the building acquired new significance as a memorial to the deposed tsar and his family. The interior has been partially restored, with special emphasis on the study used by Nicholas.

Last updated: July 28, 2017