Kaluga is a city located in the central part of the European Russia. It is an administrative center and capital of Kaluga oblast. The city is standing on the banks of the Oka River, about 190 km southwest of Moscow, railway station on Moscow-Kiev line. There is an airport in Kaluga.
Kaluga population is about 326,000 (2012), land area - 171 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 4842, postal codes - 248000-248xxx.
Present day Kaluga is becoming one of the most important Russian automotive industry centers. Such companies as Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Volvo have their assembly plants here.
Kaluga is known first of all because of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (Russian space program founder). He was living in Kaluga in 1892-1935. That’s why the city is often called the Russian space travel science cradle.
Kaluga settlement foundation date is not known, somewhere in the first part of the 14th century. First written mentioning of Kaluga occurred in 1371. It was a small Moscow state fortress that time. Later Kaluga settlement owner was Princes Vorotynsky. There is princes ancestral home in the southwestern part of the city.
There is a railway connection between Kaluga and Moscow. Also there is a roadway called from ancient time “Kaluga road”. Napoleon was planning to escape the Moscow trap by this road in 1812. Unfortunately for him Russian General Kutuzov forced the army of France to choose another (Smolensk) road because it was completely devastated by the French previously on their way to Moscow.
In the USSR, up to 90% of the industrial plants in Kaluga worked for defense industry and produced high-tech equipment for armored forces, anti-aircraft defense and the Navy of the USSR.
At present, there are such plants as transportation machine-building, automobile power equipment, turbine plant, radio lamp plant and others.
In the total output of Kaluga, 46% is the product of machine-building industry, 35% of food industry, 13% of power engineering and 1,5% of light industry.
In 2006, the formation of tech-park Grabtsevo began in the city, now the automobile plant of Volkswagen company is in action there (it was put into action in 2007). It is expected that the production of automobile spare parts will be organized there.
Besides, the automobile plant of Volvo Trucks company was put into action in January 2009 in the industrial part of the city “Kaluga-Yug (south)”. The plant is the first large production of foreign brand trucks in Russia.
At the end of December, 2007, it was announced that the automobile plant of French company PSA Peugeot Citroën together with Japan company Mitsubishi Motors would be constructed in the settlement of Rosva, outskirts of Kaluga. The production began in April 2010.
Kaluga space rocket Vostok
Among the main places of interest of Kaluga are:
- The Korobovs’ Chambers (one of the rare examples of “chamber architecture”, the end of the 17th century);
- Merchant Zolotaryov’s estate (the end of the 18th - early 19th centuries);
- Stone Bridge across Berezuyevsky ravine (one of the most interesting architectural monuments in Kaluga), one of the largest viaducts in Russia;
- Kaluga Gostiny Dvor built according to draft of the famous architect Pyotr Romanovich Nikitin, the ensemble was begun in 1784;
- K.E.Tsiolkovsky Park;
- Obelisk built on the spot where Gogol’s house was;
- Obelisk at K.E.Tsiolkovsky’s grave;
- K.E.Tsiolkovsky statue (Mir Park);
- Victory square;
- A.V.Lunacharsky Drama Theater (Theater square).