Tula is a city in Russia, the capital of the Tula region standing on the Upa River, about 182 km south of Moscow. It is a large industrial, scientific and cultural center, an important railway hub.
The population of Tula is about 486,000 (2015), the land area - 146 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 4872, the postal codes - 300000-300911.
Tula is one of the oldest cities in Russia. It was first mentioned as a fortress of the Ryazan Principality in 1146. Extremely important defensive value of Tula was related to its position on the southern edge of the state (constant threat of raids of the Crimean Tatars) and proximity to the Upper Oka (the border with Lithuania). This caused constant concern for strengthening Tula as a key defense point.
In 1503, Tula was annexed to the Grand Principality of Moscow. After it, a brick citadel (kremlin) was built. In 1552, the fortress of Tula withstood the siege of the troops lead by the Crimean Khan Devlet I Giray, who tried to prevent the march of the Moscow troops of Ivan the Terrible to Kazan.
More Historical Facts…
By the middle of the 17th century, when the border of the Russian state moved to the south, Tula began to turn into a commercial and industrial center. In 1712, by decree of Peter I, construction of the first state arms factory in the Russian Empire began in Tula. The town became the center of weapons production and metal products.
In 1764, a five domed Assumption Cathedral was built in the center of the kremlin. In 1797, Tula became the center of the province. In the Patriotic War of 1812, Tula made a significant contribution to the defeat of Napoleon’s troops (in 1812-1814, the local gunsmiths produced about 600 thousand rifles for the Russian army).
After the war, the arms factories of the town experienced recession, which led to the emergence of new types of production. Samovars (traditional Russian device for boiling water and making tea) and accordions created by the hands of Tula craftsmen quickly gained international fame and, along with the production of weapons, determined the specialization of Tula industry.
At the end of the 19th - early 20th century, large enterprises of metallurgical, metal, military, and sugar industries appeared in Tula. According to the census of 1912-1913, there were 50 samovar factories in Tula with the annual output of 660,000 samovars.
During the Russian Civil War, Tula was the center of the arms supply of the Red Army. In October-December, 1941, for 45 days, Tula was besieged and subjected to artillery and mortar shelling, air raids of Nazi Germany aircrafts. However, the Red Army was able to lift the siege of the city, and it was not captured. In 1976, Tula received the “Hero City” status.
Today, Tula is one of the major Russian industrial and commercial centers. The leading industries are ferrous metallurgy, machine building and metalworking.
The coat of arms of Tula reflects the character of the city associated with the production of armaments. The main holiday is the City Day, held annually on the second Saturday of September.
The climate is temperate continental, characterized by warm summers and moderately cold winters. The average temperature in February is minus 7.3 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 19.4 degrees Celsius.
Tula is famous for its traditional Russian cookies made with honey and gingerbread - pryaniki. It is also a large production center of samovars. In Russia there is even a well-known proverb “You don’t take a samovar to Tula”.
Tula places of interest
There are more than 300 objects of cultural heritage on the territory of Tula - monuments of architecture and urban planning, history, works of monumental art, archaeological monuments.
Tula Kremlin is one of the main local attractions, it is the oldest building in the city (1514-1520). There are two cathedrals on the territory of the Kremlin: Assumption Cathedral, built in Baroque style in 1766, and the Epiphany Cathedral, built in the memory of those killed in the Patriotic War of 1812 in 1855-1862. Today, the latter is occupied by the State Museum of Weapons.
Most of the places of worship of Tula are presented by Orthodox churches of different architectural styles. The oldest church of Tula is the Annunciation Church, the only local architectural monument of the 17th century (Blagoveshchenskaya Street, 4). The most striking example of Russian classicism in Tula is the All Saints Cathedral (1776-1800) (Tolstoy Street, 79). Russian pseudo Gothic is presented by Catholic church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, a monument of architecture of the 19th century (Tolstoy Street, 85).
There are a lot of different monuments in Tula dedicated to great historical figures and events, Tula craftsmen and soldiers. The largest park is the Central Park of Culture and Rest named after P.P.Belousov - a natural monument of regional significance and object of national heritage (143 hectares).
- Tula State Museum of Weapons (the old building is in the Kremlin, the new one - on Oktyabrskaya Street, 2),
- Museum “Tula samovars” (Mendeleyevskaya Street, 8),
- Museum “Tula gingerbread” (Oktyabrskaya Street, 45a),
- Tula Historical and Architectural Museum (Lenina Avenue, 27),
- Museum and Exhibition Center “Tula antiquity” (Lenina Avenue, 47),
- Tula Museum of Fine Arts (Engels Street, 64),
- Tula Local History Museum (Sovetskaya Street, 68),
- Memorial Museum of N.I.Beloborodov (Lenina Avenue, 16),
- Demidov`s Historical and Memorial Museum (Demidovskaya Street, 9),
- Museum Moto-Auto-ART (Kharino village),
- Yasnaya Polyana, located about 14 km south-west of Tula, is a unique center of historical and cultural life of Russia associated with the name of Leo Tolstoy, a great Russian writer and thinker. It is the place where the novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina” were written.
Tula theaters and other cultural institutions
- Tula State Academic Drama Theater named after M. Gorky, one of the oldest theaters in Russia (1777) (Lenina Avenue, 34a),
- Tula Regional Youth Theater (Kominterna Street, 2),
- Tula State Puppet Theater (Lenina Avenue, 15),
- Municipal theater “Hermitage” (Shcheglovskaya zaseka Street, 34),
- Tula Chamber Drama Theater (Dzerzhinskogo Street, 8),
- Tula Oblast Philharmonic (Lenina Avenue, 51),
- Tula State Circus (Sovetskaya Street, 96).