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Tula - a city in Russia, the administrative center
of the Tula region and the city district of Tula. Hero City (since
1976). Tula is located in the north of the Central Russian Upland on
the bank of the Upa River, 193 km south of Moscow. The length of the
city from north to south is 30 km, from west to east - 25 km.
According to the results of the All-Russian competition for the
title of “The most comfortable urban (rural) settlement of Russia”
held in 2014, Tula ranked third in the category “Urban settlements
(urban districts), which are administrative centers (capitals) of
the subjects of the Russian Federation”.
Tula is first
mentioned in the Nikon chronicle of the XVI century under the year
1146. The cultural heritage sites located on the territory of the
city are of great value and are an integral part of the world
cultural heritage. On the territory of Tula there are more than 300
objects of cultural heritage: these are monuments of architecture
and town planning, history, works of monumental art, archeology. In
the tourism sector, Tula is known in three directions, rooted in the
history of the city: arms, samovar and gingerbread. Each of them is
represented in the city by the Museum of Weapons, one of the largest
in Russia, the Museum of samovars and the Museum of Tula
gingerbread. Also the hallmark of the city is the Tula Kremlin, the
oldest building of the city, a monument of architecture of the XVI
century. The house-museum of Leo Tolstoy
Polyana is located
14 km south-west of Tula. It is a unique center of historical and
cultural life in Russia, associated with the name of the greatest
writer and thinker of the 19th — 20th centuries.
History of Tula
Tula was first mentioned in the Nikon Chronicle in 1146. As the
chronicle was written in the 16th century, the date is disputed. The
first confirmed mention of Tula dates to 1382.
In the Middle
Ages, Tula was a minor fortress at the border of the Principality of
Ryazan. As soon as it passed to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, a brick
citadel, or kremlin, was constructed in 1514–1521. It was a key
fortress of the Great Abatis Belt and successfully resisted a siege
by the Tatars in 1552. In 1607, Ivan Bolotnikov and his supporters
seized the citadel and withstood a four-month siege by the Tsar's
army. In the 18th century, some parts of the Kremlin walls were
demolished. Despite its archaic appearance, the five-domed
Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin was built as late as 1764.
In 1712, Tula was visited by Peter the Great, who commissioned
the Demidov blacksmiths to build the first armament factory in
Russia. Several decades later, Tula was turned by the Demidovs into
the greatest ironworking center of Eastern Europe. The oldest museum
in the city, showcasing the history of weapons, was inaugurated by
the Demidovs in 1724, and Nicholas-Zaretsky Church in the city
houses their family vault. The first factory to produce samovars
industrially was also established there in the course of the 18th
century. After the Demidovs moved the center of their manufacture to
the Urals, Tula continued as a center of heavy industry,
particularly in the manufacture of matériel.
In the 1890s,
Ivan Savelyev, a medical orderly, became the founder of social
democracy in Tula and set up a workers' study circle.
city grew rapidly in the early 20th century as a result of arms
production during the 1905 Russo-Japanese War and World War I.
Tula's factories also manufactured weapons for the Red Army during
the Russian Civil War of 1918–1921.
During the Great
Patriotic War (World War II) of 1941–1945, the city was important in
the production of armaments. Tula became the target of a German
offensive to break Soviet resistance in the Moscow area between
Friday, October 24 and December 5, 1941. According to Erik
Durschmied in The Weather Factor, The Day The Panzers Froze, 5th
December 1941, one General Reached the South Western Outskirts of
Tula on 29th-30th October 1941. The heavily fortified city held out,
however, and Guderian's Second Panzer Army was stopped near Tula.
The city secured the southern flank during the Battle of Moscow and
the subsequent counter-offensive. Tula was awarded the title Hero
City in 1976. It is home to the Klokovo air base and the Tula Arms