weapons forge of Russia
The Tula region is famous for its gunsmiths, samovars and gingerbread, but it is also full of other wonderful places. Here are the estates of Leo Tolstoy and Vasily Polenov, the picturesque Oka River flows along the plains and forests, real Martian landscapes rise, and the Kulikovo field is located - the site of one of the greatest battles in the history of the Russian state. Learning everything about the Tula region is a real journey into history.
Top 10 interesting places to visit:
Tula Kremlin and the Upa river embankment, Tula
Weapon Museum (new exposition), Tula
Armored train "Tula worker", Tula
Lenin Square, Tula
Museums "Tula gingerbread" and "Tula samovars", Tula
Museum-reserve "Kulikovo field", Ivanovka village
Museum-estate of L.N. Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana", Yasnaya Polyana
Museum-reserve of V.D. Polenov "Polenovo", Polenovo
Kondukovsky quarries, Konduki village
Bogoroditsky Palace Museum, Bogoroditsk
Sights map of the Tula region
Detailed map of all places in the region can be seen on the website of the national tourism portal RUSSIA.TRAVEL
Travel in the Tula region
Tula region is one of the richest and most developed regions of the Central District and all Russia. Here is a beautiful ecology, many natural and cultural attractions, as well as a large number of architectural masterpieces. Tula is famous for its blacksmithing masters, who made this region one of the most prosperous even during tsarist Russia. But Tula is famous not only for this: locals also make painted Russian samovars here, as well as baked gingerbread, which are very tasty and can be stored for a long time. Today Tula is one of the most favorable cities for living in Central Russia, and quite deservedly: there are many pedestrian areas in the city center, sidewalks are adapted for people with limited mobility, a comfortable park area with an embankment and, of course, many attractions. By the way, getting to Tula, you can immediately notice that they care about the brand of the city: at all stops and on buses/minibuses there is an image of the flag/emblem of Tula and the inscription “Tula is a hero-city”. But unlike the neighboring Kursk, where playing up the victory of the Russian Great Patriotic War remains within the framework of unobtrusive St. George ribbons and Soviet medals, in Tula all the sights have been restored, well-groomed and paraded. The entire city center is hung with signs to tourist sites, and the main tourist sites of the city are concentrated in its center and it looks just fine. Come to Tula and see for yourself - this is a beautiful city, where locals sincerely want tourists to learn its history.
Tula reached all of this not by chance. Here historically there was such a folk community of craftsmen who became famous for their skillful work throughout Russia and even abroad. Already in the 8th century, the Vyatichi tribes who lived in these territories made products of iron and clay with the help of smelting furnaces and supplied them with the nearby districts, which in those times was very cool. They were quite rich and prosperous, participated in military campaigns of the Rurik and Kievan princes. But since they were very far from the center of Kievan Rus, they practically did not participate in its political and military affairs, and later completely transferred to the Chernihiv principality, which later collapsed due to the invasion of the Tatar-Mongols. The year 1380 became a memorable date for the Tula region - at that time a large-scale battle of Russian troops led by Prince Dmitry Donskoy and Tatar-Mongolian troops led by Khan Mamai took place on the Kulikovo Field. The defeat of the latter marked the beginning of the liberation of Russia from invaders, and for the Tula's people promised a new era of prosperity. Although for some time they belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1503 they independently joined the Moscow principality, and from that time the active development of these lands began.
In the 17th century the Time of Troubles in Russia began, and the Tula region became a stronghold of the troops of the rebellious peasants, led by I.I. Bolotnikov, who several times took refuge from the Russian troops in the walls of the Tula Kremlin. In the end, the uprisings were suppressed, and Tula was restored as a defense fortress on the western borders of Russia. Here began the active development of the metallurgical and foundry industry, and already in 1712 Peter the Great, marveling at the skill of local artisans, ordered to establish in Tula the State Arms Plant, which would manufacture weapons for the entire Russian army. From that moment on, the Tula's forge masters became the stronghold of the Russian army, began to supply weapons and develop the skills of the weapons business, which brought them to the top of the craft.
The end of the 18th century was marked by the pinnacle of the skill and craft skills of the Tula's masters. At this time, samovars, pryaniks, harmonics and weapons, famous all over Russia, were produced on the territory of the Tula region; local merchants and artisans flourished. In the middle of the 19th century, coal began to be mined in the region, which made it even more developed in terms of industry. The collapse of the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century practically did not affect the Tula region, since it did not participate in the hostilities of the White Guard and the Bolsheviks. And during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, Tula’s defenders not only demonstrated great courage and resilience, but were able to inflict heavy losses on the enemy, which became decisive during the Battle for Moscow. In memory of that, a large number of memorials and objects dedicated to the victory are presented in Tula (for example, the "Tula worker" armored train), as well as various advertising campaigns (for example, the inscription “Tula is a hero-city” on all public transport). In 1986, the Tula region suffered greatly from the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant; as a result, more than half of its fertile lands were contaminated with radioactive substances, and many settlements were forced to relocate to safe places. At the moment, the Tula region is one of the most economically developed regions of the Russian Federation and is very popular among tourists who want to learn more about the history of the "weapons forge" of Russia.
Tula is a great place to spend the weekend with benefits and pleasure. I highly recommend to visit the recently rebuilt Museum of Weapons complex, where a large-scale exposition of military weapons from ancient times to the latest developments is presented on 5 floors (in English also!). Most of the weapons are made by Tula masters at the State Arms Plant, and therefore this museum literally tells the history of the development of this region. The old museum of weapons in the Tula Kremlin is much inferior to the new collection, and therefore I will not advise you to go there. But to visit the Tula Kremlin is the sacred duty of every tourist, because it is one of the most beautiful places in Tula. It's not just the elegant purple Uspensky Cathedral, but also the well-groomed embankment of the Upa River, which is equipped as a full-fledged recreation area. Around the perimeter of the Tula Kremlin there are various works of modern art, flower arrangements and souvenir shops. Nevertheless, the territory of the Kremlin seemed to me very empty - it could have been used much better. But the well-known fact is that the Kremlin in its current form has been restored in the last 5 years, and therefore there is a reason to believe that it will still change in the future.
But Tula is not only a museum of weapons and the Tula Kremlin. Here is the Lenin Square, where the monumental building of the regional administration in traditional Soviet style is adjacent to the openwork Uspensky Cathedral and Preobrazhenskaya Church, and the creative building of the former Town Council is located nearby. Also on the square stands a monument to "Tula pryanik" - the largest monument to gingerbread in the world and an extremely symbolic monument to the folk history of the region. Not far from the Tula Kremlin there is a complex of "old shopping arcades", which has retained its architectural form from the beginning of the 20th century. Having walked up along Lenin Avenue, you can not only see the beautiful panorama of the Tula Kremlin, but also trace the entire history of Tula through buildings: from the estates of rich artists and industrialists of 19-20 centuries to Soviet constructivism and modern high-rise buildings. The "Tula Worker" armored train on the Moscow railway station of Tula deserves special attention; it participates in the Russian Great Patriotic War and defended the city of Tula, after that was restored and became a living history.
But coming to the Tula region, you should not limit yourself to visit just Tula (although there is nothing to surpass it in this region). If you want to learn more about the great events in the history of the Russian state, go to Kulikovo Field - there is a museum dedicated to the famous Kulikovo Battle, as well as a monument to the memory of Dmitry Donskoy. Actually, he was nicknamed as "Donskoy" because of his victory on the Kulikovo Field which took place on the banks of the Don river. Not far from the field, former Konduki quarries are located, which today are filled with the purest blue water. Hilly sandy reliefs surrounding a number of lakes represent a fantastic sight that will not disappoint anyone. And if you want to know about the famous cultural figures who worked in these lands, go to Yasnaya Polyana - the manor of the Tolstoy family, where Lev Nikolayevich created his great works, including the "War & Peace". Starting from "Kozlova Zaseka" railway station, take a walk along the fields and forest groves towards the manor, where you can learn more about the life of the great writer. Finally, in the city of Bogoroditsk there is a beautiful palace-museum, next to which there is a quiet and cozy park. You should definitely take a walk there if you like classical architecture and a relaxing holiday!
Tula region is definitely a place to visit for every self-respecting tourist. Here is everything to spend time nice and useful, and therefore I recommend everyone to see these places with their own eyes!