Tula, Russia

Tula, Russia

Tula ( _ru. Ту́ла) is an industrial city in the European part of Russia, located 193 km south of Moscow, on the river Upa. Population: 481,216 (2002 Census); 543,000 (1990 est.). Tula is the administrative center of Tula Oblast. Dialing code: +7 4872.

The town has existed since at least the 14th century. Some historians believe that Tula should be identified with Taidula, an obscure locality mentioned in a chronicle under the year 1146.

In the Middle Ages, Tula was a minor fortress at the border of the Principality of Ryazan. As soon as it passed to Muscovy, a brick citadel, or kremlin, was constructed in 1530. 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 4-months siege by the tsar's army. In the 18th century some parts of the kremlin walls were demolished. Despite its archaic appearance, the 5-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 centre of Eastern Europe. The oldest museum in the city, showcasing the history of weapons, was inaugurated by the Demidovs in 1724. The first factory to produce samovars industrially was also established there in the course of the 18th century. After the Demidovs moved the centre of their manufacture to the Urals, the city continued as a center of heavy industry, particularly in the manufacture of war matériel.

During the Great Patriotic War (World War II) of 1941 to 1945, the city was important in the production of armaments (Rifle wise: Tula produced more SVT-40 rifles than Mosin-Nagant M91/30, M38, and M44 rifles). Tula became the target of a German offensive to break Soviet resistance in the Moscow area between October 24 and December 5, 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 Soviet defence of Moscow and the subsequent counter-offensive. Tula was awarded the title Hero City in 1976. It is home to Klokovo air base.

A musical instrument, the Tula accordion, is named for the city, which is a center of manufacture for such instruments sold throughout Russia and the world. Tula is also renowned for traditional Russian "pryaniki", cookies made with honey and gingerbread. In the West, Tula is perhaps best-known as the center of samovar production: the Russian equivalent of "coals to Newcastle" is "You don't take a samovar to Tula."

In fistfight the region with the most famous fighters historicaly is Tula. [http://istina.rin.ru/cgi-bin/print.pl?sait=6&id=2855 "Тульские бойцы и ныне славятся, но каждое место имело своих удальцов." (Tulas fighters were always glorious, but every place had it's heroes)] [http://bibliotekar.ru/rusSaharov/129.htm "Лучшими бойцами один на один считались тульские" (The best fighters in one on one were considered Tulas fighters)]

The most popular tourist attraction in Tula Oblast is Yasnaya Polyana, the home and burial place of the writer Leo Tolstoy. It is situated fourteen kilometers south-west of the city. It was here that Tolstoy wrote his celebrated novels "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina".

Famous people from Tula
*Leo Tolstoy (Liev Nikolayevitch Tolstoy)
*Aleksei (Alyosha) Goloborodko, a 21st century contortionist and dancer.

ister cities

Tula has the following sister-cities: [http://tula.rfn.ru/rnews.html?id=2673&cid=9]
*flagicon|USA Albany, New York, United States
*flagicon|Belarus Mahilyow, Belarus
*flagicon|Germany Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany
*flagicon|Slovakia Banská Bystrica, Slovakia


Broadcasting centre at 54° 8'27"N 37°35'03"E with two towers:
* free-standing lattice tower, 180 m tall, built in 1963/64
* guyed mast, 350 m tall, built in 1975/76 [http://www.victorcity.dxing.ru/Cities/tula.htm]


External links

* [http://www.tula.ru/ Official Site of the City of Tula]
* [http://www.maps.yandex.ru/tula Map of the City of Tula on Yandex]

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