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    Tula

The city of Tula was first mentioned in the Russian chronicles in 1146, being one year older than Moscow. Tula was part of Ryazan Princedom until 1503, when it moved under the patronage of Muscovy. Later Tula was an important fortification, located near southern borders of Muscovy, and the centre of abatis line.

In 1552 the town survived the siege of Tatar hordes, headed by the Crimean khan Devlet-Girey the First. In 1607 the Kremlin of Tula sheltered insurgent peasants, headed by I. Bolotnikov. Since the end of the 16 century Tula became famous for its armourers. In the 17th century Tula became the centre of iron industry, since massive deposits of iron ores were discovered in surrounding territories. Russian tsar Peter the Great ordered to build state iron works in Tula, and their construction finished in1712.

In 1796 Tula became the main district town. Arms production and metalwork kept developing in the town workers produced samovars and accordions. In 1890 the town sheltered 6 thousand of workers; in 1913 18 thousand; in 1917 45 thousand. Soviet regime came to Tula in December 1917. During World War II (known in Russia as Great Patriotic War) population of Tula took part in military actions and won battle against fascist troops, for which the city was awarded the honorable title of hero-city in 1966.

Tula is a large industrial centre with following main industries: iron-and-steel industry, engineering industry and metal working. Other enterprises deal with chemistry (rubber technical goods), light and food industry (hosiery and knit goods, furniture, sugar, beer and etc). Accordions are also an important part of Tulas production. Samovars became Tulas symbol the Russian proverb they don't carry samovars to Tula town means the same as they don't bring coals to Newcastle.

The centre of Tula, the most ancient part of the city, is located on the left bank of the Upa River, and three industrial regions occupy the right bank, where famous armourers have dwelled a long time ago.

Tula is the centre of settlement agglomeration, which includes several neighboring villages. The city plan was approved by the appropriate authorities in 1779, and since that time rectangular Kremlin, built between 1514 and 1776, was considered to be the centre of the city. Several churches, built in a variety of architectural styles, always added some charm to industrial Tula. In 18-19 centuries Tula acquired houses in classic style. Soviet times brought new large residential areas, the city park and municipal buildings.

Tula has facilities for educating and bringing glimpses of culture its citizens: several higher educational institutions, colleges, theatres, a circus, several museums and etc. Those fond of cycling can ride their bike at local cycle track.

Tula gave birth to many famous people writers, weapons engineers and teachers. Famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy owned a manor, named Yasnaya Polyana, 12 km away from Tula, where now his museum is located.



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