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The Remains of the Soviet Times in Tula Region
January 18, 2012 12:25

Tula Region can easily be one of the destinations for industrial tourism in Russia

As cr2 explains, he and his friends went to visit Tula Region out of interest. Indeed, the life of Russian province in the post-Soviet period is an interesting case to contemplate. Almost without exception many provincial cities and towns decayed and deteriorated in the twenty years following the demise of the Soviet Union. Some of them turned into ghost towns, others struggle to stay afloat and battle the waves of the still nascent Russian capitalism. These are the places that had been forcefully dragged out of the 19th c. rural slumber right into the heart of industrial action of the 20th c. The way of life having changed so rapidly and dramatically, it left the mindset lag behind. The state of the Russian province today is the result of this incongruity, in addition to the lack of state funding. 

We only share a few of his photographs here, the rest you can view in his own blog. Cr2 visited Suvorov town and adjacent villages that altogether used to be a centre of coal mining. Some of the coalpits are now confined behind the gates. The area has long been criminalised whereby all "normal" people had left.

Several other villages form Ageevo Settlement that found its place on the shores of the Cherepetskoe Reservoir. Following the end of the Great Patriotic War, the dams were put around Cherepet' river, and the eponymous Hydro-electric Station was built there. The station continues to function; it provides workplaces for a thousand people and produces 3bln kW/h of energy per year. It is intergrated in the all-Russian energy system.

The remains of the Soviet era persist in derelict clubs, old-fashioned bus stops, and propane tanks outside every house that are used for heating. The streets still carry the names of the bygone days, and worn-out statues and sculptures produce the most disturbing effect by demonstrating the yawning gap between the dreams and reality.

Unlike some other areas, however, Tula Region and the towns that cr2 visited do not leave one disillusioned or bitter. Rather this is a surreal place, not dissimilar to some areas in the U.S. or UK or any other country, where time has assumed its own way, very different to the pace enforced by the urban, industrial society.

"Tula Region is not just about gingerbreads and samovars", the blogger writes. Indeed, these places will be interesting for the fans of industrial tourism who enjoy discovering the remains of industrial towns and studying the process of adaptation of the town in post-industrial era.

Source: To see more photos, visit cr2 blog.
Julie Delvaux

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian tourism Tula Region Russian industrial areas Tula  

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