Tula Region was established in 1937. Its area is 25.7 thousand km2; the population is 1.5 mln people, 80% of them are urban residents. The region lies within Moscow Time Zone.
Tula is the center of the region (185 km away from Moscow). The area lies in Central Russian Upland. It’s a billowy plain with river valleys and ravines. The biggest rivers are the Oka and the Don; several water reserves: Pronskoe, Shatskoe and others. The climate is moderately continental, winters are not too cold; average January temperature drops to —10 0C; warm summers with average July temperature of +20 0C.
Tula Region has got a large Krapivensky Wildlife Reserve and 57 nature-protected areas. The most interesting are the State Lev N. Tolstoy Museum «Yasnaya Polyana»; the State Polenov Museum, the estate of Ivan S. Turgenev, a great Russian writer; A. T. Bolotov’s estate and the sacred water spring of St. Euphrosinia.
According to Vladimir Dal’s dictionary of the Russian language, the name «Tula» means a reserved and inaccessible place. There are other versions: for instance, in the old Turkish language the word «tula» means «to force».
Tula became part of Moscovia in 1503. One of the most valuable monuments of the city is the Tula Kremlin. It is shaped in a rectangle form and has nine towers; today’s wall height is 10 meters. Archaeologists studied the style and the layout of this fortification and came to a conclusion that it had been erected with participation of Italian architects.
Tula has always been a town of gunmakers, and the Armaments Museum became one of the first municipal public collections. In fact, it was established in 1775, when Catherine the Second ordered to set up a chamber of rare and exemplary armaments at the Tula Armaments Plant. Now the exposition is placed in Epiphany Cathedral of the Tula Kremlin; one may see there a collection of gun making art from Peter I up until today.
Another symbol of Tula is the samovar. Tula Samovars Museum was open in 1990. The museum’s exposition familiarizes visitors with the history of samovar craft and the best samovar samples: a samovar in the shape of a flank; a coffee-making samovar, a road samovar and many others. The museum owns the samples of modern production — electric samovars.
And of course, it’s impossible not to mention another attribute — the Tula spice-cake («tulsky pryanik»). The cake has also got its own museum in the city. The museum guides will tell the history of the business and the modern technologies of the unique spice-cake production. One is sure to feel hungry at the excursion; therefore visitors are always invited to a tea-party with Tula cakes and have a chance to buy these delicious souvenirs.
Tourists are welcome to Polenovo, a picturesque estate of artist Vasily Polenov. The territory of 870 hectares features the artist’s authentic house, his workshop and the Holy Trinity Church. The funds of the museum consist of а 1682 exhibition units. 716 of those are painting artworks and 4000 are graphic pieces. Visitors are also shown archaeological and artistic rarities as well as personal staff of the artist. There is a theatre which gives performances with special participation of children.
Yasnaya Polyana Museum is closely connected with the life and creative activities of Lev N. Tolstoy. Here is both the birthplace and the burial place of the great writer. In Yasnaya Polyana, he wrote many of his works which later became world classics. Yasnaya Polyana is a unique memorial and nature reserve. Many old-time constructions surrounded by picturesque parks and gardens are preserved here. Lev Tolstoy’s house was made a museum. Tolstoy’s books, his library and his personal staff are kept here.
History lovers are attracted by Kulikovskya Battle Museum. It is located near village Ivanovka, Kurskinsky district. Every September, the museum holds theatric performances and shows prepared by military history clubs. Today, the museum carries out restoration works aimed at reconstruction of historic landscapes. The museum’s exposition dedicated to the great historic battle is located in Red Hills Complex.
Every year, Gurievskie stone pits attract more and more caving lovers. The stone pits represent three systems of underground channels on the bank of the Osyotr River. The total length of all channels is 100 km. Many caves are dangerous for walking without an experienced instructor.
People who are recommended balneal treatment may visit Krainka Resort located not far from the town of Suvorov. The resort stands by the River Cherepet close to a wonderful pine forest. The resort has been operation for more than 160 years offering beautiful nature surroundings, pure fresh air and healthy mineral water springs and turf mud.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.