The heart of Tula - the Kremlin
Right in the centre (you cannot miss it) is situated the Old Kremlin of Tula. You will see its typical red walls and towers reminding the Moscow Kremlin from far away. It is not so big but anyway beautiful. For a small entrace fee you can enter and even walk on the walls.
Some interesting historical facts: first the Kremlin by the order of the tsar Vasliy III was built in wood (1507), it was ecquiped by a great amount of moscow and german guns, by "pushki". In 1514 the tsar ordered to start buildiing "the stone town" inside following the example of the Moscow Kremlin. And it was finished already in the year 1521.
The Kremlin of Tula was the scene of the famous events in the russian history. For example, in 1605 the pseudo-tsar Dmitriy was visiting the town and Tula became the capital of Russia for 2 weeks. Many famous russian princes came here to honour the new tsar.
And in 1607 the Kremlin became the refuge for the the leader of the paysant's war Ivan Bolotnkov. He was occupied in the Kremlin for 4 months, but in the end he was caught and punished by the tsar Vasiliy Shuiskiy
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The old gymnasium
Just in front of the Kremlin you will find the building of the old gymnasium, now it is part of the Pedagogica Institute, but it is still worth of visiting...The children of famous russian writer Leo Tolstoy were studing here, Tolstoy himself visited the place many times ( you will find a table on the wall about it). We were there on quiet weekend day, the door to the nice garden was open, so we could enter and walk around the school yard. Incredible, you almost see it all full with students in old unifrom, hurryng up for the lessons....
- Historical Travel
Kremlin of Tula
Kremlin is the #1 thing to see being the kernel of the city and the most central.
Kremlin was built in 1520 and from the defence point of view it didn't have a strategic position being built in the lower lands, however its massive walls and turrets saved Tula from invadors many times.
The walls of Kremlin form almost regular rectangle with the nowadays height of 10 meters and thikness of 2,8 to 3,2 meters.
Entrance to the territory is free but all the museums are chargible.
Unfortunately not many things are left to see inside Kremlin but even those few deserve your attention.
You may have a walk on Kremlin walls at the height of 6 meters along the "battle way" which was used by the ancient solders defending the citadel, thus you can see a panoramic view of the Kremlin insides.
On Kremlin's territory in the former cathedral there is an armoury museum.
Historically Tula was a well known place for armoury production, its different types guns were used widely in Russian from the very old times throught the Napoleonic war in 1812 and WWII.
Even now there is a well known armoury plant.
Museum of torture
On the Kremlin territory in one of the turrets there is a small Museum of torture, well it's definitely not London Dangeon but the guy behind the bars and lighted with dim red tells very artistically about the tortures performed in old Russia. He describes the tourtures and shows the devices which were use to fulfill them..... brrrrr....
If you climb the turret, under the roof you'll find just another small museum of gear of different warriors - old Russian and European knights, Mangols, Crusaders, even Scotts (!) All this gear is rented by film makers from time to time for their historic movies.
Samovar museum occupies two floors of the the museum building.
Over there you'll be able to trace the history of the Russian samovar from the very begining several centuries ago up to the current times (including the latest exquisite verion of samovar made for 300 anniversary of St. Petersburg and presented to different countries representatived being invited to the celebration).
The very center of Tula are, apart from the Kremlin, the huge typical soviet time building of the local administration and the usual statue of Lenin, which accidentially survived the devastating democratic changes in the country.
All this looks very inapt amongst 3-4 storey old buildings, but sometimes it's better to leave the things as it is .... who knows what the new constuction might have been?
Old and new
Construction boom get in every remote corner in Russia not to tell about Tula of course. Huge living apartments buildings are now being erected here and there.... sometime the contrast this construction brings into the city it has a kind of nice eclectique style...
Lev Tolstoy house in Yasnaya Polyana
My friend in Tula took me in his car to Yasnaya Polyana, at about 15 kilometers distance from Tula, where I could visit the house where Lev Tolstoy lived. There he wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His humble tomb is nearby, in the garden.
We paid for the ticket, took off our shoes and visited around. His tomb in in the forest, not far from the house.
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Old Style Russian houses
If you want to see typical, old style, wooden, Russian houses, you can find quite a few here. Just wander down one of the dirt roads and you will eventually find some.