Tula city is administrative center of Tula region. Tula is located 165 km to the south of Moscow, on the Upa River, which is the tributary of Oka River. Population of the city is about 600,000 people. Tula, one of the oldest Russian cities, is famous for its samovars, Russian pots, and Tulsky pryanik, or gingerbread, a traditional Russian cookie, as well as for being a major industrially developed city.
First mentioned in manuscripts in 1146, Tula was founded as a settlement in the Ryazan principality. By the XVI century the city became an important fortress and local wooden Kremlin was built.
As large iron and coal deposits had been found nearby of Tula, in 1712 Peter the Great built first Russian arms factory at Tula. Soon after that the city became the center of the Russian heavy industry. In the XVII, the first factory producing samovars started working, making Tula famous Russia wide.
During the World War II, Germans failed to capture the city. During the war it produced huge amount of weapons for the army. After the war, Tula was awarded the title of Hero city.
Tula region has diverse raw materials resources, including fire-clay, flux limestone, lignite, gypsum carbonate and many others. The most developed industries in Tula are machinery, metallurgy, chemical and woodworking industries, as well as food processing and power generation. Tula is Russian oldest metallurgical center, and produce, among others, heavy and light machine tools.
Production of grain, potatoes, sugar beets, milk and meet dominates in the agriculture. Food‑processing companies produce tenth of regional output. Major companies in Tula are meat processing firms, dairies, and distillers.
Tula is an important rail and highway hub. The region has a dense network of motor roads. Compared with other Central Russian regions, Tula has the largest road network, with five federal highways: Moscow-Voronezh, Moscow-Simferopol, Moscow-Volgograd, Kaluga-Ryazan, and Kaluga-Oryol. Through the network of railways the region is connected with the south of Russia, Saint-Petersburg and many Russian and CIС's big cities.
Being an important scientific center, the region has 6 higher education establishments. Strong scientific potential is concentrated in dozens of Tula's scientific and research institutes, design and planning organizations. There are several publishing houses publishing about a hundred of newspapers and magazines. The region has 4 theatres, Museum of Regional Studies and Art Gallery.
The main places of interest are the Drama Theatre, the Theatre of Young Spectator, the Puppet Theatre, the Museum of Weapons, the Arts Museum, the Museum of Local Lore, the Kremlin (1507-1520), the Uspensky Cathedral (1762-1764), the Blagoveschenskaya Church (1692), the Nikola Zaretsky Church (1730-1734), the Voznesenskaya Church (1755-1787), the Vsekhsvyatskaya (1776-1800), not far from Tula in Kurkinsky district there is the Museum "Kulikovo Pole". The Memorial Estate of L.N.Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana" is just in 14 km south from Tula.