Tula Kremlin, a stone fortress located in the center of Tula, is a monument of Russian defense architecture of the 16th century. The fortress was built to protect the southern borders of the Russian state from the raids of Crimean Tatars. The photos were taken by Dimon Porter Gazin. The length of the walls of Tula fortress – about 1 km, the total area – 6 hectares. Today, Tula Kremlin is a unique complex of monuments of history and architecture. In addition to the walls and towers, you can see two cathedrals: the Holy Assumption Cathedral (the 18th century), the Epiphany Cathedral (the 19th century), the shopping arcade (the 19th century), the building of the first power plant in Tula (the 20th century).
Tula has been a weapons manufacturing centre for centuries, a legacy celebrated at this fantastically kitted-out new building that houses an impressive collection of metal weaponry and armoury dating back to medieval times. It’s impossible not to appreciate the delicate skill and artistry applied to some of the weapons. The museum also has a branch within the Tula kremlin ; one ticket gives access to both. The Oktyabrskaya museum has a miniature shooting range on-site and also offers weapon decorating classes with a master gunsmith; see the website for booking information.
Tula Samovar Museum
‘To take one’s own samovar to Tula’ is a Russian idiom coined by Anton Chekhov, denoting a pointless activity. Local production of this essential part of the Russian tea-making tradition was started in the late 18th century. This small museum showcases that history with a collection of samovars, including one that belonged to Stalin and a cute collection of mini-samovars. You can buy samovars at this small museum, although there’s more choice in the kiosk in Tula’s train station.
Tula is renowned Russia-wide for its pryaniki (inscribed ginger cakes). The sweet-toothed can find out all about them at this one-room museum in a bakery that has been churning them out in all shapes and sizes – check out the monster 16kg loaf! – since 1881. It’s more of a prelude to shopping and eating at the attached shop and cafe (8am to 8pm) than a hugely educational experience.
Approach this large, pleasant park from pr Lenina to see the absolutely huge Tolstoy statue – local wags have it that the writer was on his way to the vodka factory that was once housed in the brick building opposite. Bicycles and rollerblades (rollerblades/bikes per hour from R80/100, open noon to 9pm, last rental 7.30pm) can be rented in the park.