The descendants of the legendary Russian master Lefty who shod… a flea.

The ancient Russian city of Tula has no shortage of brands and souvenirs. And all thanks to amazing craftsmen who for centuries have been creating here amazing products.

Located initially on the southern outskirts of the Moscow principality, Tula became a fortified outpost with the Kremlin, striking in its beauty and grandeur. The emergence of gunsmith shops and factories contributed to the development of culture and science here. Today Tula is a birthplace of Russian national symbols and an amazing metropolis that preserves the history of Russia.

Kiyevskaya street. Old Tula

Kiyevskaya street. Old Tula. The postcard was sent from Tula in 1910. Rescued by Rover (CC, flickr)

Tula gingerbread

If you want to see the biggest gingerbread in the world, come to Tula. A local museum exhibits a gingerbread that weighs one pud (just over 16 kilos). In the 17th century Tula bakers began using special wooden boards to make gingerbread. Printed Tula gingerbread is small in size and always made of rye. Today you can find freshly baked gingerbread anywhere in the city.

Tula samovar

Tula samovar

by Roman Dawydkin (CC, flickr)

In 1778, the Lisitsyn brothers produced a samovar in their father’s workshop in Tula. This event became the first documented fact of the emergence of Russian samovars. Samovars, mainly made of copper, were used to boil water and to make tea. Heating of the water was done by an internal furnace with wood coals. Thirty years later the Lisitsyns already owned a samovar factory which was making samovars of different shapes and finishes. And several decades after that Tula became famous throughout the country for its amazing copper products.

Guns and other weapons

Tula Guns

by Roman Dawydkin (CC, flickr)

In 1595, Tula smiths and gunsmiths were exempt from tsar taxes and they started making state-owned weapons. The first gun factory in Tula was founded by Peter 1. Today, the factory, as before, still produces a huge number of various weapons – from pistols and rifles to machine guns and sniper rifles. And tourists can purchase gift versions of various weapons, including with special finishes.

Chromatic accordion

Musician Nikolai Beloborodov lived in Tula. He loved playing Russian accordion. But the instrument had one important flaw, which prevented it from performing classical works. Beloborodov decided to fix the situation and created his own accordion, with a full chromatic line of notes. This instrument today is known as the traditional Russian accordion. And the very first accordion made by Nicholai Beloborodov is exhibited in a museum in Tula.

Tula Kremlin

Tula Kremlin

by Roman Dawydkin (CC, flickr)

Construction of the Kremlin is characteristic only of Russia. These are urban fortresses with gun-slot towers, inside of which there were important constructions for cities. Kremlin in Tula was built in the 16th century and defended not only the city but also the entire southern part of the Moscow state from nomads. To this day the Kremlin has retained its beauty. On its territory there are the Epiphany and the Assumption Cathedrals, shopping arcades. A distinctive feature of the Tula Kremlin as compared to other similar Russian structures is that it is located in the marshy lowlands of the local river, and not on a hill. 

Tula owes its prosperity and development, first of all, to the people who have long inhabited these places and were resourceful and hardworking.

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