Tula, Russia (Capital) - Encyclopedia




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TULA, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, 120 m. by rail S. of Moscow, in the broad but low, marshy and unhealthy valley of the Upa. Pop. (1882), 63,500; (1901), 109,352. It is an old town of Old Russia, but its growth began only towards the end of the 18th century after the manufacture of arms had commenced. The chief branch of industry is the making of rifles; next in importance comes the manufacture of samovars (tea-urns). Tula is an episcopal see of the Orthodox Greek Church. The public buildings include two cathedrals and an industrial museum.

The town is first mentioned in 1147; but its former site seems to have been higher up the Tulitsa. Its wooden fort was replaced in1514-1521by a stone kreml, or citadel, which still exists. Tsar Boris Godunov founded a gun factory here in 1595, and in 1632 a Dutchman, Winius, established an iron foundry. Tsar Michael Alexis and Peter the Great, especially the last-named, took great interest in the gun factories, and large establishments were built in 1705'and 1714.

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