Tulskaya Oblast is situated in the central part of the East European plain. It borders upon Lipetskaya, Orlovskaya, Kaluzhskaya, Moscovskaya and Ryazanskaya oblasts. The main rivers are the rivers of the Oka basin (the Upa, the Osetr). The climate is moderately continental. The average temperature of January is -10 degrees, of July +19 degrees centigrade. Precipitations are about 500 mm a year.
Tulskaya Oblast was formed on the 26th of September, 1937. Its area is 25,7 thousand sq. km. (0.15 % of the total area of the Russian Federation). It includes 23 districts, 21 cities and towns, 5 urban districts, 48 urban settlements and 347 villages. The centre of the region is Tula. The city was founded in 1146. The distance from Moscow to Tula is 193 km. The city consists of 5 districts: Zarechensky, Privokzalny, Proletarsky, Sovetsky and Tsentralny. The population of the region is 584.4 thousand people. Other cities and towns are as follows: Aleksin (1236), Bogoroditsk (1777), Donskoy (1939), Efremov (1672), Kimovsk (1952), Novomoskovsk (1930), Uzlovaya (1938), Shekino (1938). The main cities are Tula (584 thousand inhabitants), Novomoskovsk (142), Shekino (71), Aleksin (70,6), Uzlovaya (60,9) and Efremov (54,9). The population (on January 1, 1998) is 1780,0 thousand people. Density of population (on January 1, 1998) is 69,3 per 1 sq. km.
Tulskaya Oblast was formed on September 26, 1937 while breaking up Moscovskaya Oblast into smaller units. Yearlier existed the Tula region ruled by governor-general (1777-1796), then the Tula province (1796 - 1929). The regional centre Tula is one of the most ancient cities of the Russian State. For the first time it was mentioned in 1146 as a city in the Ryazan princedom. In the first half of XIV century Tula belonged to the Golden Horde empress Taidulla, but later the city was won back by the Ryazan prince. From the beginning of XVI century Tula was a part of the Moscow State. In XVI-XVII centuries the city carries out defensive functions at the southern border of the Moscow State. In 1552 Tula withstood the siege of the armies of the Crimean Khan Devlet-Girey. In 1607 revolted peasants headed by Ivan Bolotnikov defended themselves in the Tula Kremlin.
In XVII century Tula became the centre of metal working and weapon manufacture. In 1712 according to Peter's I decree the first Russian armour works was laid here. As early as the beginning of XX century the rapid development of the Tula industry was caused by the Russian-Japanese War and the Great War. After the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 Tula was given the rank of the city - hero.
The Tula State Museum of Weaponry has the collection of weapon from the times of Peter I up to nowadays.
Tula is not only a smithy of the Russian weapon, but also the native land of the samovar, gingerbread and even the Russian cycling. The oldest Russian bicycle track is situated here (since 1897).
The samovar is a part of lifestyle and destiny of our nation, being reflected in its proverbs and sayings, in works of such writers and poets as Pushkin and Gogol, Blok and Gorky. The samovar is poetry. This is a part of kind Russian hospitality. It is a circle of friends and relatives, warm and intimate rest.
In the second half of XIX century Tula was one of the leaders in manufacture of samovars. In the museum you can learn the history of samovars, see the unique collection of samovars of various times and forms.
Among the memorial monuments of Russian culture of the 19-20th centuries a special role is paid to Yasnaya Polyana. This is the place where the great Russian writer L.N. Tolstoy spent the most part of his life. Here in his estate he lived more than fifty years. Here he was born, here he wrote his best books and here he was buried. In Yanaya Polyana about 200 works were conceived and written. Among them are " War and Peace", "Anna Karenina", etc.
The State Memorial Historical and Art and Natural Museum named after the artist V.D. Polenov is one of the largest museums - reserves of the country and one of the most known in Russia and abroad.