July 01, 2019

In Brief

In Brief
Tula River Embankment. Maria Antonova

Most people have heard of Russia’s Golden Ring towns, with their ancient churches, pretty lakes, and folk crafts. But there are other cities and towns worth seeing that have been investing in public spaces, museums, and other efforts to attract tourists. One of them is Tula, the home turf of Leo Tolstoy and a city rightly proud of its industrial heritage.

Tula has witnessed a massive overhaul of its city center, particularly the Upa River embankment near the kremlin, now a trendy park with overlooks, benches, coffee shops, and outdoor concerts in summer. The Tula kremlin will celebrate 500 years in 2020, so local authorities are set to restore ten more historic landmarks in the city center. (visittula.com)

Say “Tula” and Russians will think of two things, samovars and pryaniki – large honey-flavored biscuits made in various shapes (pryanik is often mistranslated as “gingerbread cookie,” even though the confection contains no ginger). Both are symbols of Tula, so of course the city center boasts museums devoted to both samovars and pryaniki.

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