The Kremlin Garden is the oldest city park in Tula located near the Kremlin walls. The Garden replaced a former town moat that existed in the 17th century and the nineteenth century Sennaya square near the Nikitskaya tower. This was the first place where citizens saw amusement rides: swings in summer and ice slides in winter. The garden used to occupy more space. There was a beautiful embankment between the Kremlin walls and the Upa River. Shady alleys around the Kremlin concentrated the fashionable and entertaining of Tula, it was the favourite place for romantic meetings.
In the 1830s the town's trade concentrated in its centre. There were stone trading rows built by local merchants inside the Kremlin and the Sennoy (Hay) market, where peasants sold hay, corn and cattle. The fire of 1834 destroyed almost all wood buildings in town including the Sennoy market near the Kremlin. Then it was decided not to restore the market but to turn a central place into a beautiful landscape garden. The Committee for the development of Tula presented the Municipal Council with a project of a garden and a boulevard near the Kremlin. The Council accepted the project and granted 214 rubles and 30 kopecks in silver for its implementation. The boulevard was organised on the former site of the burnt market. Later it got the name of the Kremlin Garden. In three years the Kremlin was surrounded by lime trees planted along the alleys of crashed brick. The new garden became one of the favourite places for citizens to come to because of, above all, the abundance of plants and flowers. The pathways of the Upper Kremlin Garden passed from the Pyatnitskie to Ivanovskie Gates. The Lower Garden stretched from the Ivanovskie Gates along the bank of the river Upa to the Naugolnaya Tower. At that time the Upa used to be clean and deep. People used to swim in it or go for boat rides.
The Garden's opening was celebrated on July, 9th 1837. On this date Alexander Nikolaevich Romanov, the heir to the Russian throne, visited Tula on his journey from Yelets to Kaluga. He was accompanied by his mentor, our fellow citizen and poet Vasily Andreevich Zhukovsky. The saplings had taken root by the time of the royal visit so the Grand Duke enjoyed flower-beds and fireworks on the Upa. His royal highness appreciated the fire feast from the summerhouse in the Lower Garden which they called 'pavilion' or 'voksal' (a station).
Citizens loved walking along the Kremlin walls on the embankment of the river Upa. The Naugolnaya Tower is in the picture. It was the closest tower to the river among all nine towers. It was the first building in the Garden that had columns, veranda and a stairway on the side of the Upa. At first, it was used as a wharf where boats with fans of boat rides docked. Later on, dance and music shows were held there in a covered area every evening at 7 p.m. There gathered all the Tula elite, women showed off their finery, men dressed in the latest fashions. Men had to pay 30-50 kopecks to enter the 'voksal', though entrance was free for women. The public was entertained by the regimental brass band that stayed in Tula at the time. The Kremlin Garden was full of flowers which flourished and blossomed, there were not only many flower-beds but a greenhouse with hothouses where fruit trees, rosebushes, jasmine and other flowers grew. In the 1850s the greenhouse was looked after by the Tula philistine Alexander Pushkin. In the 1870s, the hereditary honorary citizen of Tula, the merchant and gardener Ivan Kondrashev supervised the Kremlin garden. He handled of those a small amount of money, allocated by the city to maintain of the garden. In 1883 Ivan Ivanovich built a stone tent in the garden and organized a trade in flowers.
The Kremlin garden gradually acquired the outlines of the organized park. There were parallel alleys along each wall, balking at the platforms with flower beds (of different shapes) and garden houses. In the garden there were even a flower clock, but in 1910 it was again ruined by Tula hooligans, and the head of the garden did not become to restore the gimmick. Each alley had its unofficial name. For example, there was a pantry alley at the eastern wall, where was situated the buffet with an exquisite cuisine. Along the coast the most secluded alley - the alley of Love or the alley of "sighs and kisses" was situated. There were also the class alleys: nobiliary, middle-class, merchants. They got their names not because of the fact that merchants were not allowed to the nobiliary alley. The fact was that the representative bodies of those classes - the Nobility Assembly, the Merchant House and the House of the middle-class - sponsored their beautification. From Ivanovskiy gate to the river there was a Theatrical Alley in honor of the theater "Olympia". On the same alley performances in the circus tent and in the booth of live walruses were held. In 1884, the Tula merchant Vasily Fedulovich Safonov got the permission to construct a building for swings and shooting range for shooting from the Montecristian windmills. Wooden buildings of attractions were located to the right of the tower of the Ivanovo Gate near the playground for musical performances. Rolling balls in a bowling alley, or shooting at targets in a dash, visitors listened to a brass band, located in the neighborhood. A little later there appeared air swings, designed by the peasant Mikhail Lavrentiev. This attraction was intended for loving couples. Eight gondolas were stuck to the common cross-bar and each of them had enough space for two persons. The organizers of these attractions did not forget about the children who could play in the "throwing of the rings". The object of this game was to throw rings from a certain distance, falling on a pole.
In August 1897 the first public session of the Cinématographe took place in the garden during the provincial trade shows on the initiative of the arms factory engineer Litvinov. That is how the movies appeared in Tula.
In 1904 the botanical garden for students and a gardening pavilion was arranged by Tula Division of the Imperial horticultural society, for what there was given free land by the city on the shore of the Úpa.
Nowadays the Kremlin garden is a favorite place for walks of local citizen and tourists. There are still the same spreading lime trees in the square, that same neat alleys, and still on the benches in the shade of trees where people relax. Since November 2013 the Kremlin Square had been included in the "Tula Parks" municipal company. From April to August 2014 the area of the square was reconstructed. Within the framework of the general improvements about 9,000 sq. m. of paving slabs and about 2 hectares of rolled lawn were laid. Also 10 000 flowers, 10 flowering bushes and 70 tree seedlings were planted on the territory of the square. Besides, there were carried out works for the development of the automatic irrigation system and the lighting system of the territory: there were installed 105 ground lamps and 6 lighting supports to organize the architectural and design illumination of the three towers of the Tula Kremlin in Mendeleevskaya Street. On the Kremlin square there are three playgrounds, a sports complex and a fitness centre. In the area of children's playgrounds a special rubber covering is laid.
The Kremlin garden may be compared to the Aleksandrovsky Garden in Moscow. Apart from the monument to Karl Marx in the garden there are monuments to Peter the Great and to Fevronya of Murom and also a commemorative sign on the site of the barricade was built by workers in October 1905.
The Obelisk with the inscription "There were barricades in October 21, 1905, built by members of the workers' fighting squad" was established on the territory of the Kremlin Garden in Tula. In 2014 within works on the reconstruction, the sign was moved to several meters and restored on preliminary agreement with the Ministry of Culture of Tula region. Besides, the grand opening of the sculpture "Mushroom Glade" was celebrated in September 12, 2014, which is a gift to small citizens of Tula from the wife of the Governor of the Tula region Olga Gruzdeva. The composition was cast from bronze at the Tulamshzavod Works. The Sculptor is Yuri Uvarkin.