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Kremlin Garden is the oldest city square framing the walls of the Tula Kremlin. It is built on the site of the moat, which that surrounded the walls of the Kremlin in the 17th century, and the Sennaya Square (Hay Square) at the Nikitskaya Tower, which existed in the early 19th century. It was the first place where Tula citizens saw attractions: a swing in the summer, ice slides in the winter. By the way, the area of the garden was much larger than the current one; there was a beautiful embankment between the walls of the Kremlin and the Upa River. Shady alleys around the Kremlin for a century and a half were the mecca of Tula fashion and entertainment, a place for romantic meetings and dates.
In the 30s of the 19the century, the city center was a place of trade mostly. On the inner side of the Kremlin walls, Tula merchants built stone trading rows and on the outer side, there was a Sennoy Market (Hay Market) where peasants sold hay, grain, and cattle. The fire of 1834 destroyed almost all wooden buildings in the city, including the Sennoy Market near the Kremlin. It was decided then: the market was not to be restored and the place in the city center should be improved. The Committee on the development of the city of Tula submitted for consideration to the city Duma the project of the improvement of the garden and the boulevard near the Kremlin. The Duma approved the project and allocated 214 rubles 30 kopecks in silver for its implementation.
Boulevard was laid on the site of the burned market, which later became known as the Kremlin Garden. As early as three years later, all sides of the Tula Kremlin were ringed by young lime trees planted along the alleys sprinkled with broken bricks. The new garden has become one of the favorite places of Tula, primarily because of the plenty of greenery and flowers. From Pyatnitskiye Gate to the Ivanovskiye Gate, there were paths of the Upper Kremlin Garden, the garden starting from the Ivanovskiye Gate along the bank of the Upa River until the Naugolnaya Tower was called the Lower Garden. The Upa River then was quite clean and deep; it was possible to swim or take water trips by taking a boat for rent.
The grand opening of the garden took place on 9 July 1837. On this day, the heir to the Russian throne, Alexander Nikolayevich Romanov, together with his mentor, our countryman poet Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky, visited Tula on his way from Yelets to Kaluga. Young trees in the garden on the embankment of the Upa River managed to take roots before the highest visit; the eyes of the Grand Duke were pleased by flower beds and fireworks on the bank of the Upa River. The high guest and his entourage admired the fiery spectacular from the arbor in the Lower Garden, it used to be called the "pavilion" or "vauxhall."
Tula citizens loved to walk along the walls of the Kremlin on the embankment of the Upa River. The photo shows the Naugolnaya Tower of the Kremlin; of the nine towers, it is the closest one to the river.
It was the first building in the garden with columns, a veranda, and a staircase towards the Upa River. At first, it was used as a kind of berth where boats with Tula citizens, fans of boat trips, moored. Later, every starting from 19.00, nights of music and dances were arranged on the covered platform. The entire Tula beau monde gathered here: the ladies showed off their best clothes and the men also trotted the latest fashions. The entrance to the "vauxhall" was paid but only for men: from 30 to 50 kopecks. The audience was entertained by the regimental brass band accommodating in Tulaat that time.
The Kremlin Garden was full of flowers; there were not only numerous flower beds but a greenhouse as well, where fruit trees, rose and jasmine bushes, and other flowers grew. In the 50s of the 19th century the greenhouse was kept by Tula philistine Alexander Pushkin.
In the 1870s, the Kremlin Garden was managed by a hereditary honorary citizen of Tula, merchant and gardener Ivan Kondrashev. He was in charge of that little money allocated for the maintenance of the garden by the city.
In 1883, Ivan Ivanovich built a stone tent in the garden and organized a flower trade.
Gradually, the Kremlin Garden acquired the shape of a perfectly arranged park. Parallel alleys, which came to the grounds with flower beds (of different shapes) and arbors, ran along each wall. Even flower clocks were located in the garden but in 1910, they were once again ruined by Tula hooligans, and the head of the garden did not restore the wonder. Each alley had its own unofficial name. For example, a pantry alley ran at the eastern wall: here was a buffet with a very fine cuisine. The most secluded alley ran along the coast, the Alley of Love or the alley of "sighs and kisses." There were estate alleys as well: noble, philistine, and merchant. They got their name not because some merchant could not wander with his girlfriend on the noble alley. The matter is that representative bodies of these estates, the Noble Assembly, the Merchant Society, and the Philistine Society, invested in the improvement of these parts of the garden. From the Ivanovskiye Gate to the river was a theater alley in honor of the Olympia Theater. On the same alley, there were performances in the circus tent and in the booth of live walruses. In 1884, Tula merchant Vasily Fedulovich Safonov received a permit to construct a building for swings and shooting gallery for shooting Monte Cristo rifles. Wooden attraction buildings were located to the right of the tower of the Ivanovskiye Gate next to the platform for musical performances. While rolling balls in a bowling alley or shooting at targets in a shooting gallery, visitors heard a brass band located nearby. A little later there were air swings designed by the peasant Mikhail Lavrentiyev. This attraction was intended primarily for couples in love. Eight gondolas, each holding two people, were suspended on the common crossbar. Organizers of attractions did not forget about children who could play in "throwing-rings." The aim of the game was to throw rings from a certain distance trying to getting them on a pole.
In August 1897, the first public session of cinematography was held in the garden during the provincial handicraft and industrial exhibition on the initiative of the engineer of the arms factory Litvinov. That was how the cinema came to Tula.
In 1904, the Tula Department of the Imperial Garden Society arranged a botanical garden for students of educational institutions of Tula and a horticulture pavilion, for which the city allocated a land plot on the bank of the Upa River for free.
Currently, the Kremlin Garden is a favorite place for walks of local residents and guests of the city. The same spreading lime trees in the square, the same neat alleys, and still people are resting on the benches in the shade of trees. Since November 2013, the Kremlin Square became a part of the State Institution of Tula Oblast "Tula Parks." From April to August 2014, reconstruction works were carried out in the territory of the square. As a part of the section on general improvement, about 9 thousand square meters of paving slabs and about 2 hectares of rolled lawn were laid. Moreover, 10,000 flowers, 10 flowering shrubs, and 70 young trees were planted in the territory of the square.
In addition, work was carried out on the arrangement of automatic irrigation system and lighting of the territory: 105 ground lamps and six lighting poles were installed for the organization of architectural and design illumination of the three towers of the Tula Kremlin on Mendeleyevskaya Street. In the Kremlin Square, there are three children's playgrounds, a sports complex, and a workout ground installed. A special rubber coating is laid in the area of children's playgrounds.
The Kremlin Garden is similar to the Alexander Garden in Moscow. In addition to the monument to Karl Marx in the garden, a monument to Peter and Fevronia of Murom, as well as a memorial sign on the site of the barricade built by workers in October 1905, is erected.
The obelisk with the inscription "Here were barricades on 21 October 1905, built by members of the workers' combat team" is installed in Tula, in the territory of the city Kremlin Garden. As a part of reconstruction works in 2014, by prior agreement with the Ministry of Culture of Tula Oblast, the sign has been moved a few meters and restored. Moreover, on 12 September 2014, the grand opening of the sculpture "Mushroom Meadow," which was a gift to young Tula citizens from the wife of the Governor of the Tula Oblast, Olga Gruzdeva, took place.
The composition was cast in bronze at JSC "AK "Tulamashzavod" PJSC. The sculptor was Yuri Uvarkin.
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