Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tula (principality)

A semi-autonomous part of the Grand Duchy of Moscovy, the Principality of Tula occupies a northern edge of the South Russian Upland, east and south of the Oka River valley. A portion of the principality accesses the river through transshipment points at Aleksin and Belev, each moving goods to the capital at Tula. The dominant vegetation is deciduous forest.

The principality has a total area of 32 hexes, with a density of 4,720 persons per hex. It is bordered entirely by other parts of Russia: on the south by Voronezh; on the west by Orel and Kaluga; on the north by Moskva; and on the east by Ryazan and Tambov. It has a population of 151,028.


The princes of Tula owe their rank to the discovery of iron ore in the hills above the Oka River in the mid-12th century. This led to Tula becoming a powerful guild town, known chiefly for the manufacture of armor and weapons, particularly daggers. At first Tula was under the control of the Principality of Ryazan, but after the destruction of that city the princes here became independent.

A peaceful backwater, Tula suffered very little under the suzerainty of the Tatars and was able to free itself with the help of Moskva. A brick citadel was built in the city in 1514-1521, which proved a key fortress against an invasion of the Crimean Tatars in 1552. This helped bring about an end to the invasions by the Crimeans into Russia.

Tula was seized and became a center for power for Ivan Bolotnikov, a would-be tsar of Russia during the Time of Troubles. The uprising (1606-1607) ended after a five-month seige in which most of Tula was left starving.



The market at Tula is a way-station for trade moving to Moskva, in the north, from the southwest and southeast through Orel, allowing access to the Seym-Dneiper and Don water routes.

References for local goods produced in Tula are as follows:

See sheet maps C 04 ~ Upper Volga and D 04 ~ Don & Volga Rivers.


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