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The city of Tula with its population doubled to 500, 000 since World War II was awarded the ‘Hero City’ honour, the eleventh city to get it. The award was given for Tula’s role, as a defense bastion against the Nazis as they neared Moscow from the south. It was under siege for 45 days, but the fascists were not able to step into city limits. The city takes pride that throughout its 800-year history, no enemy has ever penetrated it. Historically, the city was famed as the samovar manufacturing center and for its gun-making for the armies of Czar.

But its metal-working history, whether on samovars or guns, has also made it a city famed for metal mechanics. Today Tula is one of the major machine manufacturing cities.

In Tula, as in most old cities of Russia, the people cherish their history and tradition, and stress it to visitors. And it is not only good-natured talk about the superiority of tea from their charcoal-burning samovars, with the special Tula cakes. They take pride that Tolstoy lived and wrote in Yasnaya Polyana, his estate just outside Tula. ‘You must see it! ’ they tell every visitor.


XVI. Read the following selections using a dictionary.



… the Tula guberniya was established in 1777, and in 1937, it was renamed Tula region. The region’s coat of arms, inherited from the former guberniya and officially approved in 1778, shows crossed silver blades, a rifle barrel and two hammers on a field of red, which symbolizes Tula as a weapons forge and Russia’s defender.


… the region’s inhabitants revere their cultural heritage. Major historical and cultural relics and monuments include the Kulikovo Field (the site of the historical battle in 1380 between the troops of Moscow’s Prince Dmitry Donskoi and Tatar-Mongol hordes), the Kremlin (1514-1521) with an Assumption cathedral (1762-1764), an Annunciation church (1692), the museum estate of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana, and the national reserve and memorial museum of the outstanding Russian artist Vasily Polenov at Polenovo. There are many memorials associated with heroic deeds performed during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.


… the bathing health resort at Krainka, 107 km west of Tula, offers a network of rest homes, boarding houses and tourist centres on the banks of rivers in the vicinity of Yasnaya Polyana.


… many legends are associated with Tula skilful workers. Nikolai Leskov’s tale ‘Levsha’ is an example.


… not a single enemy has ever been to Tula. Our city has always been a fortress in the defence of our Motherland.


… Leo Tolstoy lived in Yasnaya Polyana for 60 of his 80 years.


… the famous composer Dargomizhsky and the well-known pedagogue Ushinsky were born in the Tula region.


… not far from Tula is the village of Mishenskoye – the native place of the great poet of the 19th century V.A. Zhukovsky. Many years of his life he spent in Tula.


… to the South of Efremov there was an estate of M. Lermontov’s father. Near the railway station Chern there was an estate of I.S. Turgenev’s father. Many great Russian writers and poets visited our city.


… the famous Russian artist Polenov lived and worked in the Tula province. Not far from Tula on the banks of the Oka river is the Museum of Polenov.


… the history of Tula pryanic begins in the 17th century. At present as in the old days the traditions of Tula pryanic makers are still alive. Tula printed pryanic is not only tasty but a beautiful souvenir and a present.


XV. Speak about:

1) the past of Tula;

2) the industries of Tula;

3) Tula of today;

4) the places of interest in Tula;

5) the educational establishments in Tula.


XVI. Imagine you are a guide. Make a tour around Tula. Invite your friends to follow you. The plan of the centre of Tula will help you.

XVII. Ask your friend to give you as much information as possible about his (her) native town.

XVIII. Write the composition ‘The town (city) I was born in’.




I. Read the dialogues in pairs and reproduce them.



A. What is the best way to see the sights in a strange city?

B. It depends. You may either walk along the streets and look around or make a guided tour of the city.

A. What should one do to know more about a strange city?

B. If you want to know more about a strange city, you should buy a guide-book to the city and study the recommended sightseeing routes or you should ask a resident of the city to show you round.



A. What should you do if you don’t know how to get to some place?

B. I usually look up a map of the city or ask someone to direct me to the place.

A. If you are not sure whether you are going in the right direction, what should you ask a resident of the city?

B. Not to lose my way in a strange city I usually ask someone ‘Am I right for…? ’ or ‘Shall I reach … if I go straight ahead? ’



A. I wonder if you could tell me the way to the nearest hotel. I’m a stranger here.

B. If you walk, it’ll take you about twenty minutes to get there. But you’d better take a bus.

A. Where must I get off?

B. The bus will take you straight to the hotel.



A. I say, we are so pressed for time. What do you think we should see in your city first?

B. The city is known for its numerous places of interest and memorials. Let’s make a guided tour of the city.

A. Can we see most of them in one tour?

B. I think we can.





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