About Kaluga

The city of Kaluga was founded on the left bank of the Oka River in the middle of the 14th century by the Moscow Prince Simeon Gordiy (Simeon the Proud) as a border fortress on the southwestern borders of the Muscovite state. The first mention of Kaluga in historical documents was noted in 1371.

Our city is located 180 kilometres away from the capital of Russia – Moscow. Kaluga is closely associated with the names of many outstanding people who have left their mark in science and culture. From 1892 Kaluga was home to K.E. Tsiolkovsky, to whom the memorial house is dedicated. The Kaluga Cosmonautics Museum was named after Tsiolkovsky. In the 1920s the founder of heliobiology A.L. Chizhevsky worked in Kaluga.
Such people as G.R. Derzhavin, N.V. Gogol, Kiriyevskiye brothers, F.M. Dostoevsky, A.P. Chekhov, L.N. Tolstoy, K.A. Tolstoy and P.A. Kropotkin have trodden Kaluga’s land. The mathematician P.L. Chebyshev also lived in Kaluga. Such actors as M.S. Shchepkin, P.S. Mochalov, G.N. Fedotova and M.G. Savina performed on the stage of one of the oldest provincial theatres of Russia – Kaluga Drama Theatre.
Kaluga region was founded on 5th July, 1944 and Kaluga became its administrative centre. Today Kaluga is one of the most beautiful Russian cities with centuries-long history, amazing sights along with monuments of nature and art.

 

Main sights and places of interest

K.E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics and adjacent territories

Since 1967 and to this day the Museum of Cosmonautics allows the citizens and guests of the city to see, and sometimes touch, the unique samples of the space industry. The museum also includes a Planetarium, which gives its visitors a unique opportunity to have a tour around the Universe.
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At the museum you can see the rocket “Vostok”, which was constructed for real space flights in the 1960s. This was exactly the same type of rocket as the one used by Yuri Gagarin to make the first flight in history into outer space. On 9th April, 2011 in honour of the 50th anniversary of the first manned flight into space a monument to the first cosmonaut – Yuri Gagarin was solemnly opened in front of the Museum of Cosmonautics.

 

Monument to the 600-year anniversary of Kaluga founding

 

At the entrance to Kaluga by Oka in 1977 the ceremonial opening of the architectural complex, built in honor of the 600th anniversary of Kaluga founding took place. On the stele there is a bust of the first cosmonaut – Yury Gagarin, and at the bottom stands a huge ball symbolising the Earth.

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Memorial house of K.E. Tsiolkovsky

 

Near the entrance to Kaluga there is an ancient wooden house, where Konstantin Tsiolkovsky lived from 1904 to 1933. Here he had written major works in aviation, jet propulsion and astronautics. The appearance of the house retains the form as it was during the life of the scientist.

 

 

Stone Bridge

 

Kaluga Stone Bridge is the largest stone viaduct in Russia. It spans the vast and deep Berezuyski ravine. The bridge was built in 1777-1780s. It is 160 metres in length and over 25 metres in height.

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Kaluga Museum of Local Lore

 

Kaluga Regional Museum of Local Lore, founded in 1891, is one of the oldest museums in the country. The Museum is housed in the former manor of the merchant Zolotaryov, built in 1805-1808. The rooms of the first floor feature a collection exhibits telling us about the particularities of the region nature. The second floor accommodates a history department.

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Gostiniye Ryadi (Merchant yard)

The Gostiny Dvor complex of buildings, built in the late 18th century, is shaped as quadrilateral and consists of 14 buildings, three of which are connected by transitions, framed by the arches. After the recent restoration and reconstruction the inner yard of Gostiniye Ryadi has become a site for leisure activities of townspeople and city visitors.

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Masters’ house

The house, which now accommodates the museum, was built in the middle of 19th century. In the early 1990s the city authorities established a Museum of Folk Crafts in Kaluga region in the former estate of Prince V.D. Volkonsky.

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Pobedy Square (Victory Square)

The Pobedy Square is the memorial complex in honor of Soviet soldiers and citizens who died in the battle for Kaluga in 1941. The 30-meter obelisk is capped by an eight-meter high Motherland statue, holding the silver ribbon of the river Oka and the first Artificial Earth Satellite, symbolising the victory of Soviet people in space exploration.

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In addition to these museums and memorials there are a lot of other sights to be enjoyed in Kaluga. These are monuments – to nurses, Afghan soldiers, to K.E. Tsiolkovsky in the Mira Square, to S.M. Kirov, A.L. Chihevsky and others; churches and temples, museums and cultural institutions, historic mansions and monuments.