The Demidov family necropolis is located on the territory of the former Armory Sloboda of Tula where a large museum of weapons was built. The Demidov dynasty made a huge contribution to the development of industry in Russia during the Petrine era by establishing several mining and metallurgical plants in the Urals.
Nikita Demidovich Antufiev, who subsequently took the surname Demidov, was the founder of this dynasty. He was born in 1655 in Tula and became a master gunsmith in an early age. In 1690, he successfully traded in iron and owned a small ironworks in Tula. In that time, he was actually the only Russian representative in this emerging industry, since the other ironworks were owned by foreigners.
The meeting with Tsar Peter I, who then began to prepare for the war with Sweden, was the most important event in the life of Demidov. In 1696 Demidov was the only Tula gunsmith who undertook to fulfill the order of Peter I for the manufacture of 300 rifles of the western model. They were in no way inferior to European ones, but at the same time they were much cheaper. During the Great Northern War, Peter made Demidov a supplier of weapons for the Russian army, and for the purpose in 1701 he allotted a parcel of land on the outskirts of Tula for the development of the Armory Sloboda.
In 1702, Tsar Peter I gave to Demidov the state-owned ironworks in the Urals to develop the national metallurgical industry. For 20 years, Demidov built more than 8 metallurgical plants there, which production was extremely important for the victory in the Great Northern War. Due to this, Russia got access to the Baltic Sea, which gave a powerful stimulus to the economic development of the country. The heirs of Demidov continued his business.
The Demidov family necropolis is located in the St. Nicholas Church in Tula. A small museum dedicated to the Demidov dynasty and the contribution they made to the development of Russian industry in the 18th century is next to the church. A small public garden with a monument to Nikita Demidov is around the church.