Tula Arms Museum is one of the most interesting travel attraction in the city. Gun smithing was always one of the main specializations of Tula artisans. It was for this reason that Tula, located on the southern border of Moscow, became one of the main centers of cold and fire arms in Russia.
Before the 18th century the manufactories of Tula rather successfully competed with the Moscow Armory Chamber (Armory Prikaz). However, after Peter the Great had founded the Arms Plant at Tula in 1712, Tula became the only armory center and the Moscow Armory Chamber was first turned into a weapon storage and then a museum.
The Tula arms museum was founded in 1724 after Peter I signed the appropriate ukase. In 1775 Empress Catherine II issued the order about the creation of the Chamber of Rare and Exemplary Arms, the precursor of today State Arms Museum.
For a long time the museum was located at one of the shops of the Tula Arms Plant. But in 1989 it was moved to the Epiphany Cathedral of the Tula Kremlin to make it more accessible for tourists. However, by the beginning of the 21st century the building was too small for the museum. So, it was decided to erect a new spacious building on the bank of the Upa river.
The new museum building was finished in 2012. The specimens of heavy armament, which were developed at the design offices of Tula are outside the museum: the multiple-launch rocket system «Smerch», the self-propelled anti-aircraft gun «Shilka», the anti-aircraft rocket system «Cube-М1».
Within the museum building you can see not only the production of the Tula Arms Plant but also that of the other Russian arms plants (Izhevsk, Sestrotetsk and Olonets), as well as many foreign arms. Unlike the Hermitage or the Armory Chamber, where there presented only separate specimens of arms with art decoration, at the Tula State Arms Museum you can see the evolution of arms from Peter period to our days.