Visit the Busy City of Kaluga
Kaluga is situated in Central Russia on the beautiful Oka River. It is roughly 188 kilometers southwest of Moscow and it serves as the administrative center of the Kaluga Oblast. Kaluga is not a particularly noteworthy city, though it has proved to be quite relevant at different periods during Russia's history. Today you will find it to be a fairly large city with a population of more than 340 000 people. Kaluga in Russia can be easily accessed by air through the Kaluga Grabtsevo Airport.
According to historical records, Kaluga was founded sometime during the mid 14th century. It was built initially as a border fortress on the borders of Muscovy. The first official mention of the city by its current name was made in 1371. During the middle ages, Kaluga was owned by the Vorotynsky Princes which is appropriate since their ancestral home is located a short distance away to the south-west of the city. Most visitors travel to the city by means of train since the city is connected to Moscow by rail. It can also be reached by car on the ancient roadway known as the ‘Kaluga Road’.
Kaluga has not always enjoyed times of peace. In 1941 it was occupied by Nazi armies, and before this its proximity to the Kaluga Road brought it into contact with much conflict. Nevertheless it survived and is still very much intact today. The city is perhaps best known for Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a rocket scientist who worked and lived here some time ago. There is a museum in Kaluga dedicted to his extensive research and theoretical achievements. It is an attraction that is well worth visiting. Other famous Russians from Kaluga include Vadim Kosmatschof, a sculptor and painter, and Imam Shamil, a political and religious Muslim tribal leader.
More recent years have seen the continued growth and development of Kaluga as a city and place of industry. A new Volkswagen assembly plant is currently being built in the city and should be finished by 2009. It is hoped that once completed, the Kaluga plant will be able to produce approximately 115 000 vehicles per a year. This will no doubt serve to boost the local economy considerably and will likely see Kaluga continue to grow as a city and center of industry.