Kaluga is a small city, which is situated in 160 km to the south-west of Moscow at the bank of Oka river. For the first time Kaluga was documentary mentioned in 1371. At first the city was a fortress, which protected Moscow from forays of the enemies from the south and west , but little by little because of the expansion of the boundaries this status has lost its relevance. The city began to be built up by residential buildings, and soon the first industrial establishments appeared on its territory. At the end of the 18th century it was already a large industrial center, which specialized in cable and sailcloth production.
Kaluga is famous for its traditionally Russian traditions and an abundance of interesting sites. It is a real ancient Russian city, which managed to carry through the centuries its unique culture. The most revered shrine of the Kaluzhans is the icon of the Mother of God of Kaluga. During the Patriotic War of 1812 the icon more than once defended locals.
The Cosmos Route
In 1892 K.E. Tsiolkovsky moved from Borovsk to Kaluga. And henceforth Kaluga became the ground for the thoughts about the space exploration, and later people began to call it “the Cradle of Cosmonautics”. In one year after Tsiolkovsky’s death the museum was opened in his house.
The first in the world and the biggest in Russia museum about cosmonautics was opened in Kaluga thanks to Korolev, who was sure, that the museum has to be situated in the city, where Tsiolkovsky lived and worked. Jury Gagarin laid the first stone into foundation of this museum on the 13th of June 1961. Now museum’s fund consists of 60 000 storage units.
The Optina Pustyn is an Eastern Orthodox monastery for men near Kozelsk in Russia. In the 19th century, the Optina was the most important spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and served as the model for several other monasteries.
Today it is the biggest monastery for men with 200 monks living there.
The Nikola Lenivets Art Park is a unique museum of modern art located in the natural environment. Within the area of 650 hectares one can observe a collection of more than 30 objets d’art created by most famous Russian and foreign artists and architects. The Nikola Lenivets Park has got all the necessary accommodation and recreation facilities: a camp site, a parking lot, guest houses and a restaurant. Since 2006 the park has hosted the annual Archstoyanie festival. During this event the guests — artists and architects — create new landscape objects in the territory of Nikola Lenivets. The festival quickly gained popularity as one of the key summer events for lovers of contemporary art and architecture. Every year 5–7 new objects of modern art appear in the park. They enrich the museum collection created within the confines of this prominent cultural project.