Kaluga (Russian: Калуга; IPA: [kɐˈlugə]) is a city and the administrative center of Kaluga Oblast, Russia, located on the Oka River 150 kilometers (93 mi) southwest of Moscow. Population: 324,698 (2010 Census); 334,751 (2002 Census); 311,319 (1989 Census).
Kaluga was founded in the mid-14th century as a border fortress on the southwestern borders of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It was first mentioned by its present name in 1371. In the Middle Ages, Kaluga was a minor settlement owned by the Princes Vorotynsky. The ancestral home of these princes is located southwest from the modern city.
Kaluga is connected to Moscow by a railway line and the ancient roadway, the Kaluga Road (now partly within Moscow (as Starokaluzhskoye Shosse), partly the A101 road). This road was the favored escape route from the Moscow trap for Napoleon in the fall of 1812. But General Kutuzov repelled Napoleon’s advances in this direction and forced the retreating French army onto the old Smolensk road, previously devastated by the French during their invasion of Russia.
Kaluga was briefly occupied by the German army in Operation Barbarossa during the climactic Battle of Moscow.
In 1944, the Soviet Government used its local military buildings to intern hundreds of Polish POWs—soldiers of the Polish Underground Home Army—who were arrested by advancing Soviet front in the Vilno area.