History of the main city of Penza region began in 1663 with the construction of the fortress. It was named by the local river on the steep bank of which it stands. Today Penza is world famous for its unique “One Painting Museum”, and a museum-theater of Merhold, the famous actor and director. It is in Penza appeared the first Russian circus. There are other interesting places worthy of attention of tourists. We offer you the main attractions of Penza.
What to see in Penza?
The main and most interesting attractions with photos and descriptions.
1. Penza Zoo
- Address: ul. Krasnaya, 10, Penza.
The largest zoo in the Volga region was established in 1981, and earlier in his territory was the bishop’s garden. Visitors are greeted at the entrance by a sculpture of a lion Simba, a local old-timer. The symbol of the Penza Zoo is a wood grouse. The park has three lakes, numerous alleys, a birch grove, picturesque glades and an orchard. Here grow rare shrubs and herbaceous species, as well as unique trees, which are 200 years old.
Visiting this attraction of Penza, you can see such rare animals as the Amur tiger, crane, Przewalski’s horse, Moluccan cockatoo… Only in this Russian zoological park chicks of bustard, a very rare steppe bird are raised. During the whole period of its existence 20 Amur tiger cubs were born there. The zoo often organizes exhibitions and fairs.
2. Monument “Pervoposelenets”.
- Address: Kirov street, Penza
Monument “Pervoposelenets” is a memorial complex to the founders of the city, built in 1980. Its center is the bronze sculptures of a man with a horse. The first settler, who is at once both a warrior and a farmer, has a spear in his right hand and a plow in his left. Opposite the monument is part of the surviving rampart of the 1663 fortress and a wooden bell tower. Behind the monument there is an observation deck. Memorial is a landmark of Penza, it is often depicted on souvenirs.
3. musical fountain Sputnik.
The next place to visit in Penza is a unique fountain complex in the Sputnik area, which includes three fountains and two cascading waterfalls. The highest fountain jet rises to a height of about 30 meters. Fountain Square on the bank of Sura river is a place for romantic strolls, colorful photo shoots and family vacations.
Not far from this attraction there is a gazebo for lovers. Children and adults of all ages love to watch the fountain jets “dance” to the sounds of familiar tunes, and light effects turn everything into a fabulous spectacle. Children frolic with delight and enjoy the splashing.
4. Moscow Street
The main and oldest street of the city is located in the historic center of Penza and is pedestrian. Making a leisurely stroll along the local Arbat, you will surely find something of interest to you: there are souvenir shops, stores, local artists draw portraits to order.
This street back in the 17th century was the shopping center of the city. The modern name appeared in the 18th century, before that it was called Spasskaya, and then Bolshaya Posadskaya. Today on Moscow Street are the main attractions of Penza, including the Drama Theater, banks, hotels, shopping centers, as well as a large thermometer and a tower clock with a cuckoo, famous throughout the world.
5. One Painting Museum
- Address: Kirov street, 11, Penza.
This unique and very unusual museum in Penza is a branch of the Savitsky Art Gallery. It introduces visitors to the most famous paintings of Russian and foreign artists. There are no exhibits in the museum, during the excursion the audience is told about one picture with the help of slides, which are narrated by famous Russian actors.
The museum was established in 1983 and it is still the only place of its kind in the world. Visitors are virtually transported to the Hermitage, Tretyakov Gallery and other famous art treasuries of the world. For all time in the museum demonstrated only 20 paintings and icons. Visit this museum of Penza will be very interesting.
6. Belinsky Park
- Address: 33 Lermontova Street, Penza.
Penza’s largest city park and the oldest in the country was created in the early 19th century. Previously it was called “Public Garden”, and then the “Summer Garden”, and only in 1911 it received its present name in honor of the famous literary critic Vissarion Belinsky. This is evidenced by the monument and the memorial gate with his bas-relief.
There are unique trees in the Park of Belinski, which are already 300 years old. From the Ferris wheel offers an amazing view over Penza and its attractions. There are many other attractions: rope park, summer dance floor, rock climbing wall, cable car. In winter, there is a mountain ski trail, year-round operates “Path of Health”.
7. Local history museum
- Address: 73 Krasnaya Street, Penza
Penza Museum of Local Lore was founded in 1905. Today it has three departments: archeology, ethnography and history. It is located in the two-story former dormitory of the diocesan college.
Even during the war of 1941-1945, the museum continued its activities. Today it does not have a permanent exposition, it was dismantled in 1989 before the overhaul of the building. That is why since 1995 the museum has been exhibiting pieces from its own funds as well as from other museum collections of Russia and the world.
8. Botanical Garden
- Address: ul. Karla Marksa 2 a, Penza.
Penza Botanical Garden celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. This fabulous corner of nature is called by many the most beautiful attraction of Penza. Here grows more than 1500 species of unique plants of this area and other natural areas. The garden was created on the initiative of the local Society of Nature Lovers and was named in honor of its chairman, the botanist scientist Sprygin.
The garden was originally planned as a zoological and botanical garden, but this could not be realized due to the situation in the country. During its existence many famous scientists conducted their scientific activity here. In 1948 the botanical garden joined the Pedagogical Institute. Today there are educational and practical classes with students of different faculties, excursions for schoolchildren and guests of the city.
9. Museum of Folk Art
- Address: 45 Kuybisheva Street, Penza.
Museum was founded to preserve and study folk crafts of Penza region. It is located in the building of the old manor of the 19th century. Next to the museum is a historical dendrological park, created by the former owner of the estate. Visiting the museum of folk art in Penza, you can get acquainted with the art of pottery, wooden sculptures, straw works, carpet applique, weaving with wicker. In his halls constantly hold exhibitions of arts and crafts.
10. Monument of Glory
This landmark of the city of Penza is dedicated to the military and civilian exploits of the inhabitants of the region during the Great Patriotic War. One of the main symbols of the city was opened in 1975, on the holiday of May 9. Monument of Glory represents a woman (Motherland) with a child on her shoulder. He holds in his hand a golden branch symbolizing life.
The monument stands on a hilltop. At the foot of it there is a warrior-defender and near it there is an eternal flame. Five stairs departs from the monument in the form of a star in the direction of the main streets of the city. Under one of them there is a book with a list of the dead soldiers.
11. Lunacharsky Drama Theater
- Address: 89 Moskovskaya Street, Penza
Penza Drama Theater was created thanks to the local Vice-Governor Dolgorukov. The first performance was held here in 1793. There were only a hundred seats in the hall. In 1896 the people’s theater began to work, and the members of the local drama group took part in the performances.
In 1920 the theater was named after Lunacharsky, the people’s commissar for education, and in 1937 it received the title of a regional theater. During the war years, the theater did not stop its work, it played the plays of contemporary authors. During its long history, many famous actors of the country performed on its stage. The theater went through several reconstructions and a fire in 2008, after which it was rebuilt for almost two years. The modern look of the building was chosen by popular vote.
12. Savitsky Art Gallery
- Address: Sovetskaya str, 3, Penza
Art museum was opened in 1892. The basis of its collection were paintings donated by the governor of the city Seliverstov. In 1897, the collection was housed in a specially built building in the center of the city, which was also financed by Seleverstov. An art school, which later grew into a college, also opened here. Russian painter K. Savitsky was the director of the school and the museum.
In the early 19th century the gallery was attached to the local history museum. In 1955, the gallery and art school, was named after Savitsky. Today, the exposition of the museum is exhibited in 2 buildings, which are next to each other and represented by the works of famous Russian and Western European artists of the 17-21 centuries.
13. Kluchevsky Museum
- Address: Kliuchevskogo Street, Penza
Kliuchevskogo Museum was opened in 1991 in a wooden house on a street then called Popovka (Kliuchevskogo St.). Since 2005, it is a department of Regional Museum of Penza. The house next door and the outbuilding also belong to the museum complex. It is in this house the famous historian spent his childhood and adolescent years.
The exposition tells about life and works of Kluchevsky and includes two sections: Penza period of his life (20 years) and activities of the historian. The books and works of this scholar on history have not lost their relevance today. His works are used by students and scholars.
14. Assumption Cathedral
The church is located in Myronositsky city cemetery. It was built in Pseudo-Russian style, more than 100 years ago (in 1905). Earlier there was a church, and after it burned down on donations from citizens the Assumption Cathedral was erected.
The main temple is adjoined by three apses and a bell tower. In 1931 the church was given the title of a cathedral. But in 1934 it was closed, its property was transferred to the regional museum, and the building housed a military warehouse. After the war the cathedral became active again. In 1994, a baptistery was built on its grounds. The year of 1999 was very special for the cathedral: His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II celebrated a service in it. The temple contains the relics of a Christian saint.
15. Meyerhold House
- Address: 59 Volodarskogo Street, Penza
The house, which houses the State Museum and Theater, is today the center of contemporary theater. This landmark of Penza is famous for the fact that in the period from 1881 to 1895, Carl Meyerhold lived here.
The famous Russian theater director, actor and teacher went down in history under the later changed name of Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold. Museum exhibits tell about his life and work. And in the current theater, the main focus is the staging of experimental performances, based on Meyerhold’s scientific developments.
Penza and the sights of the city.
Clear lines, impeccable proportions, strict symmetry – this discreet classical building fits perfectly into the architectural ensemble of Sobornaya Square. Its facade is decorated in the center by a portico with pilasters and a triangular pediment, flanked by Italian and semi-circular windows.
Meyerhold House in Penza
Over its long history, this small building in the center of Penza has managed to be a manor house, a museum and an experimental theater. It was built almost 140 years ago, and until the end of the 19th century the manor was home to Vsevolod Meyerhold’s family.
The Globe Monument
An unusual monument of the Soviet era stands at the intersection of three Penza streets. In the early 70s a transport ring was created here, and they decided to fill the empty space in the center with some impressive artifact.
Moscow Street in Penza
The main street of Penza, without a doubt, can be called Moscow Street, located in the historic center. First, it is one of the oldest streets of the city, and secondly, Moscow Street is pedestrian. So if you come to Penza, be sure to walk along the local Arbat.
Single Painting Museum in Penza
One Painting Museum in Penza is one of the most famous and most visited attractions of the city. There is no analogues in Russia and in the world. People come to the One Painting Museum to focus their attention on a single piece of art.
Accreditation, extensive experience with groups, excellent reviews, in English and Russian. Comfortable transportation, accommodation, national cuisine.
Monument “The Original Settler”
The most famous symbol of Penza appeared in the city in 1980, the monument “Pervoposelenets” was established above the river Sura at the initiative of a local public and party figure G. Myasnikov. His ancestors were peasants and soldiers, and one of them was directly involved in the founding of the city.
Belinsky Park in Penza
Belinski Park is one of the oldest parks in our country. It traces its history back to 1821. At that time the Emperor Alexander I issued a decree on improvement of cities. Following it, it was necessary to ennoble provincial cities.
Penza Cathedral Mosque
This religious building grew out of a house, built in the center of Penza more than 130 years ago. At the end of the 19th century city resident Habib Jamal Tenisheva bought a small two-story mansion from the merchant Tikhomirov to fulfill his vows.
Penza Botanical Garden
The botanical garden of Penza impresses not by its size, but by its diversity: here in a small area there are 1500 species of plants from all over the world. It was created in 1917 by members of the local society of lovers of natural history. Volunteers – schoolchildren, students and teachers – helped to plant trees and shrubs.
Little Penza boasts the largest zoo in the Volga region: it occupies 10 hectares in the city center and is located on the territory of the old bishop’s garden. The zoo was created in 1981 to preserve rare and endangered animal species, and its first inhabitants were three brown bears.
A tour is creativity, not only for the guides, but also for the guests: you can be not just a spectator, but also a “second director”. Ask any questions, address various requests – thanks to them the walk will only become more interesting!
Penza Museum of Folk Art
In the 19th century, one of the most common crafts in Penza was woodcarving, and today Penza is distinguished from neighboring cities by its well-preserved wooden houses with openwork facades. The most beautiful of them since 1975 is occupied by the Museum of Folk Art.
Penza is so fond of wooden architecture that it has preserved not only carved houses and mansions, but also a unique wooden planetarium – there is no other of this in the world. It is located in the Park of Culture and Rest named after Belinsky and occupies a building built back in 1928 for the National Observatory.
Penza Circus can be called a landmark of Russia. The fact is that Penza is the birthplace of the Russian national circus. The very first stationary circus appeared here on December 25, 1873, thanks to entrepreneurs and artists Nikitin brothers.
Traffic light tree in Penza
In Penza square there is an unusual art object – a traffic light tree. This attraction appeared quite recently. The idea of a traffic light tree is simple – new traffic lights were installed in the city, and the old ones were collected and combined into one “work of art”.
Spassky Cathedral in Penza
In the heart of Penza in the middle of the 17th century was a wooden church of Savior – the same age of the city, founded in 1663 Later it was replaced by another wooden building, and at the turn of the 18-19 centuries here was built a majestic stone cathedral with a high bell tower.
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Dr. Dapertutto Theatre
The youngest and most unusual theater in Penza fits in the former living room of an old wooden house, and there are only 8 actors on stage. It owes its name to the pseudonym of Vsevolod Meyerhold, which he borrowed from Hoffmann’s character.
Dormition Cathedral in Penza
Above the age-old trees of the Myronositsky Cemetery in Penza for over 100 years towers the domes of the Cathedral of the Assumption. The majestic building was erected here in 1905. After the revolution it was not closed, and given to the renovationists – dissenters who recognized the new government.
Church of the Transfiguration in Penza
Transfiguration Church is interesting because it is the oldest building in Penza. Its history goes back to the 17th century. In 1689 at this place was built the Transfiguration Monastery.
Penza – a small cozy town, which is an amazing combination of tranquility, leisurely pace of the province and an impressive number of interesting cultural sites. It is pleasant to walk along the old streets, looking at the sights of Penza. By the way, it is one of the greenest cities in Russia. Almost from any neighborhood in the city you can walk to the forest in 20-30 minutes.
You can start your journey through Penza from Moskovskaya Street. This is one of the main attractions of Penza – the local Arbat. On the pedestrian street be sure to pay attention to the giant thermometer and cuckoo clock. Near these art objects in Penza is customary to make appointments. Ahead of you waits Fountain Square, on which is musical and colorful fountain. It now seems to tourists unpretentious and unpretentious, but once it was considered almost the main attraction of Penza. After all, it was the only musical fountain in the country!
To see the whole city and the sights of Penza from a bird’s eye view, go to the park Belinsky for the attraction “Ferris wheel”.
If you want to learn more about Penza and its history, then it is worth checking out the local museums, of which there are plenty. The most famous and popular is the One Painting Museum named after Myasnikov. Myasnikov. It does not have the usual exhibitions with a large number of works of art. This museum always exhibits just one painting, but it is only the masterpieces of painting. In addition, you should also visit the Savitsky Art Gallery. Savitsky.
Among the attractions of Penza are architectural monuments. One of the most beautiful buildings of the city is Meat Passage, located on Moskovskaya Street, 85. This house is over a hundred years old – it was built in the late 19th century.
Penza sights will delight any tourist. If you are a theatergoer, you can visit the State Museum and Theater “Meyerhold House. Here you can learn about the life and work of the famous Meyerhold. In addition, within the walls of this building are created experimental performances. Historians will certainly be interested in the house-museum of Klyuchevsky. This is the first museum in Russia, devoted to a famous scientist. The complex consists of two small wooden houses. In the first one lived Kliuchevsky himself with his family, in the second – the family of his neighbors Shevirevs.
Penza is rich in interesting monuments. For example, there is Russia’s only monument to the district police officer. The sculpture is located on Nekrasova Street. Landmarks – buildings of riot police, traffic police and the Department of Internal Affairs. You can’t miss it. By the way, this monument is dedicated to a specific person – the legendary Penza policeman Grigory Shelkov. He worked in the city in the 1950-60s.
“Pervoposelenets” – a sculpture in honor of the founders and first residents of Penza. It was installed on Kirov Street back in 1980, the occasion was the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kulikovo. No less interesting is the sculpture “Farewell”, dedicated to the participants of the Great Patriotic War. The picture of a family saying goodbye to their father, leaving for the front, cannot but touch. By the way, the monument is set in the Soviet square not by chance. This is where the recruitment center was, from which in 1941-45 had gone to war more than 6 thousand citizens and residents of the Penza region.
Many tourists like to take pictures against the background of the so-called Rostok – 25 meters tall Monument of Glory, 1967. You can also take interesting photos with another attraction of Penza – Traffic Light Tree. It is located near the railway station.
Among the attractions of Penza should be noted the Drama Theater named after Lunacharsky. It is notable for being one of the first theaters in our country. Theatrical premieres in the city are going back to 1793! And the first theater in Penza appeared in 1896.
If you have free time, you should go to the Lermontov Tarkhany museum-reserve, located in Belinsky district, in the village of Lermontovo. The museum complex was created in 1939 and contains a huge number of interesting exhibits related to the life and works of Lermontov. In early July, the estate traditionally hosts a holiday dedicated to the great poet.
If you are traveling with children, you will certainly be interested in the zoo, which operates in the city since 1981. Another “children’s” attraction of Penza – small railroad. However, it is located on the outskirts, near the village of Sosnovka – Oktyabrskaya Street, 6.