Sights of Penza

Around Prospekt Pobedy

Archangel Michael's Chapel

  • 1 Ploshad Pobedy

Just behind the war memorial stands Archangel Michael's Chapel which was consecrated in 2000 and which held shortly afterwards a special service for all of Penza's war dead. It was constructed in the ancient cross-in-square Russian style of church architecture with barrel vaults and topped with a single dome. Read more »

War Memorial

  • Prospekt Pobedy

Penza's main war memorial is located on Victory Square on Prospekt Pobedy (Victory Prospect). The monument depicts a soldier next to a woman holding up a young child who in turn is holding aloft a branch. Also included in the memorial is an eternal flame. Further on along Prospekt Pobedy is a monument with a MiG plane taking off and a monument to Penza’s soldiers who fell in the Chechen War which takes the form of an unravelling star. Read more »

Around Ulitsa Karla Marksa

Ilya Ulyanov Museum and Ilya and Maria Ulyanov Monument

  • 54 Ulitsa Krasnaya
  • 10:00 - 16:30, daily except Mondays and Sundays.

Located in what was once the Penza Institute for the Nobility is a museum dedicated to Ilya Ulyanov, who worked here from 1855 to 1863 as a physics and maths teacher. As well as being a well-known teacher and school inspector, Ilya Ulianov was also the father of Vladimir Lenin. The museum has four halls dedicated to the social and educational life of 19th century Penza. A monument to Ilya Ulyanov and his wife Maria (Lenin's parents) was unveiled outside the institute in 1969. Read more »

Konstantin Savitsky Art Gallery of the Penza Region

  • 3 Ulitsa Sovetskaya
  • 10:00 - 18:00, daily except Thursdays

Penza's art gallery was opened in 1891 and now bears the name of artist Konstantin Savitsky who died in Penza in 1905. The gallery's collection contains works of art from Western Europe and Russia. In addition it has three memorial-halls dedicated to Konstantin Savitsky, Ivan Goryushkin-Sorokopudov and Aristarkh Lentulov. All three artists have connections with Penza or the Penza Region and have their work exhibited at the gallery. Read more »

Penza Regional Museum

  • 73 Ulitsa Krasnaya
  • 10:00 - 17:00, daily except Mondays and Tuesdays

The Penza Regional Museum comprises seven halls which have displays on the history, culture and nature of Penza and the Penza Region. The museum has exhibitions on ancient settlements in the region, the foundation of the city, civilian life in the city in the imperial period and Penza's military history. Also on display are fossils, including a gigantic skeleton of a mammoth, and stuffed versions of animals which can found in the Penza region. Read more »

Planetarium and Vladimir Lenin Monument

  • Ulitsa Boevaya Gora, Belinsky Central Park

Penza's planetarium in the Belinsky Central Park was built in 1928 as an observatory and later equipped as a planetarium in 1954. It was originally dedicated to Ilya Ulyanov (Lenin's father) who worked on a project in Penza to observe the Earth's atmosphere in 1855. The wooden building of the planetarium is now protected by the state. Outside is a statue of Vladimir Lenin. Read more »

Sovetskaya Ploschad and Mikhail Lermontov Gardens

  • Sovetskaya Ploshad

Mikhail Lermontov Gardens are located in between Ulitsa Karla Marksa and Ulitsa Lermontova on what is known as Sovetskaya Ploschad (Soviet Square).  The gardens are located in the south of the square and of course feature a bust of the great Russian writer. Saviour Cathedral and Eparchial Administration Originally the square was called Sobornaya Ploschad (Cathedral Square) as the Saviour Cathedral was located here until it was blown up by the Soviets in 1934.  Work begun on… Read more »

Around Ulitsa Kirova

Cuckoo Clock

  • park off Moskovskaya Ulitsa

Another of Penza's landmarks can be found in the park off Moskovskaya Ulitsa, which runs parrellell to Ulitsa Kirova.  It takes the form of a large cuckoo clock. The clock was installed in 1974 and immediately became popular among locals. The inspiration behind the monument is the clocks that were once produced at the famous clock factory in Serdobsk in the Penza Region. Read more »

First Settler Monument

  • next to 11 Ulitsa Kirova

All that remains of the fortress which marked the birth of the city of Penza are its mounds and a memorial-historical complex was opened here in 1980. The main feature is the First Settler Monument which depicts a settler in ancient Russian dress standing next to a stallion. The base of the monument features an inscription quoting the first written mention of Penza: “In the year 1663 it was ordered to build a city on the River Penza”. The viewing platform on which the settler… Read more »

Intercession Cathedral

  • 26 Ulitsa Chkalova

Previously a wooden church dedicated to the Intercession of the Virgin Mary stood here in what was the Old Dragoon Settlement where Russian dragoons were stationed to protect the city. In 1765 a stone cathedral was built in the baroque style and is now the city's only example of baroque church architecture. The cathedral was closed in 1931 and subsequently used as a cinema. By 1970 the cathedral was practically in ruins and restoration work was carried out. The cathedral was… Read more »

Museum of One Painting

  • 11 Ulitsa Kirova
  • 11:00 - 18:00, daily except Mondays and Thursdays.

The Museum of One Painting is a unique for the reason that it displays just one painting. The idea of the museum is to better acquaint people with masterpieces of Russian culture by showing a slide-film with further background information on the era in which the painting was painted and on the artist who painted it. Only then can the painting been viewed. The painting on display changes and has included Nikolai Ge's 'Peter the Great Interrogating Tsarevich Aleksei Petrovich at… Read more »

Rostok Monument

  • end of Ulitsa Slavy on the embankment of River Sura

On the bank of the River Sura stands a monument which has become a calling card of Penza. It is known as the Rostok Monument which means a shoot as the monument resembles a shoot emerging from the ground. It is dedicated to the military and labour feats of the people. Letters to future generations have been bricked up inside the monument's granite slab. Read more »

Transfiguration of the Saviour Church

  • 6A Ulitsa Spaso-Preobrazhenskaya

The Transfiguration of the Saviour Church was built between 1735 and 1750 originally as the cathedral of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery. However the location of the monastery proved to be unsuitable and so in 1794 the monastery was moved to a new location and its cathedral was demoted to a parish church. The Transfiguration of the Saviour Church was closed down by the Soviets in the 1930s whereas the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery was completely destroyed. The church's original… Read more »

Troitsky Convent

  • 25 Ulitsa Kirova

Penza's only convent is the Troitsky Convent which was established between 1689 and 1692 but closed between 1927 and 1994. Now two of the convent's churches survive, surrounded by the convent's wall. Holy Spirit Church The older of the two churches is the Holy Spirit Church, although due to its recent renovation it now looks newer than its younger neighbour. It was built between 1858 and 1859 and is rather simple in form with one dome. Trinity Church The Trinity Church dates… Read more »

Vissarion Belinsky Monument

  • Teatralnaya Ploshad

The great Russian literary critic Vissarion Belinsky lived in Chembar in the Penza Region, which was later renamed in his honour, and from 1825 to 1829 studied at Penza's Classical Gymnasium School No. 1 which now also bears his name. This monument to him was unveiled in 1954 on Tealtralnaya Ploschad (Theatre Square) opposite the Lunacharovsky Drama Theatre, which burned down in 2008 and was rebuilt in 2010. Read more »

Vladimir Lenin Monument

  • Ploschad Lenina

As with practically all Russian cities, Penza has its own statue of Vladimir Lenin. Penza's statue was unveiled in 1959 in front of the Administration Building of the Penza Region. The monument stands at six metres tall including the pedestal and depicts Lenin wearing a long coat with his hand in his pocket. Read more »

Around Ulitsa Kuibysheva

Penza Folk Art Museum

  • 45 Ulitsa Kuibysheva
  • 10:00 - 17:00, daily.

The Penza Folk Art Museum is housed in a beautifully decorated building which looks like something out of a fairy-tale and is one of Penza's most famous landmarks. The museum’s objective is to teach people about folk applied art and crafts so that the traditions can be kept alive. The museum exhibits examples of wood carvings, carpet weaving and ceramic, glass and knitted handicrafts. Read more »

St Mitrofan of Voronezh's Church

  • Ulitsa Novo-Tambovskaya

St Mitrofan of Voronezh's Church was consecrated in 1836. It is located in the Mitrofanovskoe Cemetery where several of Penza's most famous citizens are buried including artists Konstantin Savitsky and Ivan Goryushkin-Sorokoprudin. The church houses Penza's most revered relic - its copy of the Our Lady of Kazan Icon. According to legend the icon was given to the city upon its founding by Tsar Alexius and answered the prayers of citizens to protect them from during the Kuban Pogrom… Read more »

Around Ulitsa Pushkina

Afghan War Memorial

  • Ploschad Marshala Zhukova

In front of the Sura Palace of Water Sport on Ploschad Marshala Zhukova (Marshal Zhukov Square) is an Afghan War Memorial. The memorial complex was opened in 2010 and includes an eternal flame and an arch decorated with eight bronze reliefs. To the side there are flagstones listing the names of the soldiers from Penza who died in the conflict. Read more »

Dormition Eparchial Cathedral and Annunciation Church

  • 6 Ulitsa Zakharova

The red brick Dormition Eparchial Cathedral was completed in 1905 on the top of a hill making its five black domes visible from much of the city. In 1934 the cathedral was closed. However it was reopened in 1945 and became the city's eparchial cathedral as the previous eparchial cathedral - the Saviour Cathedral - was blown up by the communists in the 1930s. The cathedral houses the relics of St Innocent (Innokenti) of Penza, who became Penza's first saint in 2000. Annunciation… Read more »

Vasili Klyuchevsky Monument

  • 15 Ulitsa Plekhanova

Along with Nikolai Karamzin and Sergei Solovyov, Vasili Klyuchevsky is considered to be one of Russia's most reputable historians. He was born in the Penza Governorate in 1841. This monument to him was unveiled in 2008 and was the first ever monument dedicated to the outstanding Russian historian. Read more »

Vsevolod Meyerhold House-Museum and Centre of Theatrics

  • 59 Ulitsa Volodarskogo
  • 10:00 - 17:00. Closed on Mondays.

The great theatrical actor, director and producer Vsevolod Meyerhold was born in Penza and the house where the Meyerhold family lived was turned a memorial museum dedicated to Meyerhold in 1984. The interiors of several rooms have been restored to how they would have looked when the Meyerhold family lived there. Other rooms are dedicated to Meyerhold's career and display several personal items , as well as information on his imprisonment, torture and execution by firing squad by… Read more »