Penza is a city in the Russian Federation, an administrative center of Penza oblast. It is located on Privolzhskaya hill, on the river Sura (falls into the Volga River). The distance from Moscow is 709 km (by train), 629 km (by car - highway M5 Moscow - Chelyabinsk).
Penza has the population of 520,000 (2012), land area - 305 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 8412; the postal codes - 440000-440071.
Penza was founded in 1663 as a fortress. It was a fortress in the south-eastern part of Moscow state, built by the order of Tsar Alexey Mihailovich. In 1719, the town became a center of vice-gerency, in 1796 - of gubernia.
In 1797, Penza was a town in Saratovskaya gubernia. In 1801, it became a center of Penzenskaya gubernia, which included a part of current Republic of Mordovia with its capital.
In 1928, Penza - the center of Penzensky okrug of Srednevolzhsky region, in 1930 - a district center of Srednevolzhsky, then Kuybyshevsky region. In 1937 - a district town in Tambovskaya oblast (province), since 1939 - a center of Penzenskaya oblast.
Penza name origin
The name of the city is associated with the name of the river Penza, on the steep bank of which a fortress was built. River Penza had this name long before the settlement. There are several hypotheses about the origin of “Penza”.
According to one version, the name comes from the Indo-Iranian languages. Syllable “-za” means “water”, “river”, and the basis “Pe” - means “fire”.
According to another version, the name comes from the Ural language groups: Samoyed (Nenets) and Finno-Ugric (Erza), as well as ancient Mordovia male name Piyanza, Pyanza.
Penza economics, transportation
Main industries of Penza are machine- and equipment-building, electrical equipment building, electronic and optical equipment.
The city is a large railway junction. With the south it is connected with South-Eastern railway; with the north, west and east - with Kuybyshev railway.
The federal highway M5 “Ural” (Moscow - Chelyabinsk) crosses Penza. In the city the highway P209 Penza - Tambov starts, some km far from the city - the highway Saratov - Nizhny Novgorod.
Penza bus terminal is the largest in the region connecting city with district centers and neighboring regions centers.
In the southern outskirt of the city there is an airport (flights to Moscow).
Penza transportation consists of trolley-buses, buses and minivans. It is one of the largest cities in Russia which doesn’t have trams. According to city’s general plan construction of speedy tram is planned in the future.
The main pedestrian street of Penza is Moskovskaya street.