3. Walking about in the city.

For more than 100 years after its foundation Penza was growing without any plan. Wooden houses were built on any suitable free land. The first plan for building in the city was affirmed as late as 1785. According to the plan, poor people were to move to the outskirts of the city, whereas sites in the center of the town were to be occupied by rich people.

The first stone houses emerged in Penza during the last decade of the 18th century.

From 1801 to 1928 Penza was the administrative center of the Penza region. The region was restored in 1939.

Considerable growth of the city started in the second half of the 19th century. Serfdom had been abolished in Russia at that time.

Several railway lines were laid across the Penza region from 1874 to 1896. They had so much influence on the development of the city that a water pipe was put into operation there in 1898. Here are some pictures of Penza of that time:

However, Penza remained a provincial town with little industry until the Great October Socialist Revolution. At present, almost 80 years after this historical event, it is apparent that Penza has not been transformed into a capital even after the Revolution. Nevertheless, industry has become more advanced in Penza. A success has also been achieved as regards housing. There were 18.5 square meters of living space per person in 1994. The city has grown: 160,000 people lived in Penza in 1939, while 546,500 lived here in 1994.

Some sites of Penza are comfortable and nice, especially if you visit them in dry and sunny weather. Some prospects of the city can be seen below:

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© 1996, A.Tikhonov & R.Felixov, Penza - Some pages of Russian history.