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Travel portal
Nizhny Novgorod region
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You've probably already heard about the Arzamas literary circle, the Arzamas geese, the Arzamas onions, about Leo Tolstoy’s Arzamas horror, and even about Arkady Gaidar, who spent his childhood here. Maxim Gorky spent time in exile here, the famous itinerant artist Perov studied here, and Pushkin, Catherine the Great, Suvorov have all visited at one time or other. Once there were more than thirty churches alone here, and the saying about one eye on us, the other on Arzamas has spread far and wide. You can come here just for a day-trip, but bear in mind that there are also a lot of interesting things in the Arzamas district, so you may want to stay here longer.


Nearly 200 cultural heritage sites
Nearly 200 cultural heritage sites
Arzamas is the only city in the Nizhny Novgorod region to have the status of a historical settlement of federal significance. There are 180 cultural heritage sites here, of which 76 are of national importance.
Erzya and the "native land"
Erzya and the "native land"
Arzamas was founded on the site of the ancient Mordovian settlement of Erzya. Translated from the Erzya language, the name Arzamas means "native land". The name of the city is also associated with the names of the two brothers Arzai and Masai who, according to one legend, welcomed Ivan the Terrible with gifts, and were the first to adopt the Orthodox faith.
The Russian Joan of Arc
The Russian Joan of Arc
Alyona Arzamasskaya is known as one of the most prominent female rebels in Russian history. During Stepan Razin’s peasant uprising, she abandoned monasticism to lead a detachment of 700 people. The warrior herself was burnt at the stake, which earned her the title of the Russian Joan of Arc among historians.
The Arzamas literary circle
The Arzamas literary circle
Arzamas is the name of a literary circle whose participants included Batyushkov, Vyazemsky, the Turgenev brothers, the young Pushkin, and many other illustrious literary figures. The connection with the city was not limited to its name only: the goose, the symbol of Arzamas, was depicted on the society’s emblem. Each meeting of the circle also featured a goose, only this time in roasted form. The members of the circle called themselves "geese", while the honorary members were known as "honorary geese".
The city of 33 churches
The city of 33 churches
Arzamas was called the "city of 33 churches". By the beginning of the 19th century, there were 33 churches and four monasteries here, and in the 20th century, before the revolution, there were 36 temples in Arzamas. Today there are around 22, including the monastic sites. Arzamas’s most ancient monastery is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, founded in 1556. The preserved Spassky Cathedral was the city’s first stone building.
Slept through the visit of the Empress
Slept through the visit of the Empress
A throne made by Arzamas craftsmen especially for Catherine the Great for her visit to the city has been preserved in Arzamas. The throne is part of a unique exhibition at the country’s only Museum of the Russian Patriarchate. It is a known historical fact that the residents of Arzamas missed the arrival of the tsarina in 1767 as they were asleep. Catherine arrived in the city late at night, and found them sleeping there in the field where they had been waiting for their guest since the morning. The Empress named Arzamas the “sleepy city".
The Stupin School
The Stupin School
In 1802, Russia’s first provincial art school was opened in Arzamas. Its founder was Alexander Vasilyevich Stupin. Many masters studied at the school who were to go on to make their contributions to Russian painting and architecture, above all Vasily Perov, the creator of such famous paintings as "The Troika" and "Hunters at a Halt".
The Goose Capital
The Goose Capital
At the end of the 17th century a special, elite breed of goose was created in Arzamas. Catherine the Great herself named Arzamas the "goose capital”. Initially, the breed was produced exclusively for fighting, although since the 19th century large Arzamas geese have also been considered to be the best breed for meat. They were sent to Moscow for hunting, and in order to prevent injury to the bird's feet, the people of Arzamas used their own invention: they poured molten resin onto the ground, drove the geese into it, and then drove them into fine sand. Such "well-shod" geese could easily withstand life on the road, and reached not only Moscow and St Petersburg, but even as far as Paris according to some rumours. Incidentally, the Russian expression lapchaty gus’ ("a goose with paws") owes its origin to Arzamas.
The Arzamas onion
The Arzamas onion
Arzamas residents were called not only goose breeders, but also onion farmers. In this area, they cultivated their own special Arzamas onion variety since the 17th century. The Arzamas onion was of such high quality that it became famous far beyond the region: in Soviet times, almost 25% of the total amount of onions in the country was grown in the Arzamas region, and the variety still exists to this day.
A match for Nizhny Novgorod
A match for Nizhny Novgorod
In the middle of the 18th century, the population of Arzamas was almost equal to that of Nizhny Novgorod. For an entire "golden" century, the Russian intelligentsia would visit Arzamas with great interest, and education at the local school was considered no worse than that which was available in the capital. At that time, industry and trade were actively flourishing, with the most important trade routes passing through the city. Arzamas’s current population is around 104,000 people.


Begin your walking tour of Arzamas from Sobornaya (“Cathedral”) Square
It is simply impossible to pass by the huge Cathedral of the Resurrection, which is one of the largest religious buildings in provincial Russia. It was erected as a monument to the Patriotic War of 1812, and was built using public donations over a period of 28 years. The place is also unique in and of itself, with a wooden iconostasis bedecked with elegant carvings, and paintings depicting evangelical themes, created using the grisaille technique by students of the Arzamas school of painting. The cathedral has been recently restored, and is a definite must see!
The Museum of the History of the Russian Patriarchate
This is the only museum in the world whose exhibitions are entirely devoted to the life of the Russian patriarchs. If you are lucky enough to get the right guide, you can certainly spend a couple of hours here.
Nearby, have a delicious and inexpensive bite to eat at the Rus cafe
Soup, mashed potatoes, meat cutlets, kholodets with mustard, and if you’re not in the mood for a big lunch, then just have a pot of tea with one of the locally made desserts. There is a wide range of dishes on offer, but everyone recommends the swan eclairs, or the selection of pies with onion, egg, or liver. Once you’ve topped up, you can be on your way again.
Take a snap with the Arzamas goose
The goose is the symbol of Arzamas, and the local geese were always plump and hardy. The goose is such an important bird that it is depicted on the coat of arms of the Arzamas district. You can take a picture with the city’s first city goose near the Reavil restaurant, which boasts a large selection of Russian cuisine, or with a whole gaggle of geese at the literary crossroads, but more on that later.
Don’t miss the interesting urban architecture
Arzamas is a fine example of a provincial town with unique civil buildings from the first half of the 19th century. One of the most intriguing is Khanykov’s House, an unusual example of wooden classicism, with wooden columns as its distinguishing feature.
Still more museums, but definitely interesting!
Arzamas has two Arkady Gaidar museums, a literary one and a house museum. They are very close to each other, so we recommend that you go to both at once. In the literary museum you can see manuscripts, photographs, along with the personal belongings of Gaidar himself, Bazhov, the Strugatsky brothers (you may be surprised to learn that they were all related), as well as finding out the secret of the origin of the writer's pseudonym. In the house museum, there is a small wing where Arkady spent his childhood and youth. There is a wonderful atmosphere here, you will find yourself completely immersed in that era.
Take a break at the literary crossroads
This intersection is so named because both the Gaidar Museum and the Gorky Museum are located here. Giant mushrooms, along with sculptures of a flock of geese, which tourists rub for good luck, immediately draw the eye. If you have time, pay a visit to the house where Maxim Gorky lived with his family when he was in exile. A special post was even set up in front of his apartment, from which the police kept a record of everyone who visited the writer. Today there is a museum dedicated to the writer here, and it was in this very place that he finished his play "The Lower Depths", and wrote the famous slogan "Man - that sounds proud!". If you didn’t get enough Gorky in Nizhny Novgorod, then you can learn more about him in Arzamas.
Probably the most fashionable place in the city: Gaidar Park.
The finest architects have been working on the renovated park for more than a year. There is a fairground, a sports alley with areas for team games and exercise, and a play area with Star of Gaidar artworks, where you must definitely take a picture or two. The community centre holds regular master classes, and the arboretum, which is located right in the park, grows over a hundred species of plants from all over the world. A very pleasant place to go for a walk!
Admire the Arzamas-1 Railway Station
Particularly if you are leaving Arzamas by train! The 120-year old station was recently restored, and in the evenings it is elegantly illuminated and it seems that all this is somewhere in Europe.
Take a trip to Peshelan
We have already warned you that the Arzamas district is quite large, and you don’t have to restrict yourself to the city limits. As an example, you can visit the only museum of its kind located in an operating mine: the Peshelan Museum of Mining, Geology and Speleology. The museum covers around 3 000 square metres, and features eight halls where you can see for yourself how gypsum is extracted, as well as casting your eye over around 300 rock samples. An important note: children under the age of 14 are not allowed in the museum!


The Cathedral of the Resurrection
Arzamas, 19 Sobornaya Square

A monument to the Patriotic War of 1812, and one of the largest temples in provincial Russia, with gorgeous monochrome frescoes.

Gostiny Ryad
Arzamas, Gostiny Ryad St.

Almost the only shopping street in Russia located at the top of a mountain.

Khanykov’s House
Arzamas, 21 Sovetskaya St.

An unusual example of wooden classicism with a characteristic feature: wooden columns.

Shkarin's House
Arzamas, 1 Uritskogo St.

Known popularly as the "iron house".

The twin houses of the Budylin merchants
Arzamas, 4 Sobornaya Square

They may seem to be imposing stone buildings, but in fact they are completely wooden, only their facades are made of stone.

The Museum of the History of the Russian Patriarchate
Arzamas, 1A Sobornaya Square

The only museum in the world whose exhibits are dedicated to the life of the Russian patriarchs.

Working hours
Tuesday–Friday, 10:00-17:00, Saturday–Sunday, 10:00-19:00.
The Museum of History and Art
Arzamas, Sobornaya Square, 9

The museum's collection features over 30 000 exhibits, as well as paintings and graphical works from Alexander Stupin’s first provincial school of painting.

Working hours
Daily, 09:00-17:00; Wednesday: closed
The monument to Alexander Stupin
Arzamas, Yuri Gagarin Square

A monument dedicated to the founder of Russia’s very first provincial art school, which produced many famous painters, including Vasily Perov.

The A.M. Gorky Memorial Museum
Arzamas, 17 Karl Marx St.

The writer lived in this house with his family while in exile, and it was here that he finished his play "The Lower Depths”.

Working hours
Daily, 09:00-17:00; Monday: closed
The A.P. Gaidar Literary Museum
Arzamas, 18 Gorky St.

Here you can see contemporary editions of the writer’s books, and a special place is afforded to family heirlooms: a carriage clock, a Colt pistol, a cigarette case, and much more besides.

Working hours
Daily, 09:00-17:00; Monday: closed
The A.P. Gaidar Memorial and House Museum
Arzamas, 18 Gorky St.

The exhibition here is located in the authentically furnished house of the bourgeoisie Babaykina, where you can see how life was in the early 20th century where the writer spent his childhood and youth.

Working hours
Daily, 09:00-17:00; Monday: closed
The House of Tolstoy’s "Arzamas horror"
Arzamas, 16 Lenin St.

It is difficult to call this a landmark, since visually it is a house like any other, but Leo Tolstoy once stayed here. During his overnight stay in 1869, the writer was seized with an inexplicable fear of death, which he described subsequently in his work "Notes of a Madman".

The Arzamas water tower
Arzamas, 31 Kalinin St.

An object of cultural heritage, this tower, built in 1911, as one of the structures of the first Arzamas water pipeline from the sources of the Wet Ravine.

The Gaidar Park of Culture and Recreation
Arzamas, Parkovaya St.

The main photo spot of the city, with fine landscaping, and there is also an arboretum, boasting over a hundred species of plants from all over the world across an area of 12 hectares.

Working hours
+7 (831 47) 2-10-05
Memorial to the victims of the Arzamas station explosion
Arzamas, 1 Vedernikov St.

A memorial listing the names of those who were killed in the explosion of a carriage near the station, with a chapel and a monument with a clock that shows the time of the disaster at 9:32.

The Nikolaevsky Convent
Arzamas, 1 Sobornaya Square

One of Russia’s oldest monasteries, founded at the end of the 16th century.

Tverdov's house
Arzamas, 12 Verkhnyaya Embankment St.

The house of the Arzamas treasurer, with columns made of ship pine, a characteristic type of noble manor building for Arzamas at that time.

Arzamas I Railway station
Arzamas, 16A Stationskaya St.

The station has a century-old history, an updated forecourt, comfortable wooden benches and charging stations for your gadgets.

The Arzamas Valenok Museum
Arzamas district, Krasnoe Village, 26 1st of May Square

A thematic museum in the "capital" of the Arzamas valenok, or felt boot. At the entrance you can see the largest valenok in Russia, with a height of 3.2 metres.

Working hours
Daily, 10:00-18:00; Monday: closed
The Peshelan Museum of Mining, Geology and Speleology
Arzamas district, Bebyaevo Village

A unique museum for Russia, located not just 70 metres underground, but in the operating mine of the Peshelan gypsum plant.

The Eiffel Tower and Tower Bridge (The Miniature Park)
Arzamas, 6 May 9 St.

A small miniature park where you can find the Eiffel Tower, scaled down 40 times, Tower Bridge, a replica of the Easter Island statue, and a red telephone booth from the streets of London.

The Safari Zoo and Jurassic Park
Arzamas district, Bebyaevo Village

Come to see the ostriches, llamas, camels, deer, as well as a prehistoric world with inhabitants who walked the Earth more than 65 million years ago.

The Afanasy Exhibition Centre
Arzamas district, Peshelan Village

Exhibits include Khokhloma, Gorodetskaya, and Semenovskaya murals, Kazak filigree work, Chkalovsky guipure (Venice lace) and much more besides. Here you can buy unique souvenirs and participate in various master classes.

Working hours
Monday–Friday, 08:00-17:00, Saturday–Sunday, 09:00-18:00
Visit to the “Crafts” exhibition (full price) + souvenir magnet: 60 rubles
Visit to the “Crafts” exhibition (concession) + souvenir magnet: 40 rubles
Visit to the “Crafts” exhibition (for holders of the "Pushkin card") + souvenir magnet: 40 rubles
Afanasy Shopping Centre tour + souvenir magnet: 150 rubles
Plaster figure painting master class: 150 rubles
Rock art master class: 250 rubles.
The Drama Theatre
Arzamas, 35 Kirov St.

The Arzamas Drama Theatre opened in 1943, and features a diverse repertoire ranging from Chekhov's "The Seagull" to the knockabout "Masha and Vitya against ‘The Wild Guitars’".

Working hours
+7 (831 47) 7-34-52
The Church of the "Life-giving Spring" Icon of the Mother of God
Arzamas, 20 Sobornaya Square

Built in 1794, this church is constructed in a transitional architectural style combining elements of Baroque and classicism.

The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery
Arzamas, 2 Krasnaya Militsiya St.

This monastery was founded around the middle of the 16th century, and for many years the city archive was located here.

Working hours
+7 (831 47) 9-57-30
Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God
Arzamas, 20A Sobornaya Square

A brick church built in 1792 in the classical style as a winter temple at the Vozdvizhenskaya Church.

Restaurant "Reaville"
Arzamas, 10 Karl Marx St.

The most expensive and chic restaurant in the city is located in the basement of the hotel of the same name, and specialises in Russian cuisine.

Working hours
Cafe "Rus"
Arzamas, 17 Sobornaya Square

A great place for an inexpensive snack, with a menu featuring home cooking and a large selection of desserts.

Working hours
Daily, 08:00-20:00
Spasskoye Lake
Arzamas, Lenin St.

The lake which is linked to the legend of the sunken church.

How to get there