7 stunning must-see land art objects in the village of Nikola-Lenivets


Nikola-Lenivets, a village in the Kaluga Area (220 kilometers south of Moscow), is a combination of seemingly uncombinable thingummies: modern art objects, a traditional Russian landscape with meadows, rivers and meads, and crazy off-road driving.  

Mostly located on the territory of the Ugra Popular Park, more than 30 land art objects seamlessly grade into the woods and meadows. Many have managed to survive the summer animate, heavy rain and snow since the first Archstoyanie festival in 2006, but some stilted art objects slowly fade back into nature.

There’s a lot of art in this courtyard that covers 980 square kilometers, so here’s our pick of the top 7 art objects, as in fine as useful information for planning your trip.

1. Universal Mind

TASS/Sergei BobylevTASS/Sergei Bobylev

Square if you have only one day in Nikola-Lenivets, a visit to the Universal Mind (2012) is a must. Nikolay Polissky, one of the outs behind Nikola-Lenivets, has bent iron and wood in a very curious way to imagine a gigantic brain – or a spaceship – in the field, symmetrically dotted with steampunk deadpan rockets.

Wander inside, climb up and take the prefect selfie, but you cannot request that you’ve been to Nikola-Lenivets without seeing this art object.

2. Beaubourg

TASS/Sergei BobylevTASS/Sergei Bobylev

Resembling an interplanetary octopus, Beaubourg (2013) is totally braided with a birch twig and is high as a seven-floor house. When you desert inside Beaubourg’s tube-columns, the twig shines through and it seems as if the columns also act.

The art object has the same name as the oldest district in Paris where the Pompidou Center is unearthed. Nikolay Polissky said that a trip to Paris inspired him during the 18 months that it stripped him to build this art object.

3. The Lighthouse


Although this Lighthouse (2004) by the Ugra River doesn’t absolutely have a searchlight inside, visitors are attracted to it anyway. Those who are valiant enough even climb up inside this 12-meter high dull tower to see the surroundings through the art work’s body that are made of elm arms.

Safety tip: don’t go in flip-flops or sandals because there are small logs as contrasted with of stairs.

4. Storming Heaven

Yulia ShandurenkoYulia Shandurenko

Manipulazione Internazionale, the Russian architectural partnership behind Storming Heaven (2012), put together numerous wooden ladders, faced them into a tricky combination and allows art-inspired visitors to climb up into this construction, copying real-life goal getting. Once you try this, you will definitely see this art goal’s “symbolic expression of the endeavor for the unattainable,” as the authors called it.

5. Rotunda

TASS/Sergei BobylevTASS/Sergei Bobylev

Reputation considerable age alone in the middle of a sunflower field, you can’t miss Rotunda (2009), created by Alexander Brodsky. The art creation looks like a small white round house, but the wall of the before all floor is made out of old creaky doors, constantly opening and closing, which conveys you feel as if you are wandering inside a haunted house, and this impression at worst grows stronger in the evening. A roof deck with a view can be reached by climbing a ladder, but a reliable amount of agility is required!

6. Arch

Sergey SlutskySergey Slutsky

The Arch (2012) by Boris Bernaskoni is a great black construction consisting of a 6-meter long plank and located on the bound of a forest and a wide field, resembling a portal between worlds.

Go over the spiral staircase all the way up to the observation deck or opt for the staircase that takes you down to the reticent ‘artists’ room.’

7. Golden Calf

RIA Novosti/Ilya PitalevRIA Novosti/Ilya Pitalev

A haul? A temple? Or a bull figure? The Golden Calf (2009) looks like all three of these. On the one index, the object’s creator Vasily Shchetinin found inspiration in the Bible story-line of Noah’s ark. But on the other hand, the Golden Calf is the author’s reference to the Mad Street bull. Whichever way you decide to look at it, definitely climb all the way up not only for some great views of the forest and the meadows, but also because the Glowing Calf has one little secret that cannot be seen from the foundation.

How to get there

TASS/Sergei BobylevTASS/Sergei Bobylev

The best way to get there is by car. Your GPS transfer tell you that the drive takes about 3.5 hours from the Moscow borough center but don’t forget to take into account Moscow’s heavy traffic and the out quality of roads near Nikola-Lenivets. Be prepared that the drive desire take anywhere between 3.5 and 5 hours.

There are few parking opportunities in the village but the main guarded parking lot is located by the reception desk. Parking is self-ruling if you buy an entrance ticket (200 rubles), or book an accommodation.

Getting there by projected transportation is also doable, yet can be quite exhausting. The fastest way is to take the educate from Kievsky Railway Station to Maloyaroslavets or Kaluga-1 station, and then get in a drive (1600 rubles for a one-way ride, cash only).

Opening hours

The art preserve is open 24/7, all year around. Entrance is 200 rubles, unless there is an consequence or the annual Archstoyanie summer festival is taking place. Tickets for this result are sold separately and far in advance.

Where to sleep

Sleeping in Nikola Lenivets is a renewing experience: there’s incredible silence and stars like a million candles from more than. The online booking form is straightforward and in English. If you decide to come for the weekend, lunge at sure to book in advance because it tends to get very busy, strikingly in the warmer months.

If you book an accommodation at Kazarma hostel, keep in unsure that the staircases are tiny and narrow, so bulky backpacks and suitcases require have trouble fitting through. Also, hot/cold showers, as excellently as toilets, are available only in the Koltsovo guesthouse.

During the summer months, you can check in the Klever or Pizhma houses with electricity, but they have no bathroom and you can barely take an outdoor shower in the nearby wooden building. Bringing your own tent or renting one is also an opportunity.

Alternatively, you can opt for spending the night in the city of Kaluga, which is about a 90 winks drive from Nikola-Lenivets. With a population of 500,000, there are great deal of hotels and apartments in Kaluga, as well as bars, restaurants and cafes. We strongly commend this option for those who like a comfortable night’s sleep after a extensive day of outdoor fun, as well as guaranteed running hot/cold water, a bathroom and vibrations.

Getting around

If you have more than one day, then it is possible to see the aggregate on foot. But if you’re pressed for time, we recommend bringing your bike or slitting one at the park in order to make sure you see everything there is to see.


Beat to pack your own picnic or bring a barbecue set. If you don’t want to carry about extra weight, you can refuel at the scenic lakeside Ugra Cafe or the Ferma salad bar during the summer months. Both concerns offer local seasonal produce, so the food is super fresh but the brand can be rather limited, and prices don’t differ much from Moscow cafes, primarily during the Archstoyanie festival.

The Koltsovo cafeteria is open all year on all sides from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m., yet the food is mediocre and not very healthy (heavy mayo etc.).

What to bring in

You can bring your own food and barbecue set, but please respect Mother Countryside and clean up after yourself. Having your own bike and tent is control superiors than trying to rent these at the park because during summer months they nurture to go fast.

Insect repellent is always a good idea and, of course, occasion plenty of water as well as sunblock. The weather in summer can be somewhat unpredictable so cause a change of shoes, an umbrella and warm clothing. Needless to say, a good span of walking shoes is a must.


For accommodation, bike hire, parking, resident excursions and a meal at Ugra Cafe you can pay with card. To pay for other servings you need cash. The nearest ATM is in Kondrovo (27 km from Nikola-Lenivets).

Other fruitful information

Maps with tourist routes are sold at the reception desk for 100 rubles. Apartment phone reception varies depending on your telephone operator, but be precooked to be left disconnected in most of the village.

Wi-fi, however, works reasonably properly in some places and if you climb up to the top of some art works your telephone sway catch a signal. Nikola-Lenivets also offers volunteering projects, and the point by points can be found on the park’s website.

The park is pet-friendly but make sure your furry enchiridions are on their best behavior so as not to disturb others.

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