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Lermontov State Museum-Reserve


Pyatigorsk State reserve museum n. a. Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, established in 1912, is one of the oldest reserve literature museums of Russia. The acquaintance with the museum begins in Literature section. It’s a former house of general Petr Semyonovich Verzilin, who was a head of Caucasus Cossack maneuver troops. Lermontov had been here often during summer 1841. On the threshold of this house, he was challenged on the duel by Martynov. An exhibition is dedicated to “Lermontov at the Caucasus” motive, but what you should expect to learn about is the role that the poet played in the history of Russian literature.


Lermontov’s house in Pyatigorsk is one of the most valuable monuments of national culture. In 1912 the very first Lermontov Museum was founded here and now it is the main part of our state museum. This little house was rented by Lermontov and his relative A.A. Stolypin during the summer season of 1841. The owner of the estate back at the time was V.I. Chilayev. The last two months of the poet’s life were spent in this house (from May, 14/26 to July, 15/27 1841). R.I. Dorokhov, M.L. Glebov, L.S. Pushkin (poet's brother), A.I. Arnoldi, M.A. Nazimov, S.V. Trubetskoy and others were frequent guests at Lermontov’s summer house. In those days dear friends were having hot disputes, friendly feasts, preparations for the ball at the grotto of Diana. On July, 15/27 Lermontov and Martynov were fighting each other on a duel. After poet’s tragic death his body was brought to this house and in two days the funeral was held. Lermontov’s personal belongings he had with him that summer was a notebook of the poet’s recent works: "The Rock", "The Dream", "An Oak Leaf", "I went out alone towards the road", "No, I do not love you so ardently", "The Prophet " and others. The Lermontov’s summer house, as they started to call it after the death of the poet, is truly authentic: it has been well preserved, its walls have never been destroyed. A memorial plaque at the entrance was installed in 1884. It was received as a gift from the playwright A.N. Ostrovsky. The complete restoration and renovation of the House, its reed roof and the decor of the rooms was organized by the museum in 1964-1967.


Fellow Grodno soldiers M. Y. Lermontov, A.I. Arnoldi and the artist R.K. Swede lived in this house that was owned by Umanov. The Decembrists N.I. Lorer, M.A. Nazimov, A.I. Vegelin and others were also staying at this house sometimes.

A.I. Arnoldi was among the four fellow soldiers who carried the coffin of Lermontov to the grave that was situated at the foot of Mashuk mountain. A few days later after the funeral he made a sketch of the porch of the house and the place of his initial burial. Artist R.K. Shwede also made a pencil portrait of Lermontov at his deathbed.

In his notes (1870-80) A.I. Arnoldi writes "... We very soon founda niceplace to stay which we rented from the owner, the commandant Uman. The house was standing at the foot of Mashuk mountains ... Tyran settled down in the courtyard of the house, facing to Mashuk, Lermontov and Stolypin lived next to us, and after them Glebov and Martynov. From our gallery we could see a magnificent view: the city of Pyatigorsk lay as if at our feet, and it was possible to glance over the vast area through which the river Podkumok ran in dozens of branches ...

July, 15. The weather is amazing, it is 8 in the morning and I am on a hourseback on my way to Zheleznovodsk. It must be said that three days before that Lermontov, riding a gray horse in a Circassian costume, got close to the only open window of our room, where I was painting at that moment, and said goodbye to me, because he was leaving for Zheleznovodsk. Later I learned that his quarrel with Martynov had already taken place and he had accepted the duel call from Martynov... ".

Right now in five rooms of the house there is an exposition of artworks devoted to Lermontov. The collection of works is provided by the State Museum-Reserve M.Y. Lermontov in Pyatigorsk. Paintings, drawings, sculptures of this collection cover the period from 1841 to the present day. This exposition also contains some household items of Lermontov, Arnoldi and their friends who paid them a visit in Pyatigorsk.


A famous Russian composer Alexander Alyabyev lived in this building from May to September of 1832.

According to a remaining building plan, the house was restored in 1996-1997. On December 25th, 1997, there was a grand opening of the Alyabyev’s House, which from that moment on became a part of the Lermontov State Museum. Today, Alyabyev's House is an integral part of the Lermontov reserve quarter in the city of Pyatigorsk.

In 1832 Alexander Alyabyev, being a political exile, came to Caucasus for a mineral water treatment. The time of his banishment turned out to be arapid growth of his artwork.

“Mystery” is one of Alabyev’s romances, written on the verses of Alexander Veltman, was created by the composer while his stay at the house. The musical manuscript of the romance dates back to June 17th, 1832. Ukrainian folk songs arranged for voice and piano were also made in Pyatigorsk; these songs were later put together into his first compilation of Ukrainian musical folklore.

"Caucasian Singer" – this is how Alyabyev would later call his sheet music collection about the Caucasus. Its cover will be decorated with an image of Mashuk mountain and a picturesque view of Pyatigorsk.

The composer’s sheet music manuscripts are full of sketches of Caucasian dances, national songs and choirs. During his life he also wrote the song "Circassian" on the lyrics of his brother, Vasily Alyabyev and composed some music for Alexander Pushkin’s poem "Prisoner".

Such masterpieces as “French Quadrille on Asian Songs”, two “Caucasian Mazurkas”, the opera “Ammulat-Beck” were based on the themes of Caucasian song folklore. “Ammulat-Beck” is the first Caucasian opera in the music history of the world, it was based on the story of A. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky.


Stavropol Krai