Visiting Russian Museums: Russian Homesteads
Russia’s cultural life has been eventful in all periods. Its representatives include renowned genius writers, artists, musicians and sculptors who left a vast heirloom of history, literature, painting and architecture.
Old homesteads transformed into museums are a veritable cultural treasure of Russia. Formerly the birthplaces of masterpieces – now the historic homesteads – represent the voice of their time. They are a remarkable and fascinating time machine.
Mikhailovskoe – Homestead of Alexander Pushkin
1 Bulvar imeni S. S. Geichenko, Pushkinskie Gory work settlement, Pushkinogorsky District, Pskov Oblast
+7(81146) 2-23-21, +7(81146) 2-26-09
The family estate of the Pushkins, where poet Alexander Pushkin spent his exile, was situated 130 km from the old Russian city of Pskov. In Mikhailovskoe he conceived such remarkable works as To the Sea, The Gypsies, Boris Godunov and others.more info: visitmuseums.ru
In 1899, the state acquired the homestead from Alexander Pushkin’s children and created the Pushkin Museum Reserve. Today its grounds covers more than 9,000 hectares. The Museum Reserve includes 93 cultural landmarks, including the homesteads of Mikhailovskoe, Trigorskoe and Petrovskoe. An archaeological collection is also available for viewing.
Khmelita – Homestead of Alexander Griboyedov
Khmelita village, Vyazemsky District, Smolensk Oblast
The State Historic, Cultural and Natural Museum Reserve is situated 37 km from the old city of Vyazma, in the village of Khmelita. It was founded in 1990 on the premises of the homestead of the noble Griboyedov family, which was frequently visited by the famous Russian writer Alexander Griboyedov.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The Museum territory comprises the manor house, the 18th century Kazan Church, and part of the preserved architectural ensemble of the park.
Spasskoye-Lutovinovo – Homestead of Ivan Turgenev
3 Muzeinaya St., Spasskoye-Lutovinovo village, Mtsensky District, Oryol Oblast
The homestead of Lutovinovs-Turgenevs was founded in the 17th century to the north of Oryol, 10 km from the Russian town of Mtsensk, in the village of Spasskoye. Over two centuries, the mother of the renowned Russian writer Ivan Turgenev was born and lived here. Ivan Sergeevich wrote many of his literary works in his family homestead.more info: visitmuseums.ru
In his memory, the house was reconstructed and the Museum Reserve was founded. The exhibition area of the Turgenev Museum exceeds 12,000 sq. m. The Museum comprises the family homestead, the Church of Transfiguration, the wing of the exiled, and ponds. Museum collections comprise more than 23,000 exhibits, featuring paintings, personal belongings of the writer and his ancestors, and an old Icon of Christ of Edessa.
Tarkhany – Homestead of Mikhail Lermontov
1/1 Bugor St., Lermontovo village, Belinsky District, Penza Oblast, Russia
+7(84153) 207-99, +7(84153) 356-01
Lermontov Museum Reserve Tarkhany, the former family homestead of the grandmother of the outstanding Russian writer, is located almost 250 km from Penza. Lermontov stayed here as a child. The Museum Reserve was founded in 1939. Its grounds cover 196 hectares; visitors can access the key-keeper’s house, servant’s house, manor house, Churches of Mary of Egypt and St. Michael the Archistratigus, Lermontov’s grave with a chapel, and a park.more info: visitmuseums.ru
Konstantinovo – native village of Sergei Yesenin
Village Konstantinovo, Rybnovsky District, Ryazan Oblast
Great Russian poet Sergei Yesenin was born 300 km from Ryazan, in the village of Konstantinovo, where he spent his childhood and adolescence. The Museum Reserve is situated in a picturesque spot on a bank of the river Oka, surrounded by stunning views, forests, valleys and hills. The exposition includes the peasant homestead (Yesenins’ house) and the merchant homestead (House of Anna Snegina). After visiting the house where Yesenin was born, visitors are encouraged to take a walk towards the small Kazan Church, built in 1780, where the poet was christened. A longer route would include the building of the elementary “zemstvo” school where visitors are invited to sit at the poet’s desk, and the so-called house of Anna Snegina, a character in a poetry novel of the same name and in real life the house of Lidia Kashina, a prototype of the character.more info: visitmuseums.ru
Yasnaya Polyana – Homestead of Leo Tolstoy
p/o Yasnaya Polyana, Schekinsky District, Tula Oblast
The old homestead where eminent Russian writer Lev Nikolaevich (Leo) Tolstoy was born and lived is situated 14 km from the center of Russia’s fire arms industry, the city of Tula, in the village of Yasnaya Polyana. In his family house, Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina. At his request Tolstoy was buried in the grounds of the homestead.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The Memorial Museum Reserve in Yasnaya Polyana was founded in 1986. The Museum’s architectural ensemble includes the Tolstoy family homestead, the house of the Volkonsky family, the wing of the Kuzminsky family, garden house, mill house, the writer’s favorite bench, bathing house and historic utility buildings. Among the natural tourist attractions are the Big, Medium and Small ponds, avenues, parks, the Samorodny forest, Gusev meadow and Voronka river.
Polenovo – Homestead of Vasily Polenov
p/o Strakhovo, Zaoksky district, Tula Oblast
130 km from Moscow there is a small village where Russian painter Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov bought a property in 1890. He built himself a house and a painter’s workshop, and in the nearby village, he built the Trinity Church and even a people’s theatre.more info: visitmuseums.ru
In 1990, his Museum Reserve was founded in this picturesque area. It comprises 16 architectural monuments, including Polenov’s family house, a large mansion, the painter’s Abbey workshop, and Wing No. 1, The Admiralty. The Museum’s collections retain valuable Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek exhibits from 7 to 6 B.C., paintings, arms, sculptures and old books.
Karabikha – Homestead of Nikolay Nekrasov
2a Shkolnaya St., p/o Krasnye Tkachi, village Karabikha, Yaroslavl Oblast
The ancient homestead of Karabikha is situated in the vicinity of the old Russian city of Yaroslavl. For a long time it belonged to the family of Golitsyns until being bought by the Russian writer Nikolay Alexeevich Nekrasov in the mid-19th century. In 1946 the poet’s memorial museum was founded in the homestead’s grounds. Over 40 years it was expanded and transformed into the Literature and Memorial Museum Reserve Karabikha dedicated to N. A. Nekrasov.more info: visitmuseums.ru
The architectural ensemble of the museum includes the main building, the wings, the Upper and Lower parks, ponds, the Gremikha cascade and utility buildings. The Museum’s collections contain more than 25,000 exhibits, including the poet’s personal belongings, family valuables and a set of cut glassware.