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Russian Tourist Destinations: Yasnaya Polyana - Where Nature Inspired Leo Tolstoy
September 7, 2006 18:15


Le Tolstoy's Yasnaya Polyana estate is a place where one could clearly see and feel, how the gems of Russian nature can etch into one's heart. For Tolstoy -- one of the most famous Russian writers -- this estate embodied his relationship with Russia and continuously clouded his ability to theorize about life. "Without my Yasnaya Polyana I can hardly imagine Russia and my attitude towards it. Without Yasnaya Polyana I could perhaps see more clearly the general rules, necessary for my country, but I could not love it so passionately", - he used to say. Here Lev Tolstoy was born in 1828 and lived for about 60 years. Here he wrote many of his books and philosophical essays, including the celebrated War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

The place is located in Tula region, and for many years pilgrims came to the writer to talk and to ask him for advice. Immediately after the author's death, the estate was designated to his memorial museum. It was at first run by Alexandra Tolstaya, the writer's daughter. The current director of the museum is also one of Tolstoy's descendants.

Yasnaya Polyana is a typical Russian estate of a nobleman that gives a vivid idea of everyday life of its inhabitants and helps us penetrate into the life and traditions of the epoch that gave birth to this great man. It contains the writer's mansion, the school he founded for peasant children, and a park with Tolstoy's grave. The mansion is a unique house because genuine furniture and personal belongings of its inhabitants have been preserved to our days, including Tolstoy's personal effects and movables, as well as his library of 22,000 volumes in 33 languages. The museum boasts an interesting collection of Russian paintings: Kramskoy, Repin, Serov, L. Pasternak. It also possesses sculptures, family portraits, photos, and miniatures.

The museum arranges visits to Kochakovsky cemetery (family burial ground of the Tolstoy's), exhibitions, video film demonstrations, and equestrian lessons. Visitors can also stay here for a few days, walk through magnificent birch and linden paths, where in 19th century Tolstoy walked and thought over his writings, take rest on his favourite bench, and feel the atmosphere of unique calmness.

Life in Yasnaya Polyana may be calm, yet it is not still. Art and literature exhibitions and conferences take place here several times a year for tourists and experts from all over the world. Now the museum hosts an exhibition of the Russian artist Sergey Sachkov, who illustrated children magazine “Veselye kartinki”. On September 6, “Writers’ conference in Yasnaya Polyana” will start. Celebrated authors from Russia, Spain and USA will take part in the meetings. To commemorate the conference an exhibition “Russian nobleman’s estate in 19th century paintings” is organized.

For visitors of Yasnaya Polyana two or more day tours are arranged including visits to other beautiful sites such as Polenovo, Melikhovo, Spasskoye-Lutovinovo, Konstantinovo and others. And of course one should see the capital of the region Tula – one of the oldest Russian-heritage cities, famous for its samovars, Russian pots and Tulsky pryanik.
 

Reference: www.vgp.com

Nastya Makryashina

 


Tags: Russian Literature Leo Tolstoy Tula Region Russian history Russian culture 

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