|Russia is a country with a considerable cultural heritage. The names of Russian writers are known all over the world and most of them are still in the list of favorites and frequently published. We would like to introduce you to another view to discover Moscow as a city of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov and Gorky.|
|Peredelkino Writers Colony|
|Located in the town of Peredelkino, about 15 km. from the city, the village was established in 1936 during the Stalinist era and served as a writers’ colony. Novelist Alexey Tolstoy, poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, opera singer Galina Vihnevskaya, all have lived here. It was in Peredelkino that Rostropovich gave refuge to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winner for literature. Another world-class poet, Boris Pasternak, also lived there from 1939 until his death. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for his “Doctor Zhivago,” the epic tale that became an international best-seller translated into 18 languages. Pasternak was expelled from the Union Soviet Writers and ”Doctor Zhivago” was not published in his homeland until 1987. Although he was disgraced by the Soviets, thousands came to Pasternak’s funeral in 1960. He wanted to be buried near the pine tree here and his wish was granted.
Nowadays Peredelkino is also a villa featuring private territory with a nice park and a pond. It can accommodate around 20 persons in two-room suites. There is a restaurant that can seat about 35, conference room for 100, billiards, sauna, reception hall for 60 and a tennis court.
|Tolstoy’s house in Khamovniki|
|Located in Lev Tolstoy street, near the Park Kultury metro station, is the residence where the writer, philosopher, moralist and mystic lived every winter from 1882 to 1901 to enable his many children to attend proper school in the city. He bought the cottage mostly to placate his wife, who wanted to enjoy the conveniences of Moscow and cultural life. In this house recitals and literary soirees were organized in the drawing room. Sergey Rachmaninov played the piano and Fyodor Shalyapin sang here. The family also entertained the painter Ilya Repin; several of his portraits of family members are on display. Built in the 1820s it was characteristic of a home on the outskirts of Moscow. Tolstoy had no electricity or running water and the house remains without electricity to this day.|
|Yasnaya Polyana Tolstoy’s Estate|
|The almost lifelong residence of novelist Lev Tolstoy. This town near Tula and about 120 km. south of Moscow was where the artist spent more than a half-century. After marrying in 1862, he settled on his estate and began working on “War and Peace,” which, with “Anna Karenina,” was written in Yasnaya Polyana. Portraits of the writer by painter Ilya Repin and Ivan Kramskoy are on display. You can also see a photograph that was presented to Tolstoy by Edison and a portrait of the real Anna Karenina. Tolstoy’s library contained 22,000 books in 35 languages and some insist that he spoke several himself.|
|The Mayakovsky Museum|
|Centrally located, the museum represents the house where the leader of Russian avant-garde poetry lived from 1919 to 1930. It is recreated here as a futuristic multi-level panorama in true Mayakovsky spirit: revolutionary, unconventional, disdainful of classical art and religion. Documents, newspaper articles and objects of every description are attached to the surfaces and are next to photographs of Mayakovsky and other revolutionary symbols. Also on display are the poet’s manuscripts, paintings, posters, drawings, books and personal belongings.|
|The Chekhov Museum|
|Located on Garden Ring Street, the museum is the house where Anton Chekhov – the author of “The Cherry Orchard,” “The Seagull” and “The Three Sisters” – stayed with his family from 1886 to 1890. During this time he abandoned medicine and became a writer. Dr. Chekhov had two large rooms and a study on the ground floor where he received his patients, and upstairs in the sitting room he entertained his friends, such as the composer Tchaikovsky, the painter Isaak Levitan and the architect Fyodor Shekhtel.|
|Built in 1910, this was a fashionable house that belonged to three Moscow artists. There was at one time a bohemian cafe, “Stables of Pegasus,” in the basement, where the dissolute Russian poet Sergey Yesenin met his future wife, dancer Isadora Duncan. Bulgakov flat. No 50 is one on the left on the top floor and you will immediately recognize the interior, which is painted over from the floor to the ceiling with graffiti messages that deal with Bulgakov’s fictional characters. The courtyard is just as dirty as one described in the artist’s satirical masterpiece “The Master and Margarita,” written in secrecy between 1928 and 1940 and published in a censored edition only in 1966. The novel is a work of political satire, featuring a visit to Moscow by the devil himself and involving all sorts of extremely clever digs at Stalinism, power, authority and human nature.|
|The Gorky Museum|
|It seems ironic that The Gorky Museum is housed in a splendid art-nouveau style mansion that Bolsheviks stole from Stepan Ryabushinsky, chairman of the Stock Exchange, collector of icons and patron of the arts. Maxim Gorky, father of Social Realism, seems to have enjoyed creature comfort. After his exile on the island of Capri, he was invited by Stalin himself to come back to a new Russia, and upon his return the best residence by Shekhtel (the architect) became Gorky’s residence. A startling limestone staircase in the shape of a wave leads to the second floor; splendid oak doorways and large windows, all different, can be admired throughout the house. The mansion become a museum in 1965, although members of Gorky’s family lived here until 1971 and, by comic fortune, Stalin’s son Vassily worked there after Gorky’s death.|