Tolstoy House Museum

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The second half of my Tolstoy-themed September 29, 2015…

So after our visit to the Tolstoy Literary Museum, we walked to the Tolstoy Estate Museum, or aka Tolstoy House Museum. It’s about an 18-minute walk (1.5km), according to Google Maps, and the route is easy. If you decide to have a Tolstoy-themed day, I recommend you visit both on the same day, as they’re both kind of “in the middle of nowhere”, but in the same direction of “in the middle of nowhere”. There weren’t that much to see on the way either, but you get a good exercise in and get to see the more “no tourists around here at all” side of the city.

Anyway…

It was still worth the long trek walk.

Just like the Tolstoy Literary Museum, it was so quiet when we got there that I thought that maybe they were closed. I guess people just come and go but it’s probably never really packed—as we were leaving the museum, there was actually like a big group of French tourists that just arrived. Anyway…No longer a noob about “ticket offices”, I went straight to the ticket office and went into this room with a nice, colorful, blonde lady. She was speaking in Russian at first, but since it was clear that I don’t understand Russian…………….. she started speaking français instead. My one semester in high school and two semesters in university of studying French really helped because the only words I understood were “maison” and “les photos”. Heh. Tres bien.

Anyway, just like the Tolstoy Literary Museum… if we wanted to take photos, we have to pay extra too. I decided not to get the photo ticket—since it’s kind of pricey. The entrance fee is 200 roubles and the photo-taking ticket is 350 roubles. I changed my mind after walking through the first room of the museum—so went back to the Russian/French lady to purchase the ticket. I then had to wear a tag around my neck with a laminated pink sign with a picture of a camera on it, giving me the rights to take photos. (And yes, they WILL tell you off if you try to sneak a photo—we tried. A lady appeared like magic to tell us off.)

Fortunately, there are English descriptions in this museum, so I was more involved and enthusiastic. You get to walk through his two-story house, from room to room, and look at all the furniture, personal items (of Tolstoy and also his family members), and other memorabilia.

Everything looked so luxurious—made me realize even more how much of a baller Tolstoy was.

Here are some photos I took from the house:

thumb_P1010954_1024Above: The first room you’ll see—their dining room.

thumb_P1010957_1024Above: Another angle of their dining room—just because it’s so pretty.

thumb_P1010959_1024Above: The music room—where they would just come and listen to musical performances by members of the family.

thumb_P1010961_1024Above: Serene.

thumb_P1010963_1024Above: I don’t know how I’d feel if my personal letters were showcased… but this was pretty cool to see!

thumb_P1010964_1024Above: Tolstoy and his wife’s bedroom. So cozy.

thumb_P1010971_1024Above: The kids’ room.

thumb_P1010966_1024Above: A corner in the kids’ room

thumb_P1010973_1024Above: View from the kids’ room. So envious—such a nice and peaceful view to have. This was probably my favorite part of the house.

thumb_P1010976_1024Above: The classroom where the children did their studies.

thumb_P1010980_1024Above: The table in the classroom. Can just imagine the kids sitting there studying.

thumb_P1010994_1024Above: Their eldest daughter was a portrait artist—which explains why her bedroom is full of portraits.

thumb_P1011004_1024Above: Close-up of portraits in the eldest daughter’s room.

thumb_P1011007_1024Above: I think I was gushing at literally all the windowsills in the house.

thumb_P1011014_1024Above: A corner of the big dining room where they entertained guests

thumb_P1011016_1024Above: The dining room where they entertained guests—this is on the second floor of the house.

thumb_P1011029_1024Above: Another corner in the dining room.

thumb_P1011025_1024Above: The most luxurious, extravagant, flashiest room in the house—for entertaining guests.

thumb_P1011034_1024Above: The maids’ room.

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Above: Tolstoy’s study.

thumb_P1011049_1024Above: Yes, he works out. Every morning. And wakes up at 7 a.m. And also loves riding bicycles.

thumb_P1011037_1024Above: Chic.

thumb_P1011062_1024Above: The back porch leading to the garden

thumb_P1011059_1024Above: The gardens… So luscious and spacious. It was just so peaceful in there.

Tolstoy’s the last writer on my itinerary for this Russia trip. The visit to his house/estate was really the grand finale. I’m so glad I got to visit and see his things and have a closer look into his family life and lifestyle. It’s definitely worth the long walk there (or you can just take the metro to the station closest to it—instead of walking from Tverskoy, through Arbat, and then from the Tolstoy Literary Museum), and I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s ever read a Tolstoy! Even if you haven’t read any of his works yet, it’s still a cool experience to go and see what life must have been like back in the day. See all the antique furniture and items, and see what a household consisted of in that era.

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