The Yasnaya Polyana Estate Museum is one of the few manors that have survived to this day. What distinguishes it from others is that one of the greatest authors of Russia, Leo Tolstoy, lived and worked here. It is a unique seat of the academician of belles-lettres and extraordinary landlord, where he was born, worked, and found peace.
As befits a noble estate, there was a large house and two outbuildings here. The author lived in one of them. The museum of Leo Tolstoy has retained the charm of the estate. The apple orchard, ponds, alleys, parks and forest areas are still available for contemplation and walking today. Everything remains the same as it was over a hundred years ago. We could say the time stopped in 1910 and made the place special.
The Leo Tolstoy Museum Estate is located on lands that lay near the Great Zasechnaya Cherta that existed in the 17th century, passing through Tula, and, more specifically, next to the Malinovaya Zaseka. It is known that sections of this large-scale defensive structure were looked after by responsible persons who had land in use that adjoined the line. The land where the Yasnaya Polyana State Museum is now located belonged to Stepan Kartsev. He and his descendants had lived there for over a hundred years.
In 1763, the Kartsevs’ vast lands were bought by a prince holding the rank of Major General. It was Tolstoy’s great-grandfather, Sergei Volkonsky. He owned the village of Yasnaya Polyana, which the estate was named after.
The Tolstoy Museum Estate in Yasnaya Polyana, or rather its appearance, was shaped thanks to the author’s grandfather. Nikolai Volkonsky built two wings and laid down a stone mansion. He planted a birch alley leading from the gates of the estate to the masters’ houses. A huge number of prominent people of the 19th century passed by these birches, including the Emperor and the Autocrat of All Russia Alexander I the Blessed.
At that time, only Nikolai Volkonsky and his daughter Maria lived in Yasnaya Polyana. But in 1821 the old general died and his daughter Maria was left alone. This did not last long. Already in 1822, she married Nikolai Tolstoy, the author’s father. A marriage of convenience turned out to be full of love. The couple had five children, and Leo Tolstoy was one of them.
The young count settled down in Yasnaya Polyana only in 1857, when he finished his military service. From that time on, life in the estate and the village began to turn. Tolstoy’s estate, Yasnaya Polyana, became a place where his talented and brilliant contemporaries gathered; his best works were created here. Tolstoy lived here for over 50 years.
Immediately after Leo Tolstoy’s death his wife tried to preserve everything in the interior as it had been during his lifetime. Their children shared this desire, and in 1921, the work to preserve the legacy of Tolstoy began.
The Leo Tolstoy House-Museum in Yasnaya Polyana is one of the outbuildings of the estate where the author lived with his family. Works of art, furniture, photographs of relatives, and other original furnishings give visitors the feeling of being immersed in the atmosphere of the late 19th century. You can only feel this for yourself when you are here in person. There are over 50,000 exhibits in the museum, including the author’s precious library, protected by UNESCO. His study room, dining room, and living rooms have been preserved since 1910.
Visitors can take a huge number of photographs and visit more than 30 interesting objects on the grounds of the Tolstoy Museum-Reserve. On many postcards from Yasnaya Polyana, you can see white towers with green domes. These are the entrance gates to the estate and the starting point of mansion tours. Picturesque views of the Big Pond open up from the elevation next to the stables and Volkonsky’s house. Turning right off the Prešpekt, you can wander along narrow paths and birch bridges in the cozy English Park. Climbing to the top, the guests of Yasnaya Polyana will reach Tolstoy’s house, the Ice Shed and the White Kitchen, the apiary and the Kuzminskys’ wing, where Tolstoy opened a school for peasant children. Visiting Tolstoy’s grave is a must. There are a lot of hidden, interesting and secluded places in Yasnaya Polyana. Even now, the estate lives on: it has apples and honey, as well as horses grazing in front of Volkonsky’s house. The Tolstoy literature and theater festival is held in summer. People come to this event from all over Russia and abroad.
The Leo Tolstoy Museum-Estate Yasnaya Polyana can be reached by car, or by buses that travel from Tula towards Shchyokino and Sovetsk. You will find contact details and the description of the museum on our website. Please check the prices and opening hours on the official website of Yasnaya Polyana or call us in advance.
Часто бываю в Ясной Поляне. Приезжаю просто погулять или посетить какое-нибудь мероприятие. Тут прекрасно в любую погоду, в любое время года. Это просто уникальное место, куда хочется возвращаться снова и снова!