State Lermontov Museum-Reserve Tarkhany
Penza region, Belinsky district, Lermontovo village, ul. Bugor 1/1
Phones: +7 (937) 4035031
Web site: http://tarhany.ru
See a Russian estate preserved in time and pay a visit the house where young Lermontov used to live The great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov spent half of his life at the Tarkhany estate; his world outlook, his sense of the language, and his love for his native land were formed here. The architectural and natural complex has been perfectly preserved. The tomb where the poet is buried attracts lovers of his work from all over the world, and the collection of Lermontov’s artifacts is one of the largest in the country.
The exhibition complex includes a country estate with a manor house, two churches built at the expense of the poet’s grandmother, the Church of Mary of Egypt and the Church of Michael the Archangel, the restored house of the housekeeper and the servants’ hut. Tarkhany holds a unique collection of Lermontov’s heritage. His personal belongings, paintings, drawings, heirlooms, and lifetime editions of works are kept here. The estate houses the richest collection of rare artifacts the landlord’s household from the 18th and 19th centuries, from pieces of furniture and cutlery to works of art and ancient editions of books by Russian and foreign authors that inspired the poet. Moreover, the estate is a monument of gardening art. Here you can see parks with alleys and cascades of ponds, orchards, groves and landscapes that have been preserved almost untouched since Lermontov’s times here.
Tarkhany is one of the most famous Lermontov sites in Russia. Nearby is the village and estate of the poet’s grandmother, Elizaveta Arsenyeva (nee Stolypina). The Arsenyevs bought Tarkhany (followed by Nikolskoye Yakovlevskoye) in 1794 and started building a manor estate immediately. A large mansion with white columns was erected at a distance from the peasants’ huts; gardens, ponds, a park with a gazebo, linden alleys and a rose garden appeared. Elizaveta Arsenyeva owned Tarkhany for half a century and lived here permanently, leaving the place only for a short while. Under her rule the estate started to bring in a good income. In the winter of 1814–1815, Elizaveta had visitors: her daughter, young Maria Mikhailovna, her husband Yuri Petrovich Lermontov and their little son Misha. Maria loved to play the piano, holding the child in her lap. Her health was poor, she was unhappy in her marriage, and she died of consumption at the age of 21, when her son was 2 and a half years old. Yuri Lermontov soon left Tarkhany and his grandmother agreed to raise Misha herself until he turned 16. At the age of 6, he began to study along with a cousin who lived next door. Being a sickly child, Mikhail loved to draw and compose, but he did not shy away from playing war, and was especially happy to have the opportunity to learn to ride a horse. There was an wonderful library in Tarkhany and Lermontov mastered not only English, German and French, but also acquired a good knowledge of European culture and literature. When he was fifteen his grandmother took him to Moscow in order to provide him with a basic education and prepare him for adult life. After the poet’s death and burial in Pyatigorsk, Elizaveta Alekseevna gained permission from the emperor to bury his body in his homeland. On March 27, 1842, the servants took Lermontov’s ashes to the family tomb in Tarkhany. By that time, the manor house had changed a lot. In memory of her daughter, Arsenyev built a small church of Mary of Egypt on the site of the first manor house and next to it she built a new house, which was much more modest in size. Subsequently, the estate was inherited by the relatives of Elizaveta Alekseevna Stolypin, whose descendants owned it up to the revolution. In October 1918, the Tarkhany estate was declared property of the Soviet state. But only in 1934 did Tarkhany officially become a reserve, and in 1936, restoration works began and exhibits and works for the Lermontov Museum were collected. Today, the museum-preserve includes the manor house in Tarkhany, the Arsenyev-Lermontov family necropolis and the Apalikha estate near Tarkhany where Lermontov often visited.
The word “Tarkhan”, according to Dahl’s dictionary, is “a village buyer of canvas, flax, hemp, skins, etc.” The main occupation of local peasants was arable farming, but, in addition, they also got income from purchasing goods in other villages and then selling them at local fairs. As a result, they – and afterwards the whole village – were nicknamed “Tarkhany”. Lermontov returned to Tarkhany twice and dedicated lines of his poem to the place: And so I see myself as a child, and native places all around: a high manor house and a garden with a ruined greenhouse; a sleeping pond is covered with a green grass net, and beyond the pond the village in the mist, and fogs that rise above the fields beyond ... In 1925, the Lermontov state farm with the manor house was leased to the Lermontov horse breeding partnership, Lermontov Trotter. From 1928 to 1930, a school for the collective farm young people was placed in the Lermontov house. The ground floor was then used for storing grain, while the mezzanine was used for keeping poultry.