Yasnaya Polyana

Coordinates: 54°04′34″N 37°31′34″E / 54.07611°N 37.52611°E / 54.07611; 37.52611

Yasnaya Polyana (Russian: Я́сная Поля́на, IPA: , literally: "Bright Glade") is a writer's house museum, the former home of the writer Leo Tolstoy.[1] It is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Tula, Russia, and 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Moscow.[2]

Tolstoy was born in the house, where he wrote both War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He is buried nearby. Tolstoy called Yasnaya Polyana his "inaccessible literary stronghold".[3]

In June 1921, the estate was nationalized and formally became his memorial museum. It was at first run by Alexandra Tolstaya, the writer's daughter. The current director of the museum is Tolstoy's great-great-grandson Vladimir Tolstoy.[4][5] The museum contains Tolstoy's personal effects and movables, as well as his library of 22,000 volumes. The estate-museum contains the writer's mansion, the school he founded for peasant children, and a park where Tolstoy's unadorned grave is situated.

The estate of Yasnaya Polyana was originally owned by the Kartsev family. In the 18th century, it was purchased by major-general Sergey Volkonskiy and then passed to his son, general-in-chief Prince Nikolai Volkonskiy,[6] the grandfather of the writer. Nikolai lived in what is now known as the 'Volkonskiy house' before commencing to build the main, single-storey manor house in 1810, at the highest point of the estate. This was flanked by two two-storey wings, linked by decking.[7] He also built stables, a coach-house, a bathhouse, summerhouse, and two orangeries linked by a gallery,[8] and created a formal French garden, an English landscape garden with a cascade of ponds, and long avenues of birch and oak trees.[9]

The house passed from Nikolai Volkonskiy to his only daughter, Maria Nikolayevna, the mother of Leo Tolstoy. Her husband, Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the war against Napoleon in 1812, added a second storey to the house, providing accommodation for an extended family of thirteen.[10]

Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, at Yasnaya Polyana. His parents died when he was very young, and he was raised there by relatives. In 1854, to pay off gambling debts, Tolstoy sold the central part of the house to a neighbour, who dismantled it and rebuilt it on his own land. Only the two wings remained; Tolstoy occupied one while the other became dilapidated.[11] He brought his wife there after their marriage in 1862.

At the time Tolstoy lived there, the Yasnaya Polyana estate comprised about 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres), on a gently sloping hillside with dense original forest (The Forest of the Old Order) at the upper end, and a series of four ponds at different levels. The estate had four clusters of peasant houses for about 350 peasants living and working on the estate.[12]

This page was last edited on 16 July 2018, at 11:27 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasnaya_Polyana under CC BY-SA license.

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