One of the best known open-air memorial museums in Russia, MuranovoRussian: Мураново has preserved all the features of a 19th-century country estate. The most well-known representatives of the Russian gentry grew up in these quiet areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. In these estates, children were able to develop values such as love for family, loyalty to the fatherland, civic duty, ideals of humanism and the importance of observing traditions. The 19th-century Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev, whose family owned this estate, never came to Muranovo in person, but this does not stop visitors from sensing the atmosphere of a true family manor.
The small country estate of Muranovo is situated on the high bank of the Talitsa riverRussian: reka Talitsa or река Талица, 60 km from Moscow, and merges perfectly into the unpretentious and charmingly simple Russian landscape. The estate belonged to a number of aristocratic families, the Tyutchev’s being the most well-known. The original Main building, which accommodates the museum, dominates the estate’s grounds, which also include an outhouse, a kitchen, the active family Church of Christ-Not-Made-By-HandsRussian: tserkov Spasa Nerukotvornogo or церковь Спаса Нерукотворного and several household outbuildings. The complex is surrounded by trees, a park, a lime-lined alley, bushes and flower gardens, which the owners always took great care of.
THE HISTORY OF THE ESTATE
The Muranovo Estate was first documented in 1645. At that time, its owner was the cup-bearer of Tsar Alexisthe tsar of Russia from 1645 until his death in 1676 of Russia, and later the Smolenska city located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers west-southwest of Moscow voyevoda, or military leader, Prince Shakhovsky. The estate had its heyday between 1816 and 1917, when it belonged to the Engelgardt, the Baratynsky, the Putyaty and the Tyutchev families, which were all related to each other. Interestingly, many members of these four families had a literary bent.
In 1816, the estate became the property of the retired Major General Lev Engelgardt, famous for his memoirs describing the battles fought during the reigns of Catherine IIEmpress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country's longest-ruling female leader and its most renowned, Paul Ireigned as Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801 and Alexander Ireigned as Emperor of Russia from 1801 to 1825, in which he participated. In 1826, the Engelgardts’ oldest daughter Anastasia married the Russian poet Yevgeny Baratynsky, and their youngest daughter Sofia married writer Nikolay Putyata in 1837.
Baratynsky was very fond of the estate and came here every summer, starting in 1828. He enjoyed managing his household in Muranovo, took to flower gardening, redesigned the park and had a new two-storey mansion built here, where he wrote his last compilation of poems, The Twilight. After his death in 1843, the estate passed to the Engelgardts’ youngest daughter Sofia Putyata and her husband. Being a historian and a friend of Baratynsky’s, Putyata kept his memory alive by preserving Baratynsky’s books, papers and personal effects. The new owners continued to undertake estate improvements, turning it into one of the most pleasant areas in the Moscow OblastRussian: Moskovskaya oblast' or Московская область.
The Putyata’s only daughter Olga married Ivan Tyutchev, the youngest son of the outstanding Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev, who wrote at the juncture of the Goldenthis term is referred to the first half of the 19th century remarkable for an unprecedented upsurge of creativity illuminated by the genius of Alexander Pushkin and Silver Agesan exceptionally creative period in the history of Russian poetry in last decade of the 19th century and first two or three decades of the 20th century of Russian poetry. His filial veneration of Fyodor Tyutchev’s poetry and memory was critical because it helped to preserve the renowned Russian poet’s legacy. Ivan Tyutchev and his children assembled and kept in Muranovo the personal effects, manuscripts, letters and other documents belonging to Fyodor Tyutchev and his family.
In 1918, one year after the Russian Revolution, Tyutchev’s heirs succeeded in having the estate acquire the status of museum and became its first custodians. Tyutchev’s great-grandson K. Pigarev directed the museum until 1989. Owing mainly to Tyutchev’s descendants, the vast majority of the exhibits on display at the museum are original, and Muranovo itself is a rare example of a Russian manorial estate that has remained intact to our day.
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Muranovo is centred around a mansion built in 1842. This wooden structure was brick-lined on the outside and designed by Baratynsky himself, whose unique taste made this building unlike any other mansion of that time. The house consists of three parts: the two-storey main building and the adjoining one-storey annex topped with a three-storey tower. Both the décor and the proportions of the mansion are original in design and were of particular interest to contemporaries.
The Muranovo mansion has 16 rooms, most of them are illustrative of what a typical manor house looked like at that time. These include Tyutchev’s study, the Green and Big parlours, the dining room, the library and the two poets’ study. Of special interest are the Literary room, dedicated to Baratynsky, and the Main bedroom, which houses Tyutchev’s personal belongings.
All exhibits on view in the museum are authentic, including family files, the two poets’ papers, books, dinnerware, clothing and household items. They belonged to Fyodor Tyutchev’s family and have considerable historical and artistic significance. The interior is made of precious wood dating back to the reign of Catherine II. It also has unique carpets and paintings by Rokotov, Kiprensky, Aivazovsky and Savrasovfamous Russian painters, along with old books and fabrics; all of this amounts to over 28,000 exhibits. Old kitchenware used in these times is on display in the kitchen.
On the museum’s grounds are a small family Church of the Icon of Christ Not-Made-By-Hands built in 1878, the house of Tutchev’s widow Ernestina Fyodorovna built in 1879, a children’s Baba Yagaa supernatural being who appears as a deformed and ferocious-looking witch house and household outbuildings. Huge 200-year-old trees still grow in the park and the lime-lined alley is still there too. These grounds are said to have “seen” Pushkin, Gogolone of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, Aksakova 19th-century Russian literary figure remembered for his semi-autobiographical tales of family life and other renowned personalities.
Within walking distance of the mansion is the Muranovo PondRussian: Muranovskiy prud or Мурановский пруд, glorified by Baratynsky in his poems, as well as the remains of old irrigation facilities and the local Holy Spring with a chapel and a bathhouse.
In addition to welcoming visitors, the Muranovo Memorial Museum offer local residents and guests a wide range of literary, artistic and educational events which take place on important days of the year. These include Maslenitsaan Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, the Hay HarvestRussian: Senokos v Muranove or Сенокос в Муранове and jubilee celebrations.