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Visit Yasnaya Polyana, the Estate-Museum of Leo Tolstoy

29. July 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

Yasnaya Polyana (Clear Glade) was the cherished home of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy and today serves as a memorial to the great author. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the estate-museum to see where Tolstoy was born, buried, and where he wrote the classic Russian novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

Located 7.5 miles from Tula and a 130 miles from Moscow, Yasnaya Polyana officially became a state museum in 1921. It contains Tolstoy’s mansion, the school he founded for peasant children, a large park and pond, his simple grave, as well as the author’s personal possessions and his 22,000-volume library.

Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana on September 9, 1828 and relatives raised him and his four siblings on what was then the 4,000-acre estate. The author also raised his own family there and the leather couch where Tolstoy and his 13 children were born remains at the site today.

Tolstoy entertained many of Russia’s notable cultural and artistic figures at Yasnaya Polyana, including Anton Chekhov, Turgenev, Maxim Gorky, and the painters Valentin Serov and Ilya Repin. It’s also where Tolstoy penned his two masterpieces, War and Peace and Anna Karenina. When not writing and entertaining, the writer spent his time walking in the park and relaxing on his favorite wooden bench, working with peasants in the fields, and visiting the school he founded for peasant children. 

Today, visitors can relax in the estate’s peaceful park, much like Tolstoy himself, tour the writer’s mansion, view his personal effects, pay their respects at his gravesite, and much more.

Here are a few pictures of Yasnaya Polyana, the estate Tolstoy referred to as his "inaccessible literary stronghold.”