The open-air museum was established in 1939 in the family estate of the Arsenyevs, maternal ancestors of Mikhail Lermontov. The museum area covers 197 hectares.
The village of Tarkhany belonged to the famous Naryshkin family of nobles, when at the end of the 18th century it was bought by the poet's grandfather, Mikhail Arsenyev. In Tarkhany, he and his wife Yelizaveta Alekseyevna had their only daughter Maria. Extremely frail, nervous, impressionable, she died at 21, leaving her three-year-old son Mikhail in his grandmother's care.
Together they settled in Tarkhany. Mikhail took after his late mother with his poor health and difficult character. His childhood, spent amid idyllic landscapes, was hardly carefree. The energetic and domineering grandmother spared no efforts and resources on the education of her grandson: she hired teachers and tutors, allowed him to use the library, but was not interested much in his inner life.
The poet lived at his grandmother's estate until moving to Moscow in 1827. Thereafter Lermontov visited the family estate in the days of his brief officer's vacations. In April 1842, the coffin with his body arrived in Tarkhany: Yelizaveta Alekseyevna asked the Emperor for permission to bury her grandson in his native land, in the family vault of the Lermontovs and Arsenyevs. Mikhail Lermontov was buried near the graves of his mother and grandfather. Yelizaveta Alekseyevna, who outlived all her relatives, ordered a small chapel to be built over the tomb of her grandson and it has been preserved to this day. After her death the estate was run by one manager after another and it soon fell into disrepair. An alley where the little Lermontov had played in his childhood was callously razed to the ground; in 1908, the manor house burned down through negligence. However, the village of Tarkhany was declared state property in 1918 and in 1939 the house-museum opened its doors to visitors.
The exposition gradually expanded. In 1969 the estate gained the status of an open-air museum. The collection is now divided into three sets. The first includes the manor house, the interiors of which were restored in the style of the first half of the 19th century, the Church of St. Mary of Egypt (built in honor of the patroness of Maria Mikhailovna, Lermontov's mother), and several outbuildings. The poet's favorite place for children's games is marked out on the territory. The small but beautiful manor park is complemented by ponds and an orchard. Church services have been resurrected at the Church of St. Mary of Egypt, which the poet attended as a child and where services were held in honor of his safe return home. The temple had been closed in 1925.
The second complex includes the tombs of the family of Arsenyevs and Lermontovs; a black marble slab marks the poet's grave. Next to the chapel lies the grave of the poet's father. A small rural church of the Archangel Michael — Lermontov's patron saint — is located nearby. The third museum complex is the estate of Apalikha, owned by Maria Akimovna Shan-Giray, the poet's great-aunt and close friend of his mother.
The unique collection of the open-air museum includes the poet's drawings and personal effects: a porcelain inkwell, a bronze signet, and a cigarette case. The family Icon of the Stolypins, lifetime editions of the poet's verses, illustrations to his works by the best Russian artists, are also stored there.
Since 1971, every first weekend of July, Tarkhany hosts National Lermontov Days of Poetry that attract a great many participants.
|Phone number:||(84153) 3-56-01, 3-56-03|
|Address:||Penza Oblast, village of Lermontovo|