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Lermontov State Museum-Reserve


Stavropol Krai
г. Пятигорск, ул. Лермонтова, д. 4
Phones: +7 (8793) 39-12-23



Pyatigorsk State reserve museum n. a. Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, established in 1912, is one of the oldest reserve literature museums of Russia. The acquaintance with the museum begins in Literature section. It’s a former house of general Petr Semyonovich Verzilin, who was a head of Caucasus Cossack maneuver troops. Lermontov had been here often during summer 1841. On the threshold of this house, he was challenged on the duel by Martynov. An exhibition is dedicated to “Lermontov at the Caucasus” motive, but what you should expect to learn about is the role that the poet played in the history of Russian literature.


Lermontov’s house in Pyatigorsk is one of the most valuable monuments of national culture. In 1912 the very first Lermontov Museum was founded here and now it is the main part of our state museum. This little house was rented by Lermontov and his relative A.A. Stolypin during the summer season of 1841. The owner of the estate back at the time was V.I. Chilayev. The last two months of the poet’s life were spent in this house (from May, 14/26 to July, 15/27 1841). R.I. Dorokhov, M.L. Glebov, L.S. Pushkin (poet's brother), A.I. Arnoldi, M.A. Nazimov, S.V. Trubetskoy and others were frequent guests at Lermontov’s summer house. In those days dear friends were having hot disputes, friendly feasts, preparations for the ball at the grotto of Diana. On July, 15/27 Lermontov and Martynov were fighting each other on a duel. After poet’s tragic death his body was brought to this house and in two days the funeral was held. Lermontov’s personal belongings he had with him that summer was a notebook of the poet’s recent works: "The Rock", "The Dream", "An Oak Leaf", "I went out alone towards the road", "No, I do not love you so ardently", "The Prophet " and others. The Lermontov’s summer house, as they started to call it after the death of the poet, is truly authentic: it has been well preserved, its walls have never been destroyed. A memorial plaque at the entrance was installed in 1884. It was received as a gift from the playwright A.N. Ostrovsky. The complete restoration and renovation of the House, its reed roof and the decor of the rooms was organized by the museum in 1964-1967.


Fellow Grodno soldiers M. Y. Lermontov, A.I. Arnoldi and the artist R.K. Swede lived in this house that was owned by Umanov. The Decembrists N.I. Lorer, M.A. Nazimov, A.I. Vegelin and others were also staying at this house sometimes.

A.I. Arnoldi was among the four fellow soldiers who carried the coffin of Lermontov to the grave that was situated at the foot of Mashuk mountain. A few days later after the funeral he made a sketch of the porch of the house and the place of his initial burial. Artist R.K. Shwede also made a pencil portrait of Lermontov at his deathbed.

In his notes (1870-80) A.I. Arnoldi writes "... We very soon founda niceplace to stay which we rented from the owner, the commandant Uman. The house was standing at the foot of Mashuk mountains ... Tyran settled down in the courtyard of the house, facing to Mashuk, Lermontov and Stolypin lived next to us, and after them Glebov and Martynov. From our gallery we could see a magnificent view: the city of Pyatigorsk lay as if at our feet, and it was possible to glance over the vast area through which the river Podkumok ran in dozens of branches ...

July, 15. The weather is amazing, it is 8 in the morning and I am on a hourseback on my way to Zheleznovodsk. It must be said that three days before that Lermontov, riding a gray horse in a Circassian costume, got close to the only open window of our room, where I was painting at that moment, and said goodbye to me, because he was leaving for Zheleznovodsk. Later I learned that his quarrel with Martynov had already taken place and he had accepted the duel call from Martynov... ".

Right now in five rooms of the house there is an exposition of artworks devoted to Lermontov. The collection of works is provided by the State Museum-Reserve M.Y. Lermontov in Pyatigorsk. Paintings, drawings, sculptures of this collection cover the period from 1841 to the present day. This exposition also contains some household items of Lermontov, Arnoldi and their friends who paid them a visit in Pyatigorsk.


A famous Russian composer Alexander Alyabyev lived in this building from May to September of 1832.

According to a remaining building plan, the house was restored in 1996-1997. On December 25th, 1997, there was a grand opening of the Alyabyev’s House, which from that moment on became a part of the Lermontov State Museum. Today, Alyabyev's House is an integral part of the Lermontov reserve quarter in the city of Pyatigorsk.

In 1832 Alexander Alyabyev, being a political exile, came to Caucasus for a mineral water treatment. The time of his banishment turned out to be arapid growth of his artwork.

“Mystery” is one of Alabyev’s romances, written on the verses of Alexander Veltman, was created by the composer while his stay at the house. The musical manuscript of the romance dates back to June 17th, 1832. Ukrainian folk songs arranged for voice and piano were also made in Pyatigorsk; these songs were later put together into his first compilation of Ukrainian musical folklore.

"Caucasian Singer" – this is how Alyabyev would later call his sheet music collection about the Caucasus. Its cover will be decorated with an image of Mashuk mountain and a picturesque view of Pyatigorsk.

The composer’s sheet music manuscripts are full of sketches of Caucasian dances, national songs and choirs. During his life he also wrote the song "Circassian" on the lyrics of his brother, Vasily Alyabyev and composed some music for Alexander Pushkin’s poem "Prisoner".

Such masterpieces as “French Quadrille on Asian Songs”, two “Caucasian Mazurkas”, the opera “Ammulat-Beck” were based on the themes of Caucasian song folklore. “Ammulat-Beck” is the first Caucasian opera in the music history of the world, it was based on the story of A. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky.


The museum was founded in 1912 and is dedicated to the memory of the great Russian poet and officer Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov.

The museum, founded in 1912, is one of the oldest literary and memorial museums in Russia. Until 1912, the house where the great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov spent the last two months of his life was in private hands. The owner of the house at the time of 1912 was the former Pyatigorsk treasurer Pavel Semyonovich Georgievsky.

The first mention of the House of Lermontov appeared in the Russian press since 1859. In the notes it was reported that in Pyatigorsk
the house in which M. Yu. Lermontov spent the last two months of his life survived, as well as the fact that it is necessary to arrange a museum in the house.

Today it is hard to believe that the history of the formation of our museum begins with a note that was made by a resident of Tver, Alexander Ivanovich Ivanov, after visiting the poet's house. He titled it as follows: "On the preservation of the house of Lermontov in Pyatigorsk." After listing the changes that the house has undergone since Lermontov left it forever, Ivanov reports that the estate is currently being sold by its owner Pavel Semyonovich Georgievsky for 18,000 rubles. Then he writes that the sale of the estate to private hands will entail the destruction of the precious monument and offers the following solution: "The Management of the Caucasian Mineral Waters could purchase the estate of Georgievsky and use it for their economic needs."

After that, Ivanov, taking advantage of the stay in Tver of the president of the Academy of Sciences, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, handed him a note in person. The Grand Duke marked with his own hand where, when, and from whom he had received the note. It was February 19, 1909. The note was given a go. The Department of Russian Language and Literature of the Imperial Academy of Sciences opened a "Case on the acquisition of the house of Lermontov in Pyatigorsk".

The materials of this case represent a rather lengthy correspondence between the Academy of Sciences and the CMS Administration. The essence of it was as follows: members of the Academy of Sciences tried to convince the local authorities that the poet's house is valuable for the literary history of Russia and it should be bought from the next owner; the local authorities reported that the house has already lost the value of a historical monument and the Water Management does not have the funds to purchase it.

On April 21, 1911, the Pyatigorsk City Duma made a truly historic decision: "To purchase the Lermontov estate for 15 thousand rubles, making a loan from the city bank." It seemed that the question of the fate of the house was finally resolved. But a whole series of bureaucratic procedures and delays, as well as the negative position of the Caucasian governor, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov, delayed the solution of the issue. And only thanks to the personal participation of the President of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, who for the second time intervened in the fate of the Lermontov estate and sent a letter to the governor of the Caucasus, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov, the question of acquiring the Lermontov estate by the Pyatigorsk City Duma was resolved positively.

So, the House of Lermontov, having been in the hands of several owners, having undergone a number of changes, finally becomes the property of the city. The accounting department issued the acceptance of real estate on the balance sheet of Pyatigorsk, and one of the employees of the city council hung a lock on the door of the house. And no celebrations! Small chroniclers ' notes in the local newspapers reported this fact.

The house was empty for two months, after which the Caucasian Mountain Society appeals to the city council with a request to provide it with this estate for the construction of a museum and library. After receiving a positive response, the members of the CLC move their small museum, which until that time was located in the building of the Elizabethan (now Academic) Gallery, to the main house.

On July 15, 1912 (the day of the death of M. Y. Lermontov), the members of the Caucasian Mining Society solemnly celebrated the tenth anniversary of their existence in the Lermontov estate. In one of the yearbooks of the KGO, we find the following message about this: "The name of Lermontov is the light of Pyatigorsk, and we purposely timed our celebration to the day of the 71st anniversary of the young genius, who has long sung the beauty of mountain peaks, gentle snows, the life of peoples, in short, all that the KGO seeks to show, perhaps, to more tourists." Thus, it is the day of the poet's death on July 15 in the old style, July 27 in the new style is considered to be the birthday of the Lermontov museum.

Of course, the first years of its existence were especially difficult for the young museum. No funds were allocated for its maintenance, and the only source of income was a copper mug, into which individual visitors threw their donations. But, despite this, the museum lived, an exposition was created in it, the first exhibits appeared in it – Lermontov's personal belongings – a table and a chair from the poet's St. Petersburg apartment, his scientific library was completed.

The next significant milestone in the existence of the museum of M. Y. Lermontov was in 1946. It was in this year that the museum was given the former house of General Verzilin, a house associated with the tragic events of the summer of 1841 (there was a quarrel between M. Lermontov and N. Martynov, which served as the reason for the duel). In 1948, the literary department of the museum was opened in the house, the theme of the exhibition is "Lermontov and the Caucasus". In this way, the gradual memorialization of the estates, which were located in close proximity to Lermontovskaya, began. Our museum began to turn into a single literary and memorial complex.

The next most important stage in the development of the Lermontov Museum was in 1973. On July 7, 1973, the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR "On the formation of the State Museum-Reserve of M. Y. Lermontov on the KMV"was adopted. According to this Decree, the Lermontov's House "Museum" was transformed into GSL. Then the reserve, in addition to the Lermontov quarter, included all the Lermontov places of Kavminvod. This was a new status for the museum, opening up new opportunities for its development and infrastructure. Following the Decree, the former Umanov house was transferred to the museum. The house is interesting because in the summer of 1841, people from the poet's inner circle lived in it. Perhaps he had been in the house himself. After the restoration of the house, in 1979, the department "M. Y. Lermontov in Fine Arts"was opened in it. Here, to this day, the original works of artists and sculptors working in the Lermontov theme are exhibited.

On the territory of the protected Lermontovsky quarter there are estates of historical interest. In the estate of Karabutova (Alyabyev's house) in 1823 there was a medical and surgical laboratory of one of the first researchers of mineral waters A. I. Nelyubin. Here, in 1832, the famous Russian composer A. Alyabyev rented rooms. Currently, the house has been restored, transferred to the museum-reserve. Since 1997, one of the departments of the museum, which is now widely known as the Alyabyev House, has been located here. Its functional purpose is a music salon and exhibition halls.

Thus, today 4 estates of the Lermontov period are part of the museum complex. Today we offer our visitors 4 stationary expositions: "Lermontov and the Caucasus", "Lermontov in the visual arts", the House of Lermontov and the house of A. Alyabyev.