KITAEVA'S COUNTRY HOUSE (DACHA)
|Я нанял светлый дом
С диваном, с камельком;
Три комнаты простые -
В них злата, бронзы нет,
И ткани выписанные
Не кроют их паркет.
Soon after wedding Pushkin wrote to his close friend P. A. Pletnev from Moscow to St.
Petersburg: "I have no strength, I so want that I don't go to you and stop in
Tsarskoye Selo. The blessing idea! Summer and autumn I would spent in inspired solitude,
near the capital, in the circle of charm memoirs and so other comforts". It was in
March 1831. Poet wanted a lot to spent his first family summer among "Lyceum
gardens". Also he wanted his young wife (maiden name Gorchakova) to know and to love
Tsarskoye Selo, its gardens, palaces and lakes. Poet's demands were not big: " There
have to be especial room, and other isn't important to me," -he wrote . P.A. Pletnev
helped Pushkin and soon in Tsarskoye Selo dacha with 8 rooms was taken off at Anna
Kitaeva's house . She was the widow of court camerdiner. Dacha was situated on the cross
of Kolpinskaya street and Big (Kuzminskaya) road. That road went to Kuzminskiy or Egypt
gate, which was recently built. To the house at Kuzminskaya road the Pushkins went on May,
25 in 1831. It was the day before poet birthday. Kitaeva's dacha became the first family's
flat after his moving from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
Pushkin wasn't in Tsarskoye Selo 14 years. New buildings appeared in parks and in the city
since that time when Pushkin graduated Lyceum. Not far from Kitaeva's country - house the
monumental building of Polish Roman Catholic Church "grew". When Pushkin came to
Tsarskoye Selo, architector V.M. Gornostaev, who made the project of Kitaeva's house ,
finished to build Moscow gate. It was planned as triumph arch on the road of Russian
soldiers from Petersburg to Moscow through Tsarskoye Selo. New or Alexandriiskii park
changed unrecognizable. It was made bigger. It lied till Egypt gate. Over the influence of
romantic ideas gothic buildings were constructed in park. They remembered ruins of palaces
and temples of middle centuries. Pushkin contemporaries were adsorbed in knights novels of
Walter Scott. They had to be very impressed of wide decoration in Alexandriiskii park.
There buildings in gothic forms even of utilitarian direction were built : farm with
cow-shed, pavilion for lamas, pension stables. Those buildings were situated at the end of
the park . They carried their own mite into the formation of the park's romantic mood and
definited walking ways. Pushkin parents some times went for breakfast to "farm".
They spent summer in the nearest Pavlovsk and often visited Tsarskoye Selo. Five - storey
Tower was over all buildings. There a view to parks, to Tsarskoye Selo surroundings and
far Petersburg opened from the highest ground. Pushkin could see the White Tower from his
working room window. His room was located in Anna Kitaeva's country - house attic storey
Poet liked quiet life in Tsarskoye Selo. In the morning he usually swam in the pond of
Alexandriiskii park, then he drank tea; after tea he went up to his working room and began
Poet working room was simple. There was big round table before the sofa, on the table
there was paper, note books, simple ink and pens. On the little table in the corner there
was green goose berries jam and a glass of cold water from fountain
"Lebed"(Swan). It located at the entrance of Ekaterininskii park and water of it
was the best in Tsarskoye Selo. And everywhere: on the table, shelves, floor there were
books. There were no curtains in the room, and when days were bright, the room was full of
sun. Natalie Nikolaevna usually sat downstairs with a book or embroidery at those morning
At 11 o'clock the Pushkin acquaintance court beauty , often came to them. She was maid of
honor of Empress. A.O.Rosset and Natalie Nikolaevna went up to his working room, by the
Pushkin invitation. "When we came, he began to read at once and we made our
corrections". At that summer the brightest and liveliest of Pushkin tales was
created. It was "Skazka o Tsare Saltane"(the Tale about Tsar Saltan) at A.
Kitaeva's house. There Pushkin wrote "Onegin's letter to Tatyana" and that
finished work which lasted about 8 years. They ate monotonous, but tasty food. "In
summer we had court dinner, which was good enough, I liked to have dinner at the Pushkin,
- remembered A.O.Smirnova - Rosset - They had green soup with boiled eggs, minced big
cutlet with spinach or sorrel and for desert there was jam of white goose berries. A.O.
Rosset came at droshky in the evening to take Natalie Nikolaevna to ride and sometimes
Pushkin "sat at cross - beam astride and there he was unusually happy and funny"
Every day at 5 or 6 o'clock, the Pushkins went for a walk to park. Contemporary remembered
that "in Tsarskoye Selo a lot of people went to see to Pushkin specially, he walked
hand in hand with his wife. It was usually near the lake. She was in white dress, around
hat and on her shoulders there was the red shawl, twisted as at home. "Probably, it
was that expensive turkish shawl, which Pushkin brought as a present to his wife from
Petersburg. Pushkin and his wife made every-day walks around Big lake. It was the central
place of the park. A lot of poet memoirs were connected with that place.:
|«Веди, веди меня под липовые сени,
Всегда любезные моей свободной лени,
На берег озера, на тихий скат холмов!..
Да вновь увижу я ковры густых лугов
И дряхлый пук дерев, и светлую долину,
И злачных берегов знакомые картины, парке»
И в тихом озере, средь блещущих зыбей,
Станицу гордую спокойных лебедей.
In the summer evenings tsarskoselskaya public gathered on the high granite terrace near
the lake. Terrace was decorated with bronze statutes and there orchestra played,
picturesque sign opened to hills, lake and park. There one could see Pushkin parents:
Nadezhda Osipovna and Serge Lvovich, the poet and his acquaintance. At the summer end
Pushkin and Zhukovskiy were at history exam in Lyceum. Fourth course lyceumists waited
Pushkin with the same emotions and happiness, as Pushkin and his classmates were ready to
Derzhavin's visit. Yakov Grot wrote to his sister that at exam in Lyceum "There will
be judges, who mustn't be neglected, they are Zhukovskiy and Pushkin".
Zhukovskiy came to Tsarskoye Selo on July,9 with the Highest Court. He was the legatee
tutor at those years. Tsar and his family were afraid of cholera epidemic, which began in
Petersburg. On July,5 public prayer about deliverance of the city of cholera was served at
the Tsarskoselskaya Icon Christ Mother "Znamenie", the ancient icon of the
Romanov's family, in Znamenskaya Church, near Lyceum. The icon was put down at the
publicity and at the end of prayer icon was took out of the church and Cross motion was
made around city. Cross motion finished with prayer on the Big palace square. Probably in
autumn months Pushkin visited concerts in Alexandrovskii palace. There court persons and
"some persons, who lived in Tsarskoye Selo were invited". In October the
Pushkins went to Petersburg. Four bright, filled with happy months passed but they gave
"Tsarskoye keeping canopy" to poet
И для меня воскресла радость.
И душу взволновала вновь
Моя потерянная младость,
Тоски мучительная сладость
И сердца первая любовь.