Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky

Surrounded by linden alleys, hidden by emerald greens in the summer, sprinkled with diamond scatterings of snow in the winter, charming with its modest, unassuming beauty, there is house No. 1 in Votkinsk, Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky. Perhaps, two centuries after its foundation, it would have been forever lost, forgotten in stormy stream of events in Russian history, if one day within its walls there was a cry of a newborn, who was destined to become a world-renowned composer.

History reference

Since the construction of the house No. 1 on the Lord’s Street in 1806 and until the revolution of 1917, eighteen factory bosses lived in it, replacing each other. In the career sense, the house brought them good luck: they all received promotions in rank and rank during their service. Even today, the museum’s scientific staff notice that employees who come to visit the museum soon receive a new title.

The house for the families of the mining chiefs of the Kamsko-Votkinsky district on the street of the Lord was built at a time when the plant was headed by Andrey Fedorovich Deryabin, a major specialist in the field of mining. He organized the production of tool steel in Votkinsk and installed the first rolling mill in the Urals. Twenty years later, in 1826, the architect Vasily Nikiforovich Petenkin began a major reconstruction of the building. It was then that the north wing, a mezzanine, three balconies, a parapet on the roof, and a gate with wickets appeared. The wooden stucco house on a stone foundation organically fit into the surrounding landscape and began to resemble the noble estates built in Moscow after the Patriotic War of 1812.

From 1837 to 1848, the head of the Botkin Plant was Ilya Petrovich Tchaikovsky.
It is easy to calculate that in a beautiful house on the bank of the Botkin Pond, the family of the mining chief Tchaikovsky lived for 11 years. The name of the father of the musical genius is associated with one of the brightest pages in the history of the Botkin Plant.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky

Before the arrival of Ilya Petrovich, the plant was a metallurgical enterprise that produced iron and anchors.
The last head of the plant in the pre-revolutionary period was G. I. Bostrem. The new owners gradually changed the layout of the house.

A special page in the history of both the house and Votkinsk is occupied by the outstanding engineer who led the plant from 1855 to 1863, Major General Alexander Andreevich Iossa. During his administration, the company carried out important orders — beams were made for the ceiling of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, sheet metal for covering the Tsarskoye Selo palaces, and the spire of the cathedral of the Peter and Paul Fortress was created. In 1858, the craftsmen of the Botkin Factory made the frame of the forty-meter spire and delivered it in disassembled form to St. Petersburg, where it was assembled.

The State Memorial and Architectural Complex Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky

In 1888, when V. I. Timofeev became the new tenant of the house and the head of the enterprise, the marine oil tanker “Botkin Plant”was built at the shipyard. Under the management of another factory director, V. V. Vorontsov, the company began to produce floating port cranes with a lifting capacity of up to 50 tons.

The difficult post-revolutionary period did not pass by the house where the future great composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born. At the beginning of the Civil War, the headquarters of the White Guards was located in the estate of the chief of the Kamsko-Votkinsky mountain district. The former director’s office was occupied by military commanders, the staff office was busy in the living room, and captured Red Army soldiers were languishing in the mezzanine of the house, where once in his schoolroom young Peter, causing tears of emotion from the governess Fanny Durbach, tremulously declared his love for Russia and his people.

In 1919, the Whites had to retreat from Votkinsk, and the house was occupied by the Red Guards. From here, they managed the elimination of the remaining hotbeds of “white terror” and the consequences of the Izhevsk – Vo-Tkinsky uprising. Very soon, the stay in the walls of the military house reflected on the state of the estate, the beauty of which was admired by Vasily Zhukovsky, Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich-the future Emperor Alexander II – and little Pyotr Tchaikovsky. By the time, in 1920, the house of the head of the plant housed the classrooms of the engineering technical school, and then transferred to the department of the Youth Union, its furnishings were either looted or damaged.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky
Visit to the house-estate of P. I. Tchaikovsky by the President of Russia V. V. Putin

In 1924, the owners of the house on the bank of the Botkin Pond changed again, this time they were students and teachers of the Botkin school-seven-year-olds. There were only three graduates of this educational institution. In 1927, a 300-seat summer theater was built in the manor garden, where folk festivals and solemn events were celebrated. However, more and more often in the conversations of the local population there were questions about the past days of this house and about its famous tenant, perhaps more than others who glorified the city of Votkinsk.

Interest in the fate of the estate increased, but the house itself was dilapidated and required constant attention, repair and preservation of its historical value. The first to sound the alarm was the head of the local history circle of the Middle, which existed at that time. A few months of correspondence with various authorities responsible for the cultural heritage inherited by the young USSR, and in the summer of 1928, the artist N. V.

Pishchalkin was sent to Votkinsk by the Council for the Arts. After studying the situation, he gave a detailed report on the plight of the house. By a happy coincidence, not a single major building appeared nearby, which would violate the historical layout and landscape of the most beautiful corner of Votkinsk. After all, there is no need to say how much can be clarified in the fate and work of a genius by the environment that surrounded him as a child.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky
Monument to Tchaikovsky in Votkinsk, 1990

Museum today

Nowadays, unique evidence of the noble life of the 19th century and, of course, the life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is presented to the attention of visitors to the estate museum. From the very threshold, in the Hallway, everyone who comes to this house to touch the history and culture of Russia is greeted with rare exhibits. The exposition located here is dedicated to the fate of the Tchaikovsky family. Visitors can get acquainted with the family tree of the male line of the genus.

In 2009, a unique exhibition of author’s porcelain dolls “Music Born by Childhood” was opened in the mezzanine of the memorial house, the authors of which were artists from Moscow, Perm, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Izhevsk. Characters from operas and ballets by P.I. Tchaikovsky, whose subjects are the subjects of books read by the composer as a child. They were created within the framework of the Museum Doll program of the Russian Collectors’ Club. The theatrical excursion, on which the Votkinsk households “come to life”, is very popular with visitors. And then, as if by magic, visitors are transported to the distant past.

In the Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky, concerts, musical and literary evenings, and competition projects for gifted children are often held. Within its hospitable walls, the museum often gathers creative teams from various countries – Tchaikovsky’s music is loved all over the world. And, as in the times of the Tchaikovskys, the house on the former Gospodskaya Street remains “a gathering place for the Votkinsk intelligentsia” and a real center of Russia’s musical culture.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky
Two-story gazebo in the park behind the house

What is in the estate.

The park housed the obligatory architectural decorations of that time — gazebos. In the Tchaikovsky estate there were three of them: the “children’s house”, where Petya Tchaikovsky spent his leisure time with his brothers and sister, a summer gazebo blown by a refreshing wind, and a warm winter one with thick walls, which was also called the “tea house”.

There were eleven rooms in the house, five of them were given to children, including two in the mezzanine-a nursery and a classroom.

On the first floor of the house there was a suite of state rooms. The main one was a large Hall, decorated with carved mahogany furniture and decorated with lamps with crystal pendants. Paintings hung on the walls of the Hall. Most of these were the works of unknown artists.

The Tchaikovsky couple, people of fine taste and exceptional hospitality, surprisingly quickly endeared themselves to the local intelligentsia; in their house, guests invariably found a warm welcome.
and a warm welcome. On rare evenings, the Hall was empty. Engineers, officials, and officers gathered here to pass the time in casual conversation, to exchange opinions about the books they had read, and to listen to music.
In the Hall there is a straight-string grand piano of the company “Wirth”, handed over by the Klin Museum in September 1939, the keys of which were touched by the fingers of Pyotr Ilyich. Here you can also see the orchestra. Ilya Petrovich brought her to Votkinsk from St. Petersburg.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Office

Throughout the entire time of the Tchaikovsky’s stay in the manor house on the street of the Lord, the center of its special universe was the master’s Office. This is the place where the life of the estate was established. Here the owner listened to the manager’s reports on business, wrote official papers and letters to numerous relatives and friends, discussed projects for the reform of the plant and new buildings, and of course, it was in the office in the evenings that he sat reading books.
The interior of Ilya Petrovich’s Study was modest and austere: oak or mahogany chairs, a sofa and a sofa-pathe (now located in the Classroom on the mezzanine), armchairs upholstered, unlike other rooms of the house, not with silk fabric, but with leather, a secretary for business papers and a desk, on which there were usually bills and important papers.

The room was heated by a fireplace. Mantelpieces were usually decorated with either a carved screen made of wood and marble, or painted tiles, or elegant objects. In Tchaikovsky’s Study, the mantelpiece was decorated with a gilded bronze clock by German masters with a miniature figure of Alexander I. The Study now houses one of the museum’s main relics — a fireplace screen embroidered with a small Russian cross.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky

Almost the entire space of the Dining Room is occupied by a massive mahogany dining table. In the days of the Tchaikovsky family, on holidays, linen napkins were laid out on a snow-white starched tablecloth, and plates were placed on them. The guests and the owners of the house took their seats around the table and started a meal.
On weekdays, a large, close-knit Tchaikovsky family gathered at a large table during dinners.
In addition to their children, Ilya Petrovich and Alexandra Andreevna raised their niece Lydia, who lost her mother early. Another niece, Nastasya Vasilyevna Popova, helped run the household. As a full member of the family, Nadezhda Timofeevna Valtseva, an old pious relative of Ilya Petrovich, also sat down at the table. And after dinner, everyone would sit comfortably on the silk-covered sofas for a leisurely conversation.

Blue living room

In addition to the main living room in the large noble houses, there were also small ones. They were often named for the upholstery and the color of the walls — blue, pink, green. They were intended for quiet evenings with close friends. Such a room was also available in the Tchaikovsky house. Their Blue living room had more cozy furniture, a variety of decorative fabrics, mirrors, sentimental paintings, beautiful embroidery, than in the other rooms of the house. The sofa, built into a niche in the form of an exedra tent, where the ladies could confide in each other, fit in perfectly.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky
Interior of the blue living room
The composer’s parents ‘ bedroom

Of particular interest and great spiritual significance for many visitors to the estate is the most intimate room in the Tchaikovsky house. It was here, under these arches, on a warm, sunny spring day on May 7, 1840, in the family of Ilya Petrovich and Alexandra Andreevna, a son was born. The boy was given the name Peter. Happy parents, looking at their child, could not imagine that the newborn is waiting for a great fate, the fate of the genius of Russian and world music.
His birth was witnessed by an icon of the Virgin Mary, which is still in the Bedroom today. This image was presented to Ilya Petrovich by his nephew, Archimandrite of the Solikamsk Trinity Monastery, in 1837, the year of the Tchaikovsky family’s arrival in Votkinsk. Since then, the icon has become the most expensive and revered relic in the family, it was carefully preserved and passed down from generation to generation.

Children’s-changing room

In this room lived the youngest children with bonne Caroline. On the changing table — handmade children’s clothing: dresses, caps, vests. In the XIX century, the clothing of small children was the same-
they did not differ by gender. Parents always made sure that there were no drafts in the children’s rooms, the cradle was always placed closer to the stove.
On the wall hangs the only photo of the Tchaikovsky family’s time in Votkinsk, taken in 1848: Zinaida and Nikolai, Alexandra Andreevna, Ilya Petrovich with Ippolit sitting on his lap, daughter Alexandra and Peter.

Boys ‘ Room

Among the abundance of children’s toys in a glass case is an icon of the Vladimir Mother of God. This image is associated with a memorable event that took place in the Votkinsk house, about which Alexandra Andreevna wrote to her sister Katya. Once, when the Tchaikovsky’s eldest son, Nikolai, was only about a year old, he fell seriously ill: a high fever rose, and the alarmed Alexandra Andreevna sent for a doctor. After examining the boy, he made a diagnosis — ” severe inflammation in the brain, and did not hide the fact that there is no hope.” The pious aunt Nadezhda Timofeevna decided to bring an icon of the Vladimir Mother of God from the Annunciation Cathedral.

Museum-Estate of Tchaikovsky
baby changing room

Maiden name

In this room, the girls, under the supervision of their relatives, were engaged in needlework; on the table you can see a pouch embroidered with small beads. There were also so-called “patience lessons”: the girl was given tangled threads, which she had to carefully untangle without breaking, and wind a ball. It was a very difficult task, and it required exceptional attention, patience, and skill.