The Shakhmatovo estate in the Moscow region
Several big names are connected with this place at once, but it must be admitted that the village of Gudino in the Moscow region is little known. But the Shakhmatovo estate is known to many. Today the Shakhmatovo estate belongs to the State Memorial Museum-Reserve of D. I. Mendeleev and A. A. Blok.
The park with a variety of trees and shrubs will impress you. It seems that the Shakhmatovo estate is located in a large forest, and not in the suburbs.
Story of The Shakhmatovo estate
“Paradise” in the Moscow region, Beketov bought in 1874 on the advice of a friend, the famous chemist Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev. He lived not far from here. The houses of the Batiushkovs and Fonvizins stood nearby. By the way, Beketov and Mendeleev later became related: Blok married the daughter of a chemist, Lyubov Mendeleeva (in marriage, she took her husband’s surname).
Beketov’s daughters were attached to their father, but did not follow in his footsteps, they were fond of literature. Alexander Blok’s mother first brought her son to Shakhmatovo when he was only six months old. She also wrote poetry. Blok grew up and was brought up in such an environment, which predetermined his fate.
The Shakhmatovo estate in the Moscow region is small. Half a day is enough for you to watch it all. The house where Beketov lived was rebuilt several times. In 1910, Blok created his new project. However, 11 years later, there was a strong fire: the peasants set fire to the estate.
For a long time, restoration work was not carried out. Blok’s fans just came to see the places where he spent a lot of time. The Shakhmatovo estate in the Moscow region became a museum in 1981, but the house was restored here only in the early 2000s, after which it was opened for tourists.
What to watch: Manor house
They built a pine estate in Shakhmatovo. The walls are gray, the roof is green. Of course, it was repainted several times, so in different years the shades of these colors were different. But the main assortment has survived to this day.
Go inside. A wooden veranda, creaky floorboards in rooms, curtains on the windows will remind you that you are in a country house. Actually, the owners always noted that they came “not to the dacha, but to the village.” The dacha in those days was associated with philistinism.
The furniture, which has now become part of the exhibition, belonged to different generations of the Beketovs and the Blok family.
Now you will no longer appreciate the proportions, but once the park was in the form of an elongated trapezoid. During the fire, many plants were badly damaged. But you will see the elms that Blok and his wife planted. Birches, huge spruces, lilacs, fragrant wild rose, flowers – all this surrounds and decorates the territory of the estate. We managed to preserve the linden alley.
Silvery poplars are relatively young trees. Those that grew up under Blok are gone. One of them was cut down by the poet himself, the second was struck by lightning.
A small but very picturesque pond is located a little further from the manor house. You will reach it along the forest path. The pond is surrounded by trees, even slightly overgrown, but this only makes it mysterious. There is a bench on the shore. Sit down and just listen to the silence. Only the sound of the wind in the foliage and the singing of birds are exclusively natural sounds.
It, like the manor house, was restored according to documents. A new stable appeared in Shakhmatovo only in 2008. It turns out that Blok loved horseback riding, and horses were always there. Now there are four of them, and both children and adults can ride them.
This is not just a letter to send to you. Poems written by their own hand are lowered into this box. Here, under the impression of rustic beauty, a rhyme came to your head, you folded the lines, wrote it down – and here. Letters without addressee. They are simply kept later in the estate. Someone writes on the table, and you – in the mailbox.
In addition to excursions around the main house and the common area, the Shakhmatovo estate in the Moscow region cheerfully celebrates holidays. Christmas – with traditional carols and round dances. Shrovetide – with bright contests.
The estate participates in the All-Russian Science Festival, and also organizes temporary exhibitions.
Travel the forest trails on horseback with the whole family. Just like in a remote village, far from public transport. Or you can ride a husky in winter. Blue-eyed dogs are affectionate not only in children.
The Shakhmatovo estate also hosts games that were held at the time of Blok. For example, burners, cat and mouse or spillikins. At the “Old Letter” master class, the children will be shown how messages were written in the 19th century. And during the excursion “Botanical Walk” in the form of riddles and puzzles, they will tell about the plants in the park.
Shakhmatovo at different times of the year
It’s amazing: here, among the shady trees, it should be dark enough and probably even gloomy, but no. It is pleasant to walk here at different times of the year. Some paths lead to springs where people collect water.
The Beketovs had a tradition: in the summer they set a table in the park under the linden trees. Here they dined, dined and just drank tea.
Every spring the Lilac Festival is held in Shakhmatovo. The name itself evokes an association with the aromas of white and pale purple flower clusters.
It offers ski rental in winter and bike rental in summer, and you can ski along the forest paths enjoying the fresh air.