Place of Lermontov duel in Pyatigorsk

An obelisk is on the northern side of Mt. Mashuk. It marks the place where a great Russian poet M. Lermontov was killed during the duel with N. Martynov on July 15th 1841. 

The exact place of the duel is debated but it hasn’t a great importance. At the time of Lermontov duels were strictly forbidden in Russia and were a criminal offence. Although he had a very difficult disposition Lermontov had only 2 duels in his life. He fought his first duel with Ernst de Barant at the age of 26 in 1840. Both opponents discharged their guns in the air and made it up with each other. But all the same the duel told on them. Lermontov was ordered to the Tenginsky Regiment at the Caucasus.

The second duel with Martynov took place already the following year in July 1841. Martynov and Lermontov were trained in the same junker school and then they met at the Caucasus where Lermontov was exiled and Martynov came of his own free will.

In July 1841 Lermontov moved from Pyatigorsk to Zheleznovodsk, where he rented a hut at the Karpov`s Inn, but continued to visit the Verzilins in Pyatigorsk where, on July 13th, he had a quarrel with Martynov over a seemingly inoffensive joke. The duel was appointed on July 15th. 

The day before the duel Lermontov stayed at Zheleznovodsk, and early the following morning he went to the Roschke Coffee House where he spent the last hours of his life with his distant relative Catherine Bykhovets, whom he was in love with, and his friend Lev Pushkin. The Roschke Coffee House was located in the settlement Shotlandka (now Inozemtsevo). The Roschke Coffee House has been completely restored, and now it looks as it did at the time of Lermontov.

From the Roschke Coffee House Lermontov and his seconds went to the side of Mashuk, the place of duel. Lermontov shot in the air and Martynov shot in the breast. Lermontov was killed on the spot. The permanent monument was installed in the place of duel by the hundredth anniversary of Lermontov birth in 1915.