Pushkin apartment on Arbat in Moscow

A memorial apartment of a great Russian poet А. S. Pushkin is on 53, Old Arbat Street, not far from the Garden Ring. It is there that Pushkin spent the happiest months of his life in Moscow after the marriage with Natalia Goncharova.

Alexander Pushkin met Natalia Goncharova at the end of 1828 at a ball hosted by the famous Moscow dancing master Yogel. Natalia then was 16 and she’d just begun to go out. Her parents lived in Yaropolets, a small village near Volokolamsk in the north-west of Moscow region.

Everyone told about the beauty of Natalia, and Alexander fell in love with her. After the proposal of marriage he obtained the consent to the wedding in April 1830.

Before the wedding the poet went to Bolshoye Boldino to enter into possession of Kistenevo, a village which was included in the estate, to mortgage it at the bank and got the money needed for the wedding. The wedding was planned for autumn, but the cholera quarantine forced Pushkin to stay in Boldino almost until winter.

Yet by the New Year Pushkin returned to Moscow, and on January 23, 1831 he rented the first floor in the Arbat mansion, which belonged to a nobleman N. N. Khitrovo. He rentedfor two thousand roubles the rooms of the first floor, entresols, a stable, a coach-house, and a kitchen for half a year and hired servants. It is there that he gave a stag party and then brought his young wife after the wedding.

The wedding took place in the Church of the Great Ascension near the Nikitsky Gate on February 18, 1831. Pushkin was then 32, and Natalia Goncharova was 18. After the wedding the newlyweds settled in the Arbat house. Pushkin called these first months of his married life «serene existence». On February 27 the Pushkins gave their first ball in the Arbat house.

However Pushkin had never managed to set up good relations with his mother-in-law, Natalia Nikolayevna Zagryazhskaya. She pestered the poet with money demands, reproached him for atheism, immorality. As a result, on May 15, 1831 the married couple was forced to leave the Arbat apartment and move to the dacha in Tsarskoye Selo, which was rented for them by Pletnev.

The historical furnishing and the spirit of the Pushkin time wasn’t preserved in the memorial apartment, but they were restored with maximum precision. The museum occupies two floors. At the museum there is an exposition devoted to the stag party of Pushkin. There you can also see the documents signed by the newlyweds at the wedding ceremony, the portraits of those who attended the wedding ceremony, the manuscripts of Pushkin and many other things, which may be of interest for the lovers of Pushkin work.