We continue our series “Best places to see in Russia” and I’m going to walk you through another amazing and not very well-known place among the foreigners. The Pushkin Mountains or Pushkinskie Gory are the famous area in Russia and the place where the great national poet Alexander Pushkin spent the significant amount of his life. This area is located 115 km south from the town Pskov and very rich for beautiful landscapes, authentic rural scenes and reflects the past times of the great Russian poet. The history of Pushkin Mountains began in 1569 when the Tsar Ivan the Terrible founded the Svyatogorsky monastery here and where is the grave of Pushkin.
Just nearby the village Pushkinskie Gory is Mikhaylovsloe – the family estate of the poet’s mother. This is the place of his spiritual formation where many wonderful works were written. The house – museum shows many things that Pushkin owned and among them the old icon which his father blessed him with to marry Natalia Goncharova. You will be able to get to the Pushkin’s office, where the old working environment has been preserved. The most valuable items on display – a silver candlestick, mahogany table, an inkwell and a foot bench.
Nearby is located the little house of Pushkin’s nanny Arina Radionovna – the most beloved person in his life. He wrote down folk songs from her words and listened to her tales. The kind woman became the prototype of Tatiana’s nanny in “Eugene Onegin”. When the memorial complex began to be restored after the war, the nanny’s house was rebuilt first.
The best way to get to the places here is walking because it is such an enjoyment, and I strongly recommend it if you have enough time! The distance between Mikhailovskoe and Trigorskoe is approximately 3 km. Trigorskoe is another estate owned by Pushkin neighbors and friends Osipov – Wulf family. Pushkin was very often as a guest here and observations of the life and people of Trigorskoe were reflected in his novel “Eugene Onegin”. There is a famous bench in the Park of Trigorskoe – so called “The Bench of Love” from the “Eugene Onegin”. The estate has one of the most gorgeous parks in the area where you can enjoy the amazing views, natural surroundings and excellent guides! This is definitely a place you must see!
This estate was granted to Abram Petrovich Gannibal – Pushkin’s great – grandfather. His story is a truly fantastic one! Abram Gannibal was an Afro – Russian nobleman, general and a military engineer. He was a son of an African prince, as a child was kidnapped and taking to the Sultan’s court at Istanbul. From Istanbul he was brought to Russia and as a gift presented to Peter the Great and later was given a proper education.
Pushkin regularly visited Petrovskoe estate and was always curious about the story of his family, closely intertwined with the history of Russia. The estate remained in its original appearance until the 1918 and then was burnt during the Revolution. Over the time it was restored and the museum was opened in 1977. Now this complex includes the house and a memorial park where every corner reminds of the past. This beautiful place is considered as a national treasure and included in many excursion programs.
The monastery complex was founded in 1569 by order of Ivan the Terrible and now is one of the most revered places in Russia. Soon, the Tobolenets settlement appeared nearby. Later it grew to the village, which was called the Holy Mountains and in 1925 was renamed Pushkinskie Gory. Nowadays the monastery is the golden point for hundreds of pilgrims because of its spiritual and historical significance.
Alexander Pushkin loved to be here! He often worked at the monastery library and studied the ancient chronicles. Here he found the sources for his poem “Boris Godunov”. The monastery has a difficult fate – it was destroyed during the 2 World War by Nazis and only in 1992 returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. Now it is a home for about thirty monks.
Where to stay and how to travel to Pushkinskie Gory
There are several ways to get to Pushkinskie Gory depending on where you are: if you travel from Moscow, you can take a night train or a plane to Pskov, and if you travel from St. Petersburg you can consider 3 ways:
- direct bus (from the Busstation 2 at 7.15am, 9.15am, 21pm and 22.50pm)
- train to Pskov + bus (trains from Baltiyskiy station at 6.55am, 13.40pm, 20.15pm and 23.30pm, bus 505 Pskov Bus Station)
- train + taxi ( you can order an official taxi in Pskov to Pushkinskie Gory)
There are 3 bus operators where you can book your ticket: AutoFavorit, Avtovokzaly.ru and Pskov Bus Terminal. The cheapest way to get to Pushkinskie Gory is to take a direct bus from St. Petersburg, which will cost you about $12. In case, you have trouble to travel by your own, you may consider the option to take one -day tour from St. Petersburg to Pushkinskie Gory. You can look for some companies which provide such a tour, for example www.olianatravel.com.
There are several wonderful places to stay in Pushkinskie Gory or nearby. If you go to www.booking.com you will find plenty of them. The most exciting are “Onegin’s Usadba” nearby the Petrovskoe estate and Spa – Usadba Trigorskoe. One night at the “Onegin’s Usadba” will cost about $100, but you can book more affordable and also wonderful places such as”Pushkin’s neighbors” or “Guest house on Aerodromnaya 51”, which will cost you about $50 for the entire house with 3 bedrooms!
Written by Alex
If you have any questions, please e – mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org