N.RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

MUSEUM-RESERVE

LOUBENSK-VECHASHA

The third N.Rimsky-Korsakov museum - a Museum-Reserve - consists of his own country-seat, Loubensk and the neighbouring estate of S.Ogareva, Vechasha.

Both of them, the same as the house in Tikhvin and the apartment in St.Petersburg, became significant monuments of Russian culture.

Rimsky-Korsakov spent six summers (1894-1905) at Vechasha . This place with its large ancient park on the bank of the poetical Lake Pesno was quiet and comfortable for creative work. There the composer worked on his operas: "The Christmas Night", "Sadko", "The Tsar's Bride", "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" and "The Legend of the Invisible Town Kitez".

Vechasha. On the balcony of the Main House

The Lake Pesno in Vechaha

 

Loubensk was bought by Rimsky-Korsakov in 1907. There he composed his last opera Le Coq dOr" in summer 1907 and there he died on the 21st June 1908. This small country-seat, which appeared in the middle of the XIX century, has a territory of 9 hectares and the most part of it is occupied by the park which includes an apple orchard. The location of the site on a south-facing slope more, than 30 meters higher than Vechasha, and the existence of a multitude of diverse trees (oaks, larches, birchs and lime-trees) made it possible to create a picturesque combination of park and buildings. The central flower garden is located in front of the Main House from which a beautiful view looks in the direction of Vechasha and to a distant landscape with the Lake Pesno on the skyline.

Loubensk. The flower garden.

Loubensk. The Main house

Three ponds and several local landmarks supplement the beauty of the park. The apple-trees create a colourful background of these compositions, particularly when the trees are in blossom in the spring.

Fate was cruel to both these places: in 1918-1920 they were occupied by a Sovkhoz (a soviet governmental farm), which did not care for the buildings or the parks. The owners of Vechasha were driven out; the buildings of this estate, which all were wooden, were demolished. Only the foundations of the main house remained, where Rimsky-Korsakov composed his music. The park with its ancient trees was badly damaged.

Rimsky-Korsakov's family was forced to leave Loubensk too. The Sovkhoz used its buildings, park and apple orchard for its needs, but did not maintain them properly. The worst happened to Loubensk at the end of the 1941-1945 war, when all buildings, built of wood too, were burned down. Only the stone-built stable and the foundations of other buildings remained. Nevertheless, it was possible to restore the whole country-seat with all details, because there are more than one hundred photos and other documents relating to Loubensk in the family Archives.

Loubensk. The Semeynaya and the stable

The restoration of the park of Vechasha began in 1967; the designing for the restoration of Loubensk in 1980; the rebuilding of the Main Houses at Loubensk and Vechasha in 1986. Later the stable was restored, a small building called Semeynaya was rebuilt at Loubensk and the restoration of its park began. Thanks to this it became possible to open the Museum-Reserve to visitors in 1995.

But the restoration of Loubensk remains incomplete, though it would be very important to restore the whole country-seat, not only as a place connected with the name of N.Rimsky-Korsakov. It is a typical sample of a modest Russian country-seat of the XIX century. There is lot of work to do in the park. The Orangery for plants and the Repository for the Archives (former a little house) must be rebuilt The Ice-house needs to be restored. The most urgent requirement is the rebuilding of another wooden building called the Dacha.

.Dacha

This onestoreyed mezzanine building (formerly a house) will contain several rooms for guests, a music room and a small cafe. Unfortunately, there is no money for this.

Loubensk. The Dacha

Three years ago the government finance was cut and with the existing economic conditions in Russia there is absolutely no prospects of receiving any funds from the government agencies to complete the restoration of Loubensk.

The N.Rimsky-Korsakov Museum-Reserve urgently requires financial support, primarily for the rebuilding of the Dacha at Loubensk.

If anyone is interested in helping, we would be very grateful. If you think you can help or if you would like any further information, please contact :

Tatiana Rimskaya-Korsakova

by e-mail - tv@ap2155.spb.edu

by post - Box 548, St.Petersburg 190121,

Russia