Elabuga people are spiritually richer, and one should be on formal terms with them. (Mintimer Shaimiev)

Articles catalog :: Museums Elabuga

Museum-estate of N. Durova

Nadejda DurovaMany people, if not everyone, saw the movie "Hussar ballad", where the protagonist is a cavalry-girl. Just Nadezhda Andreevna Durova is her prototype – a woman of amazing destiny, the heroine of the Patriotic War of 1812, the orderly of Field Marshal M.I. Kutuzov, the first Russian woman-officer and one of the most talented writers of her time.

Her life was full of meetings with wonderful people of that epoch: the first Russian poet A.S. Pushkin, writers V.G. Belinsky, V.A. Zhukovsky, A.A. Kraevsky; the Emperor Alexander I rewarded her with St. George cross and ordered to be called after his name – Alexandrov, due to her valour and bravery.

In total there are five halls in the museum that are dedicated to a particular period of Nadezhda Andreevna life. Each of the five halls of the museum introduces us to an epoch and environment of the amazing and phenomenal woman, lifts the veil on the mysteries of her heroic biography, reminds about amazing and mysterious life.

Museum-estate of N. Durova

Unfortunately, there are no memorial things in the museum-estate: they could not be found. The explanation for this is simple: as after Durova’s death she had not direct descendants, who could keep things that belonged to her, so they either passed to private collections after the known events of 1917 (it is not excluded that they are abroad), or they were not kept at all.

Durova’s childhood.

The first hall tells us the story of childhood and youth of Nadia Durova. She was born in 1783 near the town of Kherson. Childhood passed in severe conditions of army life. “Saddle, - says Durova, - was my cradle; horse, gun and regimental music – first toys and fun”- says Nadeshda Andreevna.

In 1788 Durovs family settled in the town of Sarapul. In the hall relative interior of the house of a noble family of the XIX century was created. In the showcases archival documents, including the unique pages of metric books for the years 1801 and 1803 with records about Nadezhda’s marriage and christening of her son Ivan are placed.

Military service of Nadezha Andreevna.

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Dreaming of a military career since childhood, the 23-year old Nadezhda Andreevna secretly leaves the parental home for the army. Durova spent 10 years in the Russian army, having risen from private soldier to staff-captain. Alexander I rewarded her with St. George cross and ordered to be called after his name – Alexandr Alexandrov, due to her valour and bravery. In the hall “Military service” there are copies of her military uniforms, weapons, fragment of F. Roubaud paintings "The Borodino Battle”, where Durova participated.

Literary life of Durova N. A.

The exposure associated with the literary work of N.A. Durova, with her Elabuga period life is of particular interest. Here you can see the unique correspondence between Durova and Pushkin, the journal "Sovremennik” for 1836, where excerpt from "Notes of a cavalry-girl" with a preface by A.S. Pushkin is featured and a separate edition of this book for 1839.

Relative interior of Durova’s house in Elabuga includes: an office-cabinet, rocking chair, a bookcase – furniture of the middle of the XIX century, and as an essential part of her image – a pipe. During her last years Nadezhda Andreevna devoted herself to needlework, so the exposure fits perfectly fragments of beading, box for needlework.

In the yard near the house outbuildings on the type of the XIX century are built: a barn, coach-house, shed with low doors, bath in the depths of the estate, a bindweed arbour. Every building is for proper use, this creates the complete illusion of the estate of that time.

The rest of the halls also tell us about life of Durova both in Elabuga and beyond it. Visitors of the museum are tourists and natives of Elabuga, they are always glad of the activities that are regularly held in the museum.




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