Peredelkino Writers' Village
History
Peredelkino, the legendary writers' colony, was set up outside Moscow in the 1930s and became an epicentre of literature in the Soviet days. Some of the most prominent writers of the 20th century lived and worked here. At one time or another Peredelkino became home to Boris Pasternak, Korney Chukovsky, Isaac Babel, Konstantin Paustovsky, Leonid Leonov, Bulat Okudzhava, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Bella Akhmadulina and many others.
However, the place itself had been rooted in a literary tradition long before it became known as the writers' village. Before the Soviet days, there was Izmalkovo, an aristocratic country estate closely associated with a family that was once well-known in Russia — The Samarins. By the beginning of the sixteenth century the Samarins had achieved high rank among the gentry. Ismalkovo estate was sold to the Samarin family in 1830, who extended and developed the house over several generations.

It became home to Yuri Samarin, a prominent Russian philosopher, a member of the Slavophile circle and a prolific political writer. His writings on the Russian state are of particular interest since he was much involved in the reform process of the late 1850s serving as a member of the commission that worked on eliminating serfdom. It was then the traditions and cultural code of Izmalkovo were first established. The place became closely associated with philosophy, historical research, new educational practices, and art.

Ismalkovo stayed with the Samarin family until the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the collapse of the Russian Empire. The Samarins were evicted from the house in 1923; some of them were subjected to repressions. Ismalkovo then became a tuberculosis colony for children until the 2000s, when the house was abandoned and fell into decay. The estate is currently closed for restoration works.

Yuri Samarin
In the twentieth century the grounds of Izmalkovo were chosen for the first Soviet creative residency. It is believed that writer and Soviet icon Maxim Gorky, the first chairman of the Literary Fund, suggested to Stalin that a dacha settlement be built at the village of Peredelkino. The houses were distributed on a rental basis so that the privilege could be withdrawn any time the tenant fell into disgrace.

Many of the first residents became victims of political repressions. Peredelkino was the last address of Isaac Babel, Vladimir Zazubrin, Artyom Vesyoly, Bruno Jasieński, Lev Kamenev, among others. Kamenev's house became the first Dom Tvorchestva.
Despite the fearful circumstances under which many Soviet writers worked, Peredelkino became a village for Soviet literary inspiration. It was in Peredelkino that Pasternak created an eponymous volume of poems, which he considered the best he had ever written. It is at his home in Peredelkino Pasternak worked on his magnum opus, Doctor Zhivago. It was here that Pasternak learned the news that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for 'his important achievement in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition'. Here he had to decline the award.

The post-Stalin 'thaw era' in
the early 1960s was the era
of artistic freedom.
At that time poets
Robert Rozhdestvensky,
Yevgeny Yevtushenko,
Andrey Voznesensky,
Bella Akhmadulina,
semi-dissident bard
Bulat OKudzhava moved to Peredelkino.
Peredelkino was home to Korney Chukovsky, a defender of Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova, translator, and a prolific literary critic. It was here Korney Chukovsky built and stocked a children's library near his dacha to promote reading and encourage a love of poetry in kids. In 1994, Chukovsky's house was turned into a small museum in his name.

Peredelkino Dom Tvorchestva
Dom Tvorchestva, as we know it today, was built in 1955 to provide undisturbed time and space for literary writers to focus on their work. From then on Dom Tvorchestva served as a literary residency and each candidate had to be approved by the Literary Fund. Even though it was hard to get into the residency, many Russian writers, poets, screenwriters and translators of the XX century worked here. Arseniy Tarkovsky, a prominent Soviet poet and father to film director Andrei Tarkovsky, lived in Dom Tvorchestva almost all his life.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union the building fell into decay. Several years ago Dom Tvorchestva opened its doors again. The building was meticulously restored with original interiors, the famous staircase in the foyer, and the library. Today, Dom Tvorchestva is a space where creative practitioners can get draw inspiration, release their imaginative potential, and establish meaningful connections with one another.


Before and After
Dom Tvorchestva as it was on 24 July 2020
and several weeks after

Made on
Tilda