Anton Pavlovich Chekhov is one of the most famous Russian playwrights and one of the most screened prose writers because in his works more than 100 films have been shot. So, the Italians in 1987 shot the film “Black Eyes,” for the role in which Marcello Mastroianni received the Cannes Film Festival Prize. And in 2010, the film “Duel” as released with Andrew Scott and Tobias Menzies in the lead roles. How did Chekhov create such incredible works? To answer this question, it is worth knowing – in what conditions did this great writer live and create? Reveal the secret will help Chekhov’s dacha (summer residence, house) in Gurzuf. Today it is a museum open to the public and known to all. But during the life of the playwright, everything was not so: he lived alone with his wife, Olga Knipper, did not receive visitors, but enjoyed sea bathing and the salty air, which was shown to him for health reasons.
Of course, the Chekhov Museum in Crimea is also in Yalta, because here was its official residence, “White Dacha”. However, he rested with his soul in Gurzuf!
The history of Chekhov’s Dacha in Gurzuf
“… without Russia, it’s not good, not good in every sense … Of all the Russian warm places, the best so far is the Southern Coast of Crimea, no doubt, whatever they say about the Caucasian nature … In Crimea it is more comfortable and closer to Russia” – Anton Chekhov wrote in a letter to V.M. Sobolevsky.
For the first time, the writer arrives in Crimea in 1888, and here, for the first time in life he sees the sea from the hills of Sevastopol city, admires the beauty of the seascapes and skillfully writes these marine images in the story “The Black Monk”. Subsequently, it is here that “Three Sisters”, “Lady with a Dog”, and “Cherry Orchard” will be written.
Chekhov’s secret dacha appeared at the end 1899 – beginning 1900 as an attempt to find an ideal place for creativity. He told his family:
“Did I write to you that I bought a piece of the coast in Gurzuf? I own a small bay with a beautiful view, its own rocks, swimming, fishing and so on, and so on. The pier and the park are very close, 3 minutes walk: At the new cottage there is only one tree, mulberry, but you can plant a hundred, which I will do … The house is lousy but tiled, four rooms, large canopies ” – from a letter from Chekhov to his brother Ivan on February 7, 1900.
Bathing used to be called a small bay with a beach. It was possible to go down to it directly from the observation deck, which is near the house. Both the beach and the descent are completely preserved.
Almost none of the writer’s friends knew about the existence of his small shelter house Gurzuf village near Yalta.
During the life of the owner, only V.F. Komissarzhevskaya and I.A. Bunin visited him.
In Gurzuf, Chekhov presented the actress with his photo with the inscription: “Vera Fedorovna Komissarzhevskaya, August 3, on a stormy day when the sea was noisy, from the quiet Anton Chekhov.” But Bunin has been here twice. The writer strove for solitude, because even then he knew that he was sick with tuberculosis and wanted to be in time as much as possible.
It is interesting that Chekhov admired Pushkin all his life, and by the will of fate, his secret dacha was only 300 meters from the house of Duke Richelieu, in which the great poet lived in 1820.
The author of the work “Three Sisters” began work on the work here in Gurzuf, and already in 1901 the first production took place at the Moscow Art Theater (photographs have been preserved and can be seen on display).
Dacha of the Writer and Olga Knipper Today
The exposition of the house-museum is divided into memorial and literary parts. Here you can see the cabinet in which the playwright wrote, see old Chekhov’s photographs with his wife and friends.
The literary exposition is completely devoted to the history of the creation of the play “Three Sisters”. Here are photos of prototypes of heroes, copies of manuscript pages, the first editions of 1901.
The remarkable museum of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov near the bay stores not only the memories of the playwright. Palm trees and bamboo bushes remained here, and his favorite juniper turned into a huge tree and decorated the bay as a kind of “lighthouse”.
Address and Opening hours
22 Chekhova Street, Gurzuf, Crimea
Open from May 1 to October 31 daily from 10:00 to 18:00
Museum ticket office: from 10:00 to 17:30