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Celebrating 100 years of Tolstoy

18th March 2010 Print

The release this month of The Last Station, starring James McAvoy and Helen Mirren, will draw attention to the life of Russia’s most famous author in the year that marks 100 years since his death.

Until very recently, anyone wanting to follow in Tolstoy’s footsteps with a visit to Yasnaya Polyana, the country estate where he lived most of his life, would have had to endure a very gruelling 125 mile car journey from Moscow. Now, though, a new weekend break from Regent Holidays will make the journey much simpler as, for the first time, Regent are able to book clients onto the local train straight through from Moscow.

Lev (Leo) Tolstoy was born in Yasnaya Polyana in 1828 and lived there for around 60 years. Located 12 kilometres south west of Tula, it was in Yasnaya Polyana that Tolstoy wrote many of his great books and philosophical essays, including the most famous and celebrated 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Despite this, Tolstoy was not destined to die in his home. On a stormy night in the autumn of 1910 he left his home to seek out a simpler form of life, abandoning all of his material wealth.

However, on his journey that night, he became ill and died in a small train station in Astapovo, but was returned to Yasnaya Polyana to be buried in a simple woodland grave. Immediately after Tolstoy's death, the estate was designated a memorial museum dedicated to his work and life and contains many of Tolstoy's personal belongings, as well as his library of 22,000 volumes. Tolstoy’s great great grandson, Vladimir Ilyich Tolstoy, is currently the director of the museum.

The train from Moscow runs on Saturdays or Sundays at 09.10 arriving just before noon, allowing around 6 hours to visit the estate before the return journey at 18.15. Included is a tour of the estate (approximately 2 hours), Kozlova Zaseka Railway Station, tea drinking (at a traditional Russian Izba) and the Necropolis of the Tolstoy family.

This Tolstoy Anniversary Break departs every Friday throughout 2010 and costs from £740 per person. The price includes return flights to Moscow in economy class, return airport transfers, 3 nights accommodation in the four-star Marriott Tverskaya in Moscow with breakfast and private excursion by train to Yasnaya Polyana.

For reservations or further information, visit: