Chekhov purchased Melikhovo in 1892 and lived there until 1899, when an outbreak of tuberculosis forced him to relocate to Crimea.
Melikhovo had previously been owned by a theater artist, who designed the main house in the style of a theater set with stained-glass and lancet windows and a porch, resembling a fairy-tale castle. Inside the house the layout and decor have been recreated exactly as they were when Chekhov lived there. Besides the main house there is also a garden with a bell, which was rung to summon the residents to the dining table, and a small outhouse, where Chekhov wrote “The Seagull.” A notebook belonging to Chekhov, in which the writer and keen horticulturalist had kept a record of all his plantations, was discovered and used to restore the garden.
At Melikhovo RBTH met British writer Flora Fraser, who shared her impressions:
“It's wonderful to be here at the Chekhov estate. I first became interested in visiting writers’ homes when I visited Chekhov’s house museum in Moscow, a very long time ago, in 1973. And today, so many years later and in a different Russia, I see Chekhov’s pince-nez inside his house here… The best way one can connect with a writer – whether one’s a fellow writer or a reader – is to sit here and think about his stories, all the plays.”
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