The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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International Project Krapivna: Revival of a Jewel of the Russian Provinces


Heritage of Thuringia Association (Heimatbund Thüringen e.V.), Germany

Heritage of Leo Tolstoy International Foundation, Russia                     

Project duration: 2 years (May 2007 – April 2009)

Krapivna – formerly a district center of the Tula Province, having a history of about 600 years – has long been known far beyond the borders of the Tula region, and not only to historians and literary critics with their professional research interests. The present-day Krapivna has become an attractive place for people of different professions and ages. Many tourists visit Krapivna during the annual Nettle Festival; but small groups of people also come here to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of an old provincial town and to feel the slow flow of time. 

Most of the visitors to Krapivna mention the town’s unique character and imagine it as a lovely open-air museum in the near future. Many of the local residents also liked this idea. Active work aimed at its realization began in 2007, when the project Krapivna: Revival of a Jewel of the Russian Province was launched. The project partners were the Heritage of Leo Tolstoy International Foundation (in cooperation with the Leo Tolstoy Museum-estate Yasnaya Polyana), and the Heritage of Thuringia Association, which is well known for its experience of reviving German villages. The project received a grant of 250,000 euros (EU TACIS program Support to Civil Society and Local Initiatives).

The main goal of the project was to “lay the foundation” for the revival of this old town. Realization of the dream of an open-air town-museum required not only financial expenditures, but also active involvement of local residents, study of successful experience of the revival of European historic towns, and development of the basic town-planning documentation and of the program of revival of Krapivna as a cultural, educational and tourist center.

During the project, a detailed architectural documentation was elaborated, which is necessary for the restoration of Krapivna and for conferring on it the status of a historic site. The Grado company (Moscow) worked on the registration certificate of the historic site The Town of Krapivna, a District Center  – a record of its architectural characteristics and peculiarities. Professional architects and students of the Moscow Architectural Institute and the Bauhaus University in Weimar drew up the revitalization plan and the regulations of town-planning in Krapivna.  

Besides, the English Club Cultural Center was opened in Krapivna (in the historic building that had really accommodated the English Club) where various discussions, seminars and meetings are now held. During the project, groups of local craftsmen visited Thuringia, and several trips to Germany were organized for school students of Krapivna.  

This project became the initial stage in the long process of reviving the town of Krapivna, and this work will go on.

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