The writer Ivan Turgenev lived the last 9 years of his life in this village, where he built a half-Russian, half-Swiss chalet that he named the “Datcha” as a homage to his homeland. It was in this house – now a museum – that he wrote some of his finest works, including the novel “Virgin Soil” and “Poems in Prose”. It was also here that he completed in 1876 his translation of Gustave Flaubert's “The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitalier” into Russian.
The house, which dates back to 1874, sits on the Les Frênes estate owned by the Viardot family, who were close friends of the artist. He lived here with the opera singer Pauline Viardot, who he met in St Petersburg. The couple were together for 40 years, until Turgenev’s death in 1883. Viardot’s “Palladian villa” can also be found on the estate.
During your visit, you’ll get to see some of the artist’s personal items, his piano and photos, as well as his bedroom and writing room. As a writer opposed to slavery and injustice, this is a hugely enlightening visit off the beaten track for any literature lover!
The house, which has hosted leading literary figures such as Guy de Maupassant, Georges Sand, Alexandre Dumas, Maeterlinck, Chopin, Zola, Sollogoub and more, is part of the Route des Maisons d’Ecrivains through the homes of famous writers.
Access and contact
Days and opening hours
From 06/04 to 26/10/2024, 1st Saturday and 3rd Saturday of the month between 2 pm and 6 pm.
- Full price: 8 € Child: 0 € Student: 5 €.
Free entry for children < 12 years, children accompanied by an adult. Group rate available for > 20 people.
Guided tour languages
Single mean time tour60 mins
Single services tour
- Unguided individual tours available permanently
- Guided individual tours on request
- Copyright images:
- office de tourisme de Bougival