The Tsiolkovsky Memorial Apartment
Ģóēåé-źāąšņčšą Ź.Ż. Öčīėźīāńźīćī

The Tsiolkovsky Memorial Apartment in BorovskAt the end of 1960s in Borovsk in 49, Tsiolkovsky street (the former Kruglaya street, in the house that had formerly been owned by M.I.Pomukhina where K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky rented an apartment occupying the whole of the upper floor from April 1887 through fall 1888) the Tsiolkovsky Museum was set up and opened by some public organization. After some time it closed down.

At the beginning of the 1980s the Borovsk city council, some pubic organizations in Borovsk and the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of Cosmonautics came to the decision to reconstruct the museum.

On the 19th of September 1997 the Tsiolkovsky Memorial Apartment (as a division of the Tsiolkovsky State Museum of Cosmonautics) was opened in the reconstructed house. This is how K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky ‘came back’ to Borovsk, where he had spent his earlier years and where he had started his career as a teacher.

The display of the Memorial Apartment familiarizes its visitors with the life and work of Tsiolkovsky, a founder of theoretical astronautics.

Before coming to Borovsk Tsiolkovsky lived in Ryazan, Moscow and Vyatka. The museum display features the scholar’s childhood, youth and tells about the family he came from. Visitors to the museum learn why Kostya Tsiolkovsky was not able to graduate from Vyatka high school, why he was so lonely and isolated, why he had to self-educate.

In September 1879 in Ryazan Tsolkovsky passed the exam as an external student to qualify as a school teacher of math, and in January 1880 he got his first job teaching math in a district school in Borovsk.

This is how Tsiolkovsky found himself in Kaluga land.

Tsiolkovsky lived in Borovsk from January 1880 through February 1892. This period is presented through 19th-century pictures of Borovsk and the map of Borovsk. There are thirty places in Borovsk associated with Tsiolkovsly. Many remarkable architectural monuments known and seen by Tsiolkovsky are still preserved. When Tsiolkovsky first came to Borovsk in January 1880, he stayed in the rooms of the local hotel located in the central square (the building is still preserved). One can still see the sublime Gospel Cathedral where K.Ed.Tsiolkovvsky went to.

He admired the wooden Pokrov Church in the village of Vysokoye, built at the turn of the 17th century and the famous monastery founded by the saint Pafnutiy in 1444.

The nature and town landscapes have not practically changed since the time when K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky lived there.

The young teacher loved the picturesque environs of the town which were beautiful in any season. In winter he used to skate on ice drawn by the wind and to ski down from Visokaya hill. In summer he went boating (in home-made boat) with his wife, friends and pupils.

The display also tells about Borovsk-dwellers who were good friends and acquaintances of the young teacher and who were helping him. They were: the merchant N.P.Glukharyov, the inspector N.K.Fetter, who had a home library. Several advanced people in Borovsk had clubbed together to buy books for it. Tsiolkovsky participated in it too. Together with I.V.Shokin Tsiolkovsky took up photography, made and flew kites over a steep and deep precipice of Tekizhensky ravine

In Borovsk K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky got married. He rented a room in the house of his future father-in-law and here he met his wife-to-be Varvara Yevgrafovna Sokolova. They got married in the Virgin’s Church in the village of Roshcha on the 20th of August 1880. The bride’s father Ye.Ye.Sokolov and her brother Ivan, the teachers I.I.Chistyakov and N.A.Tolmachov were present at the ceremony. In Borovsk the Tsiolkovskys had their four children: Lubov (1881), Ignatiy (1883), Alexander (1885), Ivan (1888).

The reconstructed ‘Tsiolkovsky’s creative laboratory of 1880s-1890s’ is the focus of the museum’s display. It was restored on the basis of Tsiolkovsky’s autobiographies, his wife’s and elder daughter’s memoirs, memoirs by his contemporaries. Here the visitor can see the scholar’s writing desk with books from Tsiolkovsky’s library on it, some manuscripts, drawing and writing materials, a home-made tin lamp and the aerodynamic device called ‘vertushka’. Different devices and models made by K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky are also on display. As Tsiolkovsky confided later: “…in Borovsk I resumed my funny experiments in physics and serious works on math… I wrote, calculated, soldered, planed, fused”.

The division “Scientific ties” presents Tsiolkovsky as a member of the scientific community of the 1880s-1890s. His hard intellectual work resulted in major scientific papers, which were known to P.M.Golubitsky, A.G.Stoletov, I.M.Sechenov, D.I.Mendeleyev, N.Ye. Zhukovsky, the Russian Society for Physics and Chemistry, the Emperor Russian Technical Society, etc.

World space (as it was seen by K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky) with the tracks of human’s presence resulting from the development of astronautics, is presented with the three groups of ideas: ‘Eternal youth of the universe’, ‘On the Moon’, ‘Life in free space’. The first group is presented with some pages of the paper “Duration of the sun radiation” and “Gravitation as a source of the world energy” revealing the scholar’s ideas on inexhaustibility of energy sources (‘heat and light’), on the infinite number of ‘hearths of life’ in the universe, on possible participation of higher extra-terrestrial intelligence in human’s life on the Earth. It was his conviction that humans ought to be ready to face extraordinary inexplicable phenomena.

In 2003 on the second floor of the Memorial Apartment there was a display opened dedicated to Tsiolkovsky’s career as a teacher. It features what kind of teacher Tsiolkovsky was and familiarizes with his teaching methods.

The visitor to the Memorial Apartment learns about the educational institutions, where Tsiolkovsky worked. The unique archive documents associated with Tsiolkovsky’s teaching career, like students’ notes of his physics lessons, their exercise-books with Tsiolkovsky’s marks in them, drawings of instruments for experiments in physics are on display.

Visitors to the museum can see the interior of the study of the ladies’ parish school head mistress and the classroom. In “Tsiolkovsky’s classroom” one can see a school desk, which does not look like a modern one at all, the schoolgirl’s uniform, the spyglass, which Tsiokovsky used to watch the stars with his students, different instruments for experimenting at physics lessons in technical high school and ladies’ parish school.

The visitor will be surprised to see tissue paper kites and balloons made by Tsiolkovsky for his students. A matchbox is tied to one of them. Tsiolkovsky put a cockroach in it to see how he would endure the flight. This is how Tsiolkovsky began his scientific experiments in Borovsk. Here he flew the kite in the shape of the hawk. The kite looked so much like a bird of pray that real birds flew away as soon as they saw it, and Borovsk-dwellers kept on asking what the teacher fed the bird with.

K.Ed.Tsiolkovsky retired from his teaching post in October 1921. For his contribution as a teacher he was decorated with Order of St.Stanislav (third class) in 1906 and Order of St.Anna (third class) in 1911.

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Tsiolkovsky street, 49

Borovsk, Kaluga district

Russian Federation

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