Several decades ago, the picturesque surroundings of Kiev looked far from the same as in modern times. White houses predominated here, which were drowned in picturesque gardens. However, an old neat little house has been preserved on the outskirts of the capital. It is located on Priorka (a continuation of Kurenevka) by the road that was marked on the map of the city dating from the 17th century. This house was preserved for a reason - it was here that the famous Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko lived for two weeks. During his lifetime, the artist never returned to the capital of Ukraine. Since 1989, it has housed the Taras Shevchenko Memorial Museum.
The poet loved Kiev. The last time he visited the capital of Ukraine was in August 1859 as a prisoner (Shevchenko was arrested on a denunciation in one of the villages). The poet arrived in Kiev in custody. While the documents necessary to deliver Shevchenko to St. Petersburg were being prepared, he was handed over to the local priest Y. Botvinovsky on bail. However, the poet did not want to live in the noisy center of Kiev. Therefore, I decided to independently find a place for myself on the outskirts of the city. Having informed the Governor-General of his intention, Shevchenko set off in search of a quiet corner.
The poet decided to walk along the Podol. After passing the flat part, he went to Priorka. It was here that Shevchenko's attention was drawn to a neat white house. The memories of the owner of the estate, Varvara Pashkovskaya, about a meeting with Kobzar have survived to this day.
According to her, one summer day, a man appeared in the courtyard dressed in linen clothes. Being literate, she read and even knew Shevchenko's works by memory. But in those days, portraits and photographs were not common. Therefore, Varvara asked: "Who will you be?" To which Kobzar replied: "As you can see, a man." It was the white house that caught his attention. The one he described in his poems is white and has overgrown with a green garden. In her memoirs, V. Pashkovskaya notes that Shevchenko called the house “either lordly or peasant.” It was here that the poet lived for two weeks before leaving for St. Petersburg.
After Shevchenko's departure, legends about the famous Ukrainian began to circulate on Priorka. According to one of them, Kobzar, during his stay in the Pashkovskys, was called nothing more than "Uncle Taras". Here he was remembered as a sincere person. Shevchenko always treated children favorably. Therefore, he treated them to sweets. And the house on Priorka since then was called nothing but "Shevchenko's house".
Since the departure of Kobzar, the house has changed several owners. During the Soviet era, it was an ordinary communal apartment. In the 80s, the house on Priorka was empty. In the 60s of the twentieth century, the fact that a poet once lived here was questioned. After all, this was not documented anywhere, but was confirmed only by legends, memoirs of contemporaries. However, despite doubts, a memorial bas-relief was erected near the estate, which testified that Taras Shevchenko once lived here. And in 1989, the exposition of the department of the Taras Shevchenko National Museum was placed in the house. This idea was brought to life in 1990 and received the name "House on Priorka".
Scientists have done everything to recreate the authentic interior inherent in the vicinity of Kiev at the end of the 19th century. The main feature of the museum is the so-called "contact" exposition. Visitors can look through the album, which presents photographs of the outskirts of the capital of those times when the poet lived here. There are also several authentic photographs of Kobzar. The main memorial exhibit remains the house where Shevchenko lived. There is also an oak tree, under which the poet liked to spend summer evenings.
The Taras Shevchenko Memorial Museum on Priorka offers visitors several options for excursion programs, among which special attention should be paid to events specially organized for people with visual impairments. Every year Kobzar is honored here with themed evenings. The work of "House on Priorka" is somewhat different from the "museum" one. The estate became a full-fledged cultural and educational center of Podil. Museum staff annually hold an exhibition of children's drawings at the Vyshgorod estate, in which young talents depict both the poet and the characters in his works.