Yasnaya Polyana is the home of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828 – 1910). It is where he was born, lived most of his life, and was eventually buried. This is sacred ground to many Russians. Tolstoy was brought up in a privileged family, only to eventually turn his back on society, materialism and the church.
Tolstoy eventually left this place one cold November evening, fell ill, and died shortly thereafter. Tolstoy wrote many of his works here, including War and Peace, one of the most famous novels of all time. He is buried here on the grounds of Yasnaya Polyana in a grave with no cross, no markings of any kind, except for the many flowers left by admiring visitors.