In a Ukrainian province, there is a palace the history of which is directly related to the famous French writer Honore de Balzac.
It is the palace of the Polish Count Vazlav Ganskiy that was constructed in 1800 in the style of late Classicism. The Count inherited the estate from his parents. He made huge investments and put much effort in its arrangement. He ordered to create a landscape park around the palace, build a church, and organize a cloth factory.
In 1832, the writer received an anonymous letter from the Ukrainian city of Odessa. It was signed by some «Foreigner». Balzac was intrigued, but of course, he could not answer it. Later he received another letter. The admirer requested him to confirm receiving her letters through a note in the newspaper «Le Quotidien de Paris» which was distributed in Russia as well. That was the beginning of the correspondence between Balzac and Ganska, which resulted in a long love affair. Their first meeting took place in a year. The 32-year-old Pole was incredibly beautiful and the writer fell in love with her. However, they could not be together because Evelyna was a married woman.
Vazlav Ganskiy died in 1841. Only then, in 1847, the Frenchman came to see his love for the first time. He admired the Verhivnya estate and called it «the Louvre». Evelyna prepared a large study for Honore. She created a special working atmosphere for him. The poor writer could not ever dream about such a luxury, for in Paris he lived in a small uncomfortable attic and barely managed to make ends meet.
For the second time, Balzac came to Verhivnya in 1848. According to his letters, he liked to spend time there very much, in an atmosphere of luxury and comfort, surrounded by careful servants. The former writer’s study still keeps his things and interior details, such as the desk where he worked, a folding chair, a pink marble fireplace and many other objects. Now all these things are on display at the literary and memorial museum of Honore de Balzac. It was opened in the palace in 1959. It is often the place for readings of Balzac novels, visited by high-ranking visitors and common people who admire his works. Since 1921, a part of the building has been occupied by Zhytomyr Agrotechnical College.