In November 1874, Turgenev bought a park in a Paris suburb for the French singer and composer Pauline Viardot, the love for whom he settled in France. He built a Swiss-style mansion and called it a country house (dacha). In this house, he received such guests as Flaubert, Zola, and Maupassant. Turgenev lived his last eight years in the house and died there.
After Turgenev's death, Viardot sold the house. After many subsequent owners, the park was bought by the Saint-Cloud City Hall and leased to the Association of Turgenev's Friends, which is funded by donations and its cultural and educational activities.
The Saint-Cloud City Hall said these funds were insufficient to maintain the Viardot estate and decided, in cooperation with France's Cultural Ministry, to put the estate up for sale.