Russia’s cultural capital, St Petersburg has provided the setting for some of the greatest novels ever written. Whether it’s the poems of Russian literary godfather Pushkin, the short stories of Gogol or the great Golden Age novels of Dostoyevsky, Russia’s most western of cities has inspired myriad masterpieces from some of the world’s most respected writers. From the Dostoyevsky Museum and the Alexander Blok Museum to the celebrated Pushkin Museum, visit St Petersburg to walk in the footsteps of your favourite writers and discover the power of literary St Petersburg.
Begin your tour of literary St Petersburg at the home of the late Alexander Pushkin – Russia’s most beloved poet. The final living quarters of the author of famous works such as Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, has been preserved at the National Pushkin Museum. The museum complex also houses a number of exhibitions dedicated to the poet, his life and his career, as well as broader artefacts from 18th and 19th century Russian history and culture. Follow the visit with lunch at The Literary Café on Nevsky Prospect, the location of Pushkin’s last meal before his fatal duel in 1837.
Belov’s Statue of Gogol
Nevsky Prospect is one of St Petersburg’s most famous streets, and has often acted as muse for aspiring and established authors. Short story writer Nikolai Gogol – known best for his works, The Nose and The Overcoat – is one such man, writing a short story dedicated to this particular street. A stone’s throw away, on Malaya Konyushennaya, you’ll find a tribute to him in the form of the grand bronze Statue of Gogol, a powerful representation by Mikhail Belov.
Continue your tour of literary St Petersburg at the Dostoyevsky Museum (officially the Dostoyevsky Literary-Memorial Museum). Located in one of many writers’ memorial apartments across the city, it was here that Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote one of his earliest stories, The Double, as well as his last novel, The Brothers Karamazov. One of the most influential novelists of the 19th century, Dostoyevsky spent most of his life in St Petersburg, drawing inspiration particularly from the city’s working class neighbourhoods. His home up until his death in 1881, many of the most influential figures of the time visited this humble address on Kuznechny Lane.