10 foreigner-friendly literary museums

The homes of Russia's most famous literary figures have been preserved as museums. Lovers of Russian literature can visit these apartments, homes and estates to see where the authors worked and the views that inspired their writings. RBTH highlights a few of the museums that offer tours in English and not only.

Moscow and its suburbs

1. Museums in the village Peredelkino

In 1934, at the initiative of Russian prose writer and playwright Maxim Gorky, a writer's community was established in the summerhouse village of Peredelkino in southwest Moscow. Today you can visit the museum of children's writer Korney Chukovsky, in which the writer's 4,500-book library is preserved (many books are in foreign languages), his Oxford Honorary Degree gown and the desk of his friend Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Kornei Chukovsky's house in Peredelkino\nKornei Chukovsky's house in Peredelkino. Source: Press photo

Inside Chukovsky's house\nInside Chukovsky's house. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Children writer Kornei Chukovsky\nChildren loved Chukovsky. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Tours in English and French: +7 (495) 593-2670, chukovskogo.muzei@yandex.ru
Address: Peredelkino, 3 Serafimovich Street
goslitmuz.ru/museums/dom-muzey-k-i-chukovskogo – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

Another famous museum in Peredelkino is the house of poet Boris Pasternak. The writer was here when he found out he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 23, 1958.

House-museum of Pasternak in Peredelkino, Moscow\nHouse-museum of Pasternak in Peredelkino, Moscow. Source: Slava Petrakina

Inside the house\nInside the house. Source: Slava Petrakina

Boris Pasternak in Peredelkino, 1956\nBoris Pasternak in Peredelkino, 1956. Source: TASS

Tours in English and German, by appointment: +7 (495) 934-5175, +7 (926) 118-2858, pasternakmuz@mail.ru.
Express tours do not require an appointment.
Address: Peredelkino, 3 Pavlenko Street
goslitmuz.ru/museums/dom-muzey-b-l-pasternaka
– in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

2. Dostoevsky Apartment Museum

Dostoevsky lived in this apartment from 1823 to 1837. It became the writer's first museum. Here you can see the writer's desk from his last apartment, the Evangelie, which was given to him by wives of the Decembrists, and much more.

In this house in Moscow located museum-apartment of Fyodor Dostoesvky\nIn this house in Moscow located museum-apartment of Fyodor Dostoesvky. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Inside Dostoevsky's museum\nInside Dostoevsky's museum. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Vasily Perov. Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky. 1872.\nVasily Perov. Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky. 1872. Source: State Tretyakov Gallery

Overviews and thematic tours are available in English.
By appointment: +7 (495) 681-1085, dostoevskij_f_m@mail.ru
Address: 2 Dostoevsky Street (metro Dostoevsky)
goslitmuz.ru/museums/muzey-kvartira-f-m-dostoevskogo – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

3. Prishvin House Museum in Dunino

The Soviet prose writer Mikhail Prishvin acquired the summerhouse on a pictorial shore of the Moscow River in 1946 and lived his final years here. In addition to tours of the summerhouse and the writer's Moskvich-400 car, you can stroll along the alley lined with age-old linden and spruce trees.

House-museum of Mikhail Prishvin in Dunino, Moscow Region\nHouse-museum of Mikhail Prishvin in Dunino, Moscow Region. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Inside Prishvin's house in Dunino\nInside Prishvin's house in Dunino. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Mikhail Prishvin\n Mikhail Prishvin. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Tours in English are available:  +7 (926) 014-6621, dunino@mail.ru
Address: Dunino, house #2
goslitmuz.ru/museums/dom-muzey-m-m-prishvina – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

4. Lermontov House Museum

This is the poet's only memorial house in Moscow that has been preserved to this day. Among the valuable exhibits are Lermontov's drawings: self-portraits, portraits of friends and relatives, and oil paintings with Caucasus landscapes.

Lermontov house-museum in Moscow\nLermontov house-museum in Moscow. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Inside Lermontov's house\nInside Lermontov's house. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Mikhail Lermontov, 1837\nMikhail Lermontov, 1837. Source: FineArt images

Tours "Lermontov in Moscow" and "Lermontov: life and creativity" are in English. By appointment: +7 (495) 691-5298, +7 (495) 691-1860, muz_lermontov@mail.ru
Address: 2 Malaya Molchanovka Street (metro Arbatskaya)
goslitmuz.ru/museums/dom-muzey-m-yu-lermontova – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

5. Chekhov House Museum

The writer lived in this stone, two-storied outbuilding from 1886 to 1890, when he departed for the Sakhalin Island. Guests of this "house-commode," as Chekhov himself called it, included the likes of artists Isaac Levitan and composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Being a doctor by trade, Chekhov not only wrote stories and plays here, but also saw patients.

Anton Chekhov house-museum in Moscow\nAnton Chekhov house-museum in Moscow. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Inside Chekhov's house\nInside Chekhov's house. Source: Press photo / goslitmuz.ru

Osip Braz. Portrait of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1898\nOsip Braz. Portrait of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1898. Source: wikipedia.org

Tours in English: +7 (495) 691-6154, +7 (495) 691-3837, muzchekhov@gmail.com
Address: 6 Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya Street, building 2 (metro Barrikadnaya)
www.goslitmuz.ru/museums/dom-muzey-a-p-chekhova – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

6. Bulgakov Museum

It was precisely in this "bad apartment," a former dormitory, that the protagonists of Master and Margarita lived. Today the apartment has resurrected the feel of the 1920s.

The house on Bolshaya Sadovaya street in Moscow ,where Bulgakov lived, was built in 1902-1903.\nThe house on Bolshaya Sadovaya street in Moscow ,where Bulgakov lived, was built in 1902-1903. Source: Press photo / www.museum.ru

Bulgakov's apartment No 50\nBulgakov's apartment No 50. Source: Press photo / www.museum.ru

Mikhail Bulgakov\nMikhail Bulgakov. Source: TASS

Overviews and thematic tours are available in English, German and Italian. +7 (495) 699-5366, bulgakovmuseum@gmail.com
Address: 10 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 6th entrance, 4th floor, apartment 50 (metro Mayakovskaya)
bulgakovmuseum.ru – in English

St. Petersburg

7. Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House

The museum is located in the south wing of the Sheremetev Palace, a masterpiece of Russian Baroque. Here the Silver Age poetess lived for 30 years. The museum also houses "Joseph Brodsky's American Cabinet," which contains the poet's belongings from South Hadley, where he lived and taught.

Entrance into Akhmatova's apartment\nEntrance into Akhmatova's apartment. Source: Press photo / akhmatova.spb.ru

Dinning room\nDinning room. Source: Press photo / akhmatova.spb.ru

Anna Akhmatova\nAnna Akhmatova. Source: wikipedia.org

Joseph Brodsky's American Cabinet in Akhmatova's museum\nJoseph Brodsky's American Cabinet in Akhmatova's museum. Source: Press photo / akhmatova.spb.ru

Tours in English, German and French. Viewings of films about Akhmatova, Brodsky and other museum protagonists are in English. By appointment: +7 (812) 579-7239, akhmatova-museum@mail.ru
Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Italian and Finnish.
Address: 53 Liteiny Prospect (metro Mayakovskaya)
akhmatova.spb.ru – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

Tula

8. Leo Tolstoy Museum-Estate in Yasnaya Polyana

The estate where Tolstoy lived for most of his life is one of the most famous literary places in Russia. Every two years a reunion of the Tolstoy family takes place in Yasnaya Polyana, uniting the writer's descendants from various countries.

Leo Tolstoy's house in Yasnaya Polyana.\nLeo Tolstoy's house in Yasnaya Polyana. Source: Courtesy of the British Council

Tolstoy's house in autumn\nTolstoy's house in autumn. Source: Press photo / Yasnaya Polyana museum-estate

Tolstoy working in his library at Yasnaya Polyana. Painted by V. Meshkov.\nTolstoy working in his library at Yasnaya Polyana. Painted by V. Meshkov. Source: Open sources

Tours and cultural programs in English, French and German: +7 (48751) 76-125, tour@tolstoy.ru
Audio guides in French and German are available for the central part of the estate. They can be downloaded onto your phone upon arrival.
Address: Tula Region, Shekino district, Yasnaya Polyana
ypmuseum.ru – in English and German

Oryol Region

9. Ivan Turgenev Museum-Reserve in Spasskoye-Lutovinovo

If you've made it to Yasnaya Polyana, then be sure to stop by Spasskoye-Lutovinovo. It was here that Turgenev experienced his greatest inspiration, admitting that, "You write well only when you live in a Russian village."

Noble nest: Ivan Turgenev's house in Spasskoye-Lutovinovo\nNoble nest: Ivan Turgenev's house in Spasskoye-Lutovinovo. Source: Press photo / spasskoye-lutovinovo.ru

Inside Turgenev's house in Spasskoye-Lutovinovo\nInside Turgenev's house in Spasskoye-Lutovinovo. Source: Press photo / spasskoye-lutovinovo.ru

Russian writer Ivan Turgenev\nRussian writer Ivan Turgenev. Source: TASS

Tours of the house-museum, the annex and park are in English and French: +7 (48646) 67-214, msmuzey@mce.orel.ru
Address: Spasskoye-Lutovinovo, 3 Muzeinaya Street
spasskoye-lutovinovo.ru – in Russian
www.russianmuseums.info – in English

Pskov Region

10. Alexander Pushkin Museum-Reserve in Mikhailovskoye

The poet was exiled to Mikhailovskoye, where he spent much time writing. The estate still has his house and the house of his nanny, as well as an alley dedicated to Anna Kern, a beloved of his. The neighboring Trigorskoye and Petrovskoye estates, which the poet would visit, are also worth a look.

Pushkin's house in Mikhailovskoye\nPushkin's house in Mikhailovskoye. Source: Press photo / pushkin.ellink.ru

Mikhailovskoye landscapes\nMikhailovskoye landscapes. Source: Press photo / pushkin.ellink.ru

Pushkin at Mikhailovskoye\nPushkin at Mikhailovskoye. Source: Painted by Pyotr Konchalovsky

Neighbors' estate Petrovskoye, where Pushkin was a frequent guest\nNeighbors' estate Petrovskoye, where Pushkin was a frequent guest. Source: Press photo / pushkin.ellink.ru

Tours of the estate and the park in English and German. Also, it is possible to stay at the Pushkin Reserve guesthouses.
Address: Mikhailovskoye village. (From Moscow or St. Petersburg take the train to Pskov and then a bus to the Pushkin Hills)
By appointment:  +7 (81146) 22-321, +7 (81146) 22-609, bilet1911@yandex.ru
pushkin.ellink.ru – in English

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