State Literary Museum (SLM) (Arbat District, Arbatskaya and Barrikadnaya Metro Stations) is the largest museum of history of the Russian literature in Russia. Commissioned in 1931, opened as the Central Museum of Fiction, Criticism and Journalism in 1933 and united with the Lenin Literature Museum at All-Union Library of USSR in 1934, the museum boasts over 700,000 items including hand-written manuscripts, first edition books, books with authors' autographs, personal archives and funds of Russian literature and culture figures, archives of publishing houses, creative associations, photos, applied art, monuments of culture and everyday objects linked with writers, collections of playbills, records of folklore, phonorecords of writers' voices and videotaped speeches.

Gogol Memorial Rooms (Inner Southwest, Arbatskaya Metro Station) is where Gogol spent the last few months of his life. In the courtyard sis a statue of Gogol and a bas-relief with characters from some of his books.

Gorky House (Inner Northwest, 6-2 Malaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa, Barrikadnaya Metro Station) is where the proletariat author lived the final five years of his life after returning from exile in Italy. Designed in 1902 for a millionaire businessman, it is a palatial house with floral-designed fences, mosaics of palm trees and Art Nouveau furniture. Like a surrealistic painting the house is weird and asymmetrical. There is stairway that is supposed to make you seasick. The front foyer has sea-green marble waves and a lamp that resembles a Medusa head. Embarrassed by the opulence, Gorky slept in a stark room that resembled a monk's cell. Stalin reportedly had the walls painted with a toxic paint to bring about an early death.

House-Museum of KS Stanislavsky (north of Arbatskaya Metro Station) is where the great director, actor and reformer of Russian theater spent the last 17 years of his life. Stanislavsky founded the Moscow Arts Theater in 1898 and is regarded as the father "method acting." He helped make Gorky and Chekov popular and developed "method a technique," a form of theatrical expression popular in New York's Actor's studio in the 1950s and 60s and was used by actors such as Marlon Brando, James Dean, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

Stanislavsky lived and worked in the house here from 1921 to 1938. In 1948 a memorial museum was opened in the building. It contains the living rooms of Stanislavsky and his wife Lili, an actress in the Moscow Art Theater, "Onegin Hall", "blue foyer" and other rooms. The museum also contains historical and theatrical collections and Stanislavsky’s antiques, furniture, books, costumes, theatrical relics and photographs.

Tolstoy House

Tolstoy House (Inner Southwest, 21 Ulitsa Lva Tolstovo, Park Kultury Metro Station) is a modest timber house where the writer and his family stayed on visits to Moscow between 1882 and 1901. Set among Stalinist buildings and one of three Tolstoy museums in Moscow, it is an old wooden house built in 1830 between a church and a beer factory. It is built from the same wooden planks used to make the fence and is painted brown with green trim. In the bare muddy yard are a few birch trees.

Tolstoy lived here with his wife, sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren and 10 servants, and it looks as if he might come back any moment. The dinner room table is set for dinner, with two soup tureens (the smaller one is used for vegetarian meals eaten by Tolstoy and his daughter).

Among the items on display are the original furniture, a bowl of vegetarian soup, a pantry where Tolstoy made acorn coffee, a Chinese pinball machine, a rocking horse, a health room where Tolstoy worked out with barbels and a drawing room where played chess with Rachmaninoff. In the Master bedroom is a desk where Tolstoy’s wife proofread and edited his manuscripts. In the children's rooms are cribs and coloring books.

The Hall, a formal receiving room, is where Tolstoy entertained and read aloud to Chekhov, Gorky and other writers. A grand piano sits on top a bear rug. On a staircase is a stuffed bear. On top of the desk in his study are the proof sheets of “Resurrection,” a novel he finished shortly before his death. Near the end of his life Tolstoy was so nearsighted he cut the legs of his desk chair so he see the papers on his desk.

Tolstoy always believed that a person can not be happy away from nature. Therefore he wanted a place in Moscow that was still largely rural. In his diary, Tolstoy wrote: "I spent a month in the most painful of my life", finally “I found a house in Khamovniki, which has kept gardens, vegetable gardens, and the remains were once suburban estates. Plot with a house belonging to a modest collegiate secretary Arnautov - a small part of the once vast and magnificent manor park famous Golitsyn.”

After moving with his family from Yasnaya Polyana to Moscow in 1881, a year later Tolstoy bought the estate in Khamovniki, an area known for its weavers since the 17th century. The main house, built between 1800 and 1805, is surrounded by a lodge, offices, a large garden with a gazebo, a well and a bulk slide. In August-September 1882, the house was renovated and greatly expanded on the instructions of Tolstoy. He also picked out much of the furniture. The family lived in Khamovniki until 1901 but spent their summers at Yasnaya Polyana. The last time Tolstoy visited the estate was in September 1909, a year before his death.

Ten of the 13 children of Sophia Andreevna and Leo Nikolayevich lived in the house: daughters Tatiana, Maria and Alexandria and sons, Sergei, Ilya, Leo, Andrew, Michael, Alex and Ivan. In 1920, the Communist government issued a decree nationalizing Leo Tolstoy's house. A museum was opened there in 1921. It contains over 6000 original items owned by the family.

Tolstoy Museums

Tolstoy Museum (Inner Southwest, 11 Ulitsa Lva Tolstovo, Kropotkinskaya Metro Station) is near the Tolstoy House and hailed as "a material incarnation of the life which Tolstoy knew and described in his works." Tolstoy never lived here. It is an ostentatious yellow mansion that in many ways represents everything Tolstoy came to loath at the end of his life. There are photographs of the author and his friends as well some manuscripts, period furniture and other items associated with the writer. The Tolstoy museum has a story the author wrote about an owl and a tsarist eagle entitled “A Natural History.”

Leo Tolstoy State Museum (Ulitsa Prechistenka, 11/8, Smolenskaya Metro Station) was opened in 1911 one year after Tolstoy’s death by admirers who wanted to preserve his memory. After the 1917 Revolution there were threats to close the museum but this didn’t happen because Lenin himself respected Tolstoy’s work. In 1918, People's Commissariat for Education signed Writ of Protection that ensured museum’s survival.

The museum succeeded in gaining the right to use the mansion on Prechistenka, which many others wanted. According to a decree signed by Lenin this house was nationalized in 1920. The Literature Museum on Prechistenka was united with mansion “Khamovniki”, and since 1939 this complex has been The Leo Tolstoy State Museum, which was formally opened in 1920. Sergey by Tolstoy, the son of the writer. (son of the genius) headed the opening ceremony. At the the museum one can see the writer’s portraits painted in different periods of his lifetime by various artists. There are drafts of Tolstoy’s works that date back to his childhood, daguerreotypes and gramophone records, personal belongings and a huge collection of illustrations.

Dostoyevsky' Apartment Museum

Dostoyevsky' Flat Museum (Inner Northwest, Mendeleelskaya Metro Station) is where Dostoyevsky was born. It is on the grounds of the hospital Dostoyevsky's father worked at and Dostoyevsky played as a child. The museum was closed and under renovation in the late 1990s.

Apartment Museum FM Dostoevsky is a branch of the State Literary Museum. It occupies a former wing of the Mariinsky Hospital for the poor. Family physician MA Dostoyevsky, the writer’s father, had a small apartment of two rooms on the first floor. . FM Dostoevsky, the writer, was born in the opposite wing, and lived in two-room apartment from 1823 to 1837, when he went to St. Petersburg at the age of 15.

The Dostoyevsky' Flat Museum was opened in 1928. Furnishing for the restored apartment are based on the memoirs of the writer's brother AM Dostoyevsky. Displays in the museum house used furniture, curiosities, portraits of parents, relatives and F.M. Dostoevsky, a bronze candelabra, a family Bible and a draft of Dostoevsky's first book "One Hundred and Four Izbrannyya Vethago History and the New Testament".

Pushkin House

Pushkin House (Inner Southwest, 53 Utlitsa Arbat, Baumanskaya Metro Station) is where Pushkin lived for three months in a baroque building. It is entered though a gift shop and underground tunnel. Visitors don felt slippers and admire the parquet floors and high-ceiling rooms. There are no beds or daily life items in the house but there are plenty of desks, which. reputedly, all have a connection to the writer.

Also known as the Memorial Apartment of Pushkin and House-Museum of VL Pushkin, this
museum is located in a yellow old Arbat house where the poet first brought his wife NN Goncharov. The permanent exhibition is dedicated to the relationship of Pushkin and Moscow. There are memorial rooms for Pushkin’s family. Among the exhibits are lifetime portraits of Pushkin, Pushkin iconography, a collection of illustrations related to his works, portraits of the poet's contemporaries and views of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Exhibits on the first floor are devoted to the theme "Pushkin and Moscow": there are exhibits of Pushkin's era in Moscow. You can see the portraits and sculptures of the great poet and his friends and contemporaries, prints and lithographs of Moscow and St. Petersburg. On the second floor is Pushkin’s apartment, where museum staff have tried to recreate as closely as possible the environment Pushkin and his bride lived in after their wedding.

Pushkin Museum and the Place He was Married

State Museum of A.S. Pushkin (Inner Southwest, Ulitsa Prichistenka, Kropotkinskaya Metro Station) is near the Tolstoy Museum and contains some manuscripts and furniture of the author. Pushkin had no connection with the building, which was opened in the mid-1990s with a glass atrium after a three year restoration.

On display are a portrait of Pushkin as a three year old, his death mask, letters and and manuscripts. There are also exhibits on famous people who knew Pushkin and 19th century costumes on life-size figures. The 15-room, 19th-century mansion that houses the museum is also quite a sight. There are new chandeliers and curtains as well as a 250-seat theater, special children's center, a cafe and restaurant. Lectures and presentations on the poet's works are regularly held.

Church of Grand Ascension (Inner Northwest, Barrikadnaya Metro Station) is where Pushkin and his beloved Natalia Goncharova were married in 1831. Pushkin was 27 when he decided to settle down. His bride — 16-year-old Natalya Goncharova — was widely regarded as the most beautiful woman in Russia in Pushkin's time. "I don't believe there was any man who did not fall in love with her," one chronicler wrote. A thirteen-year-old once came up to her and said, "I must tell you now that I love you, because soon I must go to bed."

Chekhov House

Chekhov House (Inner Northwest, 6 Sadovoye Koltso, Barrikadnaya Metro Station) is a red stucco museum where Chekhov lived briefly with his sisters. The original door plate reading "Dr. A.P. Chekhov" is still place. Officially known as the House-Museum of A.P. Chekhov, it is open by appointment only.

The Memorial Room of the museum appears as exactly as did during Chekhov's life. The study and bedroom of the writer, the room of his brother and sister and the sitting room have all been restored according to drawings and descriptions by Chekhov himself. In Chekhov's study are an inkwell with a bronze horse figure, a gift from a patient who Chekhov treated free of charge. On his desk is a photograph autographed by Tchaikovsky. Chekhov was a great admirer of the composer; He dedicated a collection of short stories called "Gloomy People" to the composer and was shocked when Tchaikovsky at the Kudrino house to visit him.

A historical and literary exposition devoted to Chekhov’s life and his work as a writer from 1879 to 1904 is situated in the three halls of the house and the annex. There are portraits, autographs, drafts, first editions of works, rare collection of photographs of the writer and his associates, and playbills. In the living room are several paintings by the artist Nikolai Chekhov.

Solzhenitsyn’s Apartment

Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s former apartment (12 Tverskaya Ulitsa, Bldg. 8, Entrance 14, Apartment No. 173 100 meters southwest of Okhotnyy Ryad Metro Station) was opened as a museum in 2018. Emily Couch wrote in the Moscow Times: “When you step into a courtyard just off Tverskaya Ulitsa, you will probably look puzzledly at your phone, thinking that Google Maps has led you astray. But despite its unassuming character, this quiet residential enclave is home to the Apartment-Museum of the Soviet era’s most iconic dissident writer: Alexander Solzhenitsyn. At the very end of 2018, Solzhenitsyn’s widow, Nataliya, and their sons opened their former Moscow residence to the public as the Museum Apartment of A. I Solzhenitsyn. It is the Russian capital’s first museum dedicated to the Nobel Prize-winning author’s life. [Source: Emily Couch, Moscow Times, February 26, 2019

“When you arrive at the building, you must punch in the code written on the door. A security guard’s voice will crackle through the speaker asking you what you want (the answer, of course, is that you’re there to see the apartment museum). He will eventually unlock the door. Once you are inside, a sign will direct you to flat 173, reached by a winding staircase.

“Visitors can only visit the museum accompanied by a guide, so you need to either ring ahead to book a tour or show up during the opening times and ask the time of the next tour with free spaces. Tours last approximately 90 minutes. Tickets cost 200 rubles. When The Moscow Times visited, the tour was led by an enthusiastic guide named Dasha who knew Solzhenitsyn’s story down to its smallest details.

“The museum is a veritable shrine to the great Russian author, featuring everything from the jacket he wore in the Kazakhstan prison camp to copies of his children’s homework that he, himself, corrected. It is comprised of seven rooms, each representing a different period of Solzhenitsyn’s life. Aside from the necessary additions of information plaques and glass cases, the apartment has been left much as it was during his lifetime. The final room, representing the author’s return to Russia in the 1990s, has a photograph showing the author sitting at the desk looking much the same now as it did then. The entrance hall from which the author was arrested, Dasha noted, still boasts the original parquet flooring.

While the museum is replete with objects and photographs that do not require fluency in Russian to appreciate, a word of warning to non-Russian speaking visitors: the tours and the information boards are exclusively in Russian. The opening of the Apartment-Museum follows on the heels of the unveiling of a statue of the author in Moscow’s Tagansky district on December 11 and, in 2017, the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russian Expatriates. But this is not the first museum dedicated to the Nobel Prize winning author’s life. That accolade belongs to the A. I. Solzhenitsyn Museum and Cultural Center in Kislovodsk, housed in his childhood home.

Professor Luke March, Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics at the University of Edinburgh, told The Moscow Times that in the West, Solzhenitsyn has “undoubtedly lost influence. In part this is because of his focus on the U.S.S.R., which is now much less an object of enquiry or concern.” In Russia, he added, he remains a source of pride. Visitors to the museum confirmed this view. Anna Zubkovskaya, and English teacher from Yaroslavl visiting the museum with her son, told The Moscow Times, “Last year my son asked me about Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his books and my attitude to them. I suggested that he read them first, and then we would talk about it… and we had to visit the apartment-museum, especially since it’s new.” Anna gave her son “The GULAG Archipelago” for Christmas and said that he was “impressed” by what he learned about its author in the museum.Ksenia Busheva, a Russian Literature graduate working in Moscow, said that “Solzhenitsyn is an author who decided to tell the truth, despite the pressures and horrors he had to endure. Lonely and militant, he demanded this truth in literature and in life — for this we respect him.”

House-Museum of Boris Pasternak

House-Museum of Boris Pasternak (in the Moscow suburb of Peredelkino) is where the writer Boris Pasternak, who lived here from 1936 until his death in 1960. Russia's most well-known 20th century writer, Pasternak, was awarded the Nobel prize in literature in 1958 primarily for “Dr. Zhivago,” a historical novel that portrayed the Bolshevik Revolution in somewhat negative terms. Pasternak was pressured by the Communist government to decline the award. of 70. The modest brown dacha where Pasternek lived has been preserved. It has white trim and bay windows and remains much as it was the day he died in 1960. You can see his deathbed as well as his coat, scarf, cap and boots. the house is surrounded by dense forest of pine and firs.

Dr. Zhivago was published abroad in 1957 but was banned in the Soviet Union until 1988. It is great epic novel in the tradition of Tolstoy whose backdrop was the Bolshevik Revolution. It was made into an acclaimed, academy-award-winning film starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. Although known mostly for Dr. Zhivago, Pasternak was also an accomplished romantic poet who translated many foreign authors into Russian. Boris Pasternak lived and wrote Dr. Zhivago in a blue house on ulitsa Lenina near the corner of Golgova in the Siberian town of Perm. The town Yuryation in the novel is really Perm.

While in Peredelkino, Pasternak lived in two houses. At first he had a large country house with a large amount of land, but the writer did not like it, so in 1939 he moved to a smaller house on a small piece of land with pine trees. Friends wrote that the poet was very fond of this place and liked gardening there. At this dacha Pasternak finished "Doctor Zhivago" in 1941, created a cycle of poems called "Peredelkino" and translated English and German classics by Shakespeare and Goethe. Here learned that he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958.

Pasternak’s wife Zinaida lived with him in the house. Among the the literary figures that came to visit him there were Akhmatova, Chukovsky, Voznesensky and Yevtushenko. Pasternak died here in his home in Peredelkino and was buried in the cemetery in Peredelkino. After his death the house was occupied by his wife, son and daughter Natalia Leonid. Visitors show up at the house and were sometimes given tours by family members and poets in the town. In 1984 the house was taken away from Pasternak’s family because it was not their property, but belonged to the Writers' Union, and at that time Pasternak was still disliked by the Communist government.

Thanks to the efforts of the scholar Likhachev and poets Yevtushenko and Voznesensky, Pasternak’s Peredelkino dacha was opened as an official house-museum in February 1990, the centenary of the writer’s birth. The poet's relatives an friends helped recreate the original atmosphere of the place. Walls were decorated with paintings of the poet's father, art scholar Leonid Pasternak, known for illustrating the works of Leo Tolstoy. The painting hung in the house said be the same ones hung there when Pasternak was alive.

During tours of the house-museum visitors not only get acquainted with the lifestyle but also the music he liked and his poems. For a long time the director of the museum was Natalia Pasternak, the wife of Pasternak’s youngest son. She led the museum for more than twenty years. Currently The custodian of the house-museum is her daughter, the granddaughter of the poet, Elena Pasternak. Regular visitors are only allowed in the house for about 15 minutes. If you book a tour, you get to stay about an hour. Check the website of the house- museum. It house regularly hosts music and poetry readings.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation (official Russia tourism website ), Russian government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in September 2020

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from, please contact me.