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Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg

Vladimir Nabokov was one of the most respected and successful Russian-American writers of his time. He was born in Russia in 1899, and enjoyed a comfortable childhood in St Petersburg, which he described as perfect. His family was wealthy and Nabokov grew up as one of the privileged few in Russia. Three home languages were spoken, namely English, French and Russian. To the surprise of many, Nabokov could speak English before he could Russian. His life took a tragic turn in 1917 that was to change his life forever.

The Nabokov family was forced into exile, leaving behind countless family heirlooms, memories and treasures. Most of these items were lost for many years, as the government sold and disbursed the family’s belongings after their departure. Nabokov lived out the last few years of his life in Switzerland, until his death in 1977. When the Nabokov Museum opened in 1998, they had only managed to collect a few items to pay tribute to the writer, who penned novels such as Lolita, Pale Fire and Speak, Memory: A Memoir. The Nabokov Museum is a non-profit establishment that occupies the first floor of the house that the Nabokov family lived in, which is located on Bolshaya Morskaya Street in St Petersburg.

The collection at the museum has grown over the years, with countless generous donations being made by the public. Slowly, the lost memorabilia of the Nabokov family began to surface, as pieces that have sold off and kept, made their way back to their original home. These donations have assisted with the development of the museum and in preserving the memory and legacy of Vladimir Nabokov and his family. Some of the items to be seen include a partial butterfly collection, books and photographs, which belonged to various Nabokov members. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, and entry into the museum costs a hundred rubles for adults and twenty rubles for students. The Nabokov Museum also offers guided tours to large groups and visitors will be able to enjoy this educational tour in Russian and in English. To discover the life and memorable work left behind by Vladimir Nabokov, a visit to the Nabokov Museum is recommended.

 



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