The Dostoevsky Apartment Museum

Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is the greatest Russian writer, the classic of Russian literature and a thinker. He became famous as the author of such immortal works as “Idiot”, “Crime and punishment”, “Humiliated and insulted”, “The Brothers Karamazov” and many others.

In October the 30th in 1821 Maria Fedorovna Dostoevskaya gave birth to son Fedor in a flat at the Bozhedomka street. The flat was provided to the family by Mariinskiy hospital for the poor where Dostoevsky`s father served as a doctor. The child who was to become a writer lived in this house till May 1837 when both the father and elder brother were sent to Saint Petersburg.

It was here at the hospital yard in the Bozhedomka street he decided to focus on writing about poor people, who were the «humiliated and insulted». In his early childhood he had seen enough to see what human suffering and grieves are about, he could not but feel compassion and this became a basis of his moral development. The rape of a girl at the hospital`s yard was a real shock for him and because of it the motive of a ruined, destroyed childhood became a one of the essential message in his novels.

Nevertheless the writer`s happiest memories are connected with Moscow. His family was a happy one as he had a gentle and loving mother. His brothers and sisters were dearly beloved and they adored him and were real friends as well. They walked around the city together visiting churches and occasionally fairs. It was in Moscow where the writer read his favorite books and felt what the theatre was.

Pictures of childhood will remain in his memory for ever as the presence of Moscow is felt in many Dostoevsky`s novels. That’s why Moscow events are felt as if taking place “behind the scenes” as some the of Dostoevsky’s characters spent their childhood here and the others happen to leave to Moscow for a period of time.

For Dostoevsky, the city always remained as a “distant homeland”. He would return here time and again several times a year. After a Siberian prison camp and exile, it was in Moscow where Dostoevsky wanted to live. In the letters of that period, he would express hope that he could come back to Moscow. Nevertheless, with his brother Mikhail who lived in St. Petersburg, he wrote his literary mission to life in this particular city. The Fate would show him the way to that city.

He was to see Moscow for the last time six months before he passed away. At the celebrations dedicated to the opening of the monument to Pushkin, he gave his famous speech in honor of the poet which became a kind of spiritual writer`s testament.

In 1837 Dostoevsky was young and unknown when he was leaving Moscow but in 1880 the whole city applauded the great writer.

The 11th November 1928 the first museum of F. M Dostoevsky was opened in the Northern wing of the former Mariinsky hospital for poor. The basis for the collection served many memorable books, portrays, household items donated to the museum by the writer`s descendants.  A part of furniture belonged to Dostoevsky`s parents  was transferred to the museum from the Darovoe village. In the 1930s, the Museum was enriched by a unique and priceless collection of the writer`s widow Anna Grigorievna Dostoevskaya. Memorial apartment needed rebuilding and it was reconstructed in 1979-1982 together with the surrounding territories. The apartment interiors have been rearranged with the help of Dostoevskiy`s younger brother who described their childhood spent in the parents’ house in details.

In the museum, there are tours with a guide and you can enjoy evenings devoted to literary and music.

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