Back

Museum of Dostoevsky in Staraya Russa photo

In Staraya Russa, which is 100 kilometers to the south of Novgorod the Great, there is a house Fyodor Dostoevsky called «our nest». Everywhere and all time Dostoevsky and his family lived in rented apartments and only in Staraya Russa the writer bought a house. Now it houses a museum.

For long time Dostoevsky had no children. Several years he spent at katorga (forced-labor camp) in Omsk and Semipalatinsk. Then for many years Dostoevsky lived in Europe where he got a ruinous passion for roulette. In 1866 he married Anna Snitkina (his stenographer) who was able to make his life more comfortable and took responsibility for finances. 

Sophia, the first child of Dostoevsky, was born when he was already 47 and she lived only several months. In the period from 1869 through 1871, when Dostoevsky and his family lived in Europe, two more children were born to them. But they also were very weak so coming back to Russia in 1871 Fyodor Mikhailovich began to look for a place to improve the health of the children. As the family of Dostoevsky were still in need of money, they chose Staraya Russa. It was considered a resort but at the same time you could rent there a cheap dacha.

In 1872 they rent the house of priest Rumyantsev and in 1873 they moved to the two-floor house of lieutenant colonel Gribbe on the embankment. After the death of Gribbe in 1876 Dostoevsky bought out the house from his heirs. It was the first and the only own house of the writer.

In 1875 a son Alexei was born to the Dostoevsky in Staraya Russa. There Dostoevsky wrote such novels as Demons, The Adolescent, The Karamazov Brothers, and some other works. And it seemed that just there Dostoevsky achieved family happiness. 

His wife then wrote about their life in Staraya Russa in her memoirs: «After noon Fyodor Mikhailovich called me to his study to dictate what he wrote at night. For me it was always a delight to work with Fyodor Mikhailovich. All time I was very proud to help him, to be the first to hear his works from his own mouth».

To our days the house remained almost intact. Even during the Great Patriotic War it wasn`t destroyed. Today 7 rooms on the first floor of the house are open for tourists. According to the memoirs of Anna Grigorievna, its interiors were restored with great accuracy.