Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House
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Liteyny pr 51 · interesting places nearby
Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House information
Housed in the south wing of the Sheremetyev Palace, this touching and fascinating literary museum celebrates the life and work of Anna Akhmatova, St Petersburg’s most famous 20th-century poet. Akhmatova lived here from 1924 until 1952, as this was the apartment of her common-law husband Nikolai Punin. The apartment is on the 2nd floor and is filled with mementos of the poet and correspondence with other writers.
A visit to this peaceful and contemplative place is also an interesting chance to see the interior of an (albeit atypical) apartment from the early to mid-20th century, even if relatively few pieces of original furniture have survived. Particularly moving is the study where, in her own words, Akhmatova 'quite unexpectedly' started her masterpiece Poem Without a Hero in 1940, and her living room where the poet had a famous all-night conversation with British diplomat Isaiah Berlin during the height of Stalinism, an event that had become legendary in Russian literary history. There are information panels in English in each room, as well as a R200 audio guide available in English.
Admission also includes the Josef Brodsky American Study. Brodsky did not live here, but his connection with Akhmatova was strong. For lack of a better location, his office has been recreated here, complete with furniture and other artifacts from his adopted home in Massachusetts. Funds are currently being collected to open a Josef Brodsky Museum at the poet's former home a few blocks away on Liteyny pr.
When coming to the museum, be sure to enter from Liteyny pr, rather than from the Fontanka River, where the main palace entrance is, as it's not possible to reach the museum from there.