Nabokov Museum

Museum in Sennaya & Kolomna

Image by Ksenia Elzes Lonely Planet

This 19th-century townhouse was the suitably grand childhood home of Vladimir Nabokov, infamous author of Lolita and arguably the most versatile of 20th century Russian writers. Here Nabokov lived with his wealthy family from his birth in 1899 until the revolution in 1917, when they left the country. Nabokov artefacts on display include family photographs, first editions of his books and parts of his extensive butterfly collection.

The house features heavily in Nabokov’s autobiography Speak, Memory, in which he refers to it as a ‘paradise lost’. Indeed, he never returned, dying abroad in 1977. Aside from the various Nabokov artefacts, there's actually relatively little to see of the former home itself, save for some charming interiors (ask to see the gorgeous stained-glass windows in the stairwell, which are not technically part of the museum, but staff may allow you to take a peek).