Saint Petersburg is full of history. Every street contains fragments of a past that can be traced in books. That’s why I enjoy wandering around. And that’s how I found a place that from time to time makes me come back.
Around Saint Isaac Cathedral and its many touristic attractions, it’s easy to get lost between palaces, parks, canals and rivers, and it is there where a modernist style building from the end of the 19th century stands, heritage of the Nabokov family, and where the writer Vladimir was born and lived, until the family left the country in 1917.
It really surprised me when I found the little paper sign on the glass of the wooden door house with the words “Museum”. Once inside and having walked up the steps of the main staircase, a kind old woman received me. Sitting at her old desk, she was the receptionist and responsible for security and touristic information for the visitors. She explained to me that part of the second floor showed a free permanent exhibition dedicated to the memory of the writer.
Once there, among some of the original furniture of the house, the butterfly collection –Vladimir’s personal obsession– and different objects from his early life and related to his work, it’s easy to feel the cosmopolitan essence of the Nabokov family’s “favourite child”.
One more surprise was waiting for me inside: a little relief made by a Peruvian artist for the writer. Suddenly I felt a personal connection.