- Dostoevsky Day
The life of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is linked with more than fifty cities in Russia and Western Europe, including Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Staraya Russa, and the Siberian cities of Omsk, Semipalatinsk, and Kuznetsk, as well as Dresden, Wiesbaden, Paris, Florence, and London. In some he resided at length, others he merely passed through. It was to Saint Petersburg that he would return again and again. The sights and sounds of these places and the lives of their peoples are reflected in one way or another in the writer's works, for Dostoevsky transformed almost all his impressions of life into creative material. It is precisely for this reason that need arose to commemorate these historic sites that have become an inseparable part of Russia's national cultural heritage.
Among all the places on the map of Dostoevsky's travels, seven locations within the territory of the former Russian Empire were of particular importance and significance to him: Moscow, where he was born and spent the first fifteen and a half years of his life; Darovoe, his parents' estate, where he spent the summers as a child; Saint Petersburg, arguably the most important city in his literary development; Omsk, where he spent four years at hard labor; Semipalatinsk, the site of five agonizing years of exile; Kuznetsk, where he married his first wife; and Staraya Russa, where for eight years Dostoevsky, his second wife, and children spent their summer months. Since 1928 museums dedicated to the most important moments of the writer's biography and work have been established in these locations. These Dostoevsky Museums are inseparably tied to their surroundings: the town, its environs, and scenery. At times there is little more than the features of the landscape in these areas to provide a historical connection to Dostoevsky's life.