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Walking Tour in St. Petersburg with Dostoyevsky

By Joel Hernández |

Take a walking tour in St. Petersburg and visit the places that inspired the works by Dostoyevsky.

Dostoyevsky’s St. Petersburg

When we talk about Russia, we always think about Moscow or Sibera, as well as their artistic activities and sports such as ballet, figure skating or boxing. But in this time, DINKtravelers invites you to make a free walking tour in St. Petersburg through the life and work of the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. We provide you with a quick and enjoyable guide. This literary route will take you to the settings he drew inspiration from in some of his works.

Sennaya Square and Crime and Punishment

The first stop of this walking tour in St. Petersburg is in the historic Sennaya Square, located near the Sennaya Ploschchad metro station. It’s an emblematic place, since it was there that Dostoyevsky found inspiration to write Crime and Punishment, one of his most important works. If you visit its canals, you’ll be able to recreate the scenes that took place in Moika and Griboyedoba alleys. Surely, you’ll imagine the dubious Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, main character of the novel, standing there. It’s worth mentioning that as from 1739, this square was home to the huge Hay Market. The place was a key site for trade between farmers and merchants. Meanwhile, Sennaya also housed entertainment businesses such as taverns, brothels and gambling houses. As you know, these were settings that Dostoyevsky recreated in Crime and Punishment. Yes, one of them is the tavern where Raskolnikov met Marmeládov, thus beginning his disastrous journey in the novel.

Dostoyevsky ’s Neighborhood

Near Sennaya Square you’ll find the quarter where Dostoyevsky used to live, this is the second stop of  the walking tour in St. Petersburg. Visit Dom Dostoevskogo, a hotel that used to be the house where Russian writer wrote The Brothers Karamazov. It’s located in Kuznechny alley, near Vladimirskaya  subway station. Nowadays it’s the Dostoyevsky  Museum, and it opens from 11:00 to 18:00 h. When you visit it you’ll get the chance to see the author’s desk as well as a clock that reads 8:38, the time of Dostoyevsky ’s death in 1881. The museum also houses an exhibition dedicated to his life and work.

[Agregar foto del museo y si es posible del escritorio que se menciona en el párrafo]

What Dostoyevsky Thought About Music

A fun fact about this Russian writer is that he didn’t live for more than three years in one same house. Actually, he moved frequently. Dostoyevsky was always looking to establish near a church with a bell tower. The reason? According to him, the bell tolls comforted the spirit. If your spirit also needs comfort, visit St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church. It was built in 1761 by architect Trezini. Dostoyevsky  was a parishioner there! It should be noted that this church was dismantled by the Soviet regime who turned it into a factory. Later, in 1990, it was restored.

A Monument Dedicated to Dostoyevsky

The last stop of this walking tour in St. Petersburg is in the Vladimirskaya Ploshchad Square (Bolshaya), in Ulitsa Moskovskaya street, head there and take a selfie next to Dostoyevsky’s monument. We recommend stopping at Cháinaya Lozhka on Nevsky Avenue, to try some delicious traditional Russian pancakes known as blinis. Then, continue on to the Tikhvin Cemetery, where you’ll find the graves of Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky and Borodin.

End your walking tour in St. Petersburg with the White Nights Show

“Nästenka, in case you don’t know, there are some curious places in St. Petersburg. It’s as if the same sun shining for all the Petersburgers isn’t here, but a different, new one, which is purposeful for these corners and shines above all things with a different, special light.”

Thus the protagonist of White Nights, a short story by Russian writer, addressed his lover. This short story serves as an inspiration for you to end your walking tour in St. Petersburg by witnessing an exceptional show. Actually, it’s an atmospheric phenomenon during the season of the midnight sun.

The Scarlet Sails in the White Night Shows

During this season, you can go to the Moika River pier and sail across the canals. Admire the lifting drawbridges as well as the fireworks shows; witness the Scarlet Sails (sailboats) tradition, and enjoy the palatial, baroque and renaissance architecture of the city of St. Petersburg.

The best season to travel to Russia and make the walking tour in St. Petersburg is between June and July which is when you can witness the spectacle of White Nights Phenomenon and celebrate Dostoyevsky’s Day, which is organized in July by the theater that bears his name. You’ll get to attend a staging of Crime and Punishment as well as film events, conferences, exhibitions, seminars and theme tours.

Live and enjoy St. Petersburg, the Venice of the North, a heroic city that welcomed and inspired Dostoyevsky, one of the greatest writers Russia has given the world.