The Route Dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of I.A. Bunin "Ivan Bunin’s Petersburg"

The route begins from Buninsky square and passes through Saint Petersburg’s areas associated with life and work of Ivan Bunin. During the excursion one gets a unique opportunity to see the city’s historical center through the eyes of the writers of the turning years of Russian history and the heroes of their works.

A unique walking excursion route dedicated to the role of Saint Petersburg in the life of the great Russian writer I.A. Bunin is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the first Russian Nobel laureate in literature How the city on the Neva influenced the formation of a literary genius? What environment shaped the special artistic language of Bunin's works? Who was in the inner circle of the writer during his frequent visits to Petersburg, and how his farewell to the city took place? You will learn the answers to all these questions this by following the route “Ivan Bunin’s Saint Petersburg”.

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1. Buninsky Square

Saint Petersburg, Fontanka Emb., 84

It was in 2016 that another memorable place connected with the life and work of the great Russian writer I.A. Bunin, Buninsky Square, appeared on the map of Saint Petersburg. A small street, cozy and old, just a 400-meter stretch connecting Zagorodny Prospekt and the Fontanka River embankment, was named Borodinskaya after the village of Borodino, dear to every Russian.

Over the years, famous figures of Russian culture lived on Borodinskaya Street, among them: actors K.V. Skorobogatov, A.I. Larikov, V.P. Poliseimako, V.Y.Sofonov, composer I.O.Dunaevsky. Buninsky Square is located on this street not far from the addresses associated with the Petersburg life of I. A. Bunin. One can imagine how young, full of energy and literary inspiration, the future great Russian writers Ivan Bunin and Alexander Kuprin, who lived very close, could walk along this old Saint Petersburg street.

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2. House of the Kuprins

Saint Petersburg, Razyezzhaya Str., 7

A memorial plaque on the wall of a house on Razyezzhaya Street near the legendary "Five Corners" reminds of the outstanding Russian writer Alexander Ivanovich Kuprin, who lived here at the beginning of the 20th century.

His wife Maria Karlovna was publishing the magazine "Mir Bozhy", and then, the weekly "Sovremenny Mir". Ivan Bunin was a frequent visitor here. In their discussions about literature, young writers were looking for their own path and style. With his hospitable hosts, Bunin often attended performances at the Mariinsky and Alexandrinsky theaters, and was a frequent visitor to bookstores on Nevsky Prospekt.

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3. House of Academician N.A. Kotlyarevsky

Saint Petersburg, Pravdy Str., 12

An outstanding literary historian Nestor Aleksandrovich Kotlyarevsky, who lived in a house on the former Kabinetskaya Street, had been the first director of the Pushkin House since 1910. He and his wife Vera Vasilievna became Bunin’s close friends. New trends in literature such as modernism and symbolism were often discussed around the table. For his part, Bunin saw writing as the development of the best and highest traditions left by his predecessors - Pushkin and Lermontov, Baratynsky and Tolstoy.

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4. F.F. Fiedler’s House

Saint Petersburg, Marata Str. 67

One of Ivan Bunin's closest friends in Saint Petersburg, the famous translator Fyodor Fidler, lived and worked in this house.

He translated Russian poets - Pushkin, Lermontov, Nekrasov, Tyutchev and many others into German.  What is even more interesting about Fiedler is the fact that he collected a huge literary archive and became the founder of the first private literary museum in Russia. His collection included autographs of a large number of Russian and German writers (including Heine, Gogol, Nekrasov, Herzen), their photographs, drawings, newspaper clippings, rare publications, various relics, including curious ones (cigarette butts, dishes, fragments of crosses from writers' graves, etc.), as well as a library of autographed books donated to Fiedler by the authors. This entire collection was collected on Fiedler’s own means and had never been sponsored by either merchants or the state.

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5. N.N. Khodotov Literary and Art Salon

Saint Petersburg, Kolomenskaya Str., 42

Bunin's favorite literary and art salon in Petersburg was located in a house on Kolomenskaya Street in the apartment of Nikolai Nikolaevich Khodotov, the famous actor of the Alexandrinsky Theater in those years.

Everything that was advanced, interesting and progressive in Saint Petersburg at that time was gathered at Khodotov's apartment. At the hospitable and sociable Nikolai Nikolaevich’s place one could meet young people in shabby student jackets, aspiring and famous writers, singers, journalists, public figures. Kuprin and Bunin, Leonid Andreev and Chaliapin, Kachalov and Korney Chukovsky have been here.

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6. "Palais Royal" Hotel

Saint Petersburg, Pushkinskaya Str., 20

Before the revolution, this mansion housed luxurious furnished rooms.

At first, the building was simply called the "House of Von Taube", after the surname of the owner, and in the late 1890s the name "Palais Royal" was assigned to it - in honor of the Parisian palace. The hotel was very popular among bohemians - Chaliapin, Kuprin, Chekhov and many others lived here. As for Ivan Bunin, he used to stay there during all his first visits to Saint Petersburg.

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7. Saint Petersburg Publishing House "Znaniye"

Saint Petersburg, Nevsky Pr., 90-92

From the end of 1902 A. M. Gorky and K. P. Pyatnitsky became the heads of the Saint Petersburg publishing house "Znaniye", which united different, but altogether talented writers, including Bunin.

He was published there frequently: in terms of the number of published works, he was the second after Gorky. Ivan Alekseevich himself noted that he had been "the closest collaborator of “Znaniye”". During the years of the first Russian revolution, a joint work of Znaniye’s writers with the artists of the "Mir Iskusstva" magazine under the direction of S. P. Diaghilev was being planned. Bunin took an active part in that work. There was an attempt to create a new type of satirical magazine, but the magazine was persecuted by the authorities and did not last long. In 1909, “Znaniye”" fell into decline. Nevertheless five volumes of the first collected works of Ivan Bunin managed to be published. Bunin's break with Gorky coincided with the October Revolution of 1917.

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8. City Credit Society Building

Saint Petersburg, Ostrovskogo Sq., 7

In October 1895, Bunin left Moscow for Saint Petersburg to take part in an evening organized by a society to help migrants.

He was asked to read the story "To the End of the World." The evening took place on November 21, 1895 in the hall of the Credit Society, and Bunin's speech caused a storm of applause. This was the first public reading of Ivan Bunin.

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9. "Europe" Hotel

Saint Petersburg, Mikhailovskaya Str., 1

In April 1917, Bunin came to Saint Petersburg for the last time and "Europe" hotel became his last address.

Watching the city engulfed in revolution, he was shocked and saw no other way for himself but emigration. Thus began a new stage in the life of the great writer.

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10. Academy of Sciences

 Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya Emb.,5

It was in Saint Petersburg that Ivan Bunin received all-Russian literary recognition. In 1903 and 1909, Bunin was awarded the highest literary awards of the Imperial Academy of Sciences - the Pushkin Prizes; and for reviews of literary works presented for the A.S. Pushkin; Bunin was awarded gold medals (1911, 1915).

In 1909, the Imperial Academy of Sciences elected Bunin an honorary academician in the category of fine literature. Thus, St. Petersburg to a large extent helped Bunin to become a great Russian writer, a future Nobel Prize laureate in literature.

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