Alexander Herzen House Museum

Alexander Herzen House Museum

254_image2_sThe Alexander Herzen Memorial HouseRussian: Dom-muzey Gertsena or Дом-музей Герцена tells the story of the well-known Russian writer and philosopher. At the same time, it seems to plunge you into the atmosphere of the Moscow of the 19th century nobility. The museum is located in a small, two-storey mansion in a quiet side street of the ArbatRussian: Arbat or Арбат. Alexander Herzen, the author of the novel “Who Is to BlameRussian: Kto vinovat? or Кто виноват?”, momentous in his time, lived there for three years.


A small Empire-style mansion was built on this site in the 1820s. Herzen’s father Ivan Yakovlev purchased it especially for his son. Together with his family, Herzen lived in the house from September 1843 until he went abroad in January 1847. In this house, he wrote his famous scientific and literary works “Letters on the Study of NatureRussian: Pisma ob izuchenii prirody or Письма об изучении природы”, the “Diletantism in ScienceRussian: O diletantizme v nauke or О дилетантизме в науке” cycle, “Thieving MagpieRussian: Soroka- vorovka or Сорока- воровка” and “Dr. KrupovRussian: Doktor Krupov or Доктор Крупов”, all of which brought him fame and recognition.

Sergei Aksakova 19th-century Russian literary figure remembered for his semi-autobiographical tales of family life lived close by and Nikolay Gogola Russian dramatist of Ukrainian origin also frequented the Arbat. One of the most famous literary societies of the 19th century emerged in Herzen’s house with such members as the poet Ogarev, philosopher Chaadaev, historian Granovsky, actors Korsh and Shchepkin, writer Belinsky and others. In 1847, Herzen was in disgrace with the royals and therefore left the house and went abroad.


255_image3_sThe museum opened in 1976, originally as a branch of the State Literary MuseumRussian: Gosudarstvennyi literaturnyi muzey or Государственный литературный музей. The main display is called “I Serve the Cause of Russia with the Word and the DeedRussian: Ya sluzhil na polzu Rossii slovom i delom or Я служил на пользу России словом и делом”. It gives a detailed account of the stages of Herzen’s life. The writer’s authentic personal belongings and those of his closest colleagues, as well as an extensive collection of photos are at the heart of the display. Here, you can see his parents’ portraits – land owner Ivan Yakovlev and Luisa Haag are depicted in photos of Herzen himself and his family.

In the first halls are books of the Renaissance period which Herzen grew up reading. There is also a portrait sculpture of Kutuzova Field Marshal of the Russian Empire, who pushed the French out of Russia in 1812, and caricatures dating from the time of the war with Napoleon in these halls. Further on, you can see the drawing room and the writer’s study which exhibits the objects which were dear to his heart – candlesticks, bells, and a signet. The living conditions of Herzen’s youth have been brought to life in one of the halls.

Besides the well known Tretyakov gallery and the State Historical Museum, there are a lot of interesting galleries and (house) museums in Moscow. If you want to learn more about museums in Moscow or to visit any famous exhibition Moscow, you can find a lot of useful information on our webpages.

256_image4_sAmong the gems of the collection are some unique portraits of Herzen. He gave one of them to his fiancée Natalia Zakharjina.

Another portrait was painted by his wife a short time before her death. The design of the Cathedral of Christ the SaviourRussian: khram Khrista Spasitelya or храм Христа Спасителя drawn by architect Vitberg, Herzen’s comrade in his exile to Vyatkathe former name of the city of Kirov located on the Vyatka River, Herzen’s less known autographs and books form the writer’s private collection – these are particularly valuable.

There is also a section dedicated to Herzen’s life when he was overseas. He attracted a circle of like-minded people, organised the “Russian Free PressRussian: Volnaya tipografiya or Вольная типография”, continued writing and published a lot of his works. The Museum features the London study of Nikolay Tryubner, Herzen’s publisher, some samples of the “BellRussian: Kolokol or Колокол”, and an interactive display dedicated to Paris, Rome, London, Geneva – cities where Herzen lived and worked for 23 years. You can also see a sculpture of A. Hertzen done during his lifetime, by sculptor A. Grass. The museum uses a wide range of technology, including video projections and interactive kiosks, which both give the visitor a feeling of being able to participate in the events, and provide a valuable insight into the epoch.

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total number of grades: 7, average rating: 4.14 (from 5)
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Within Garden Ring

Nearest Metro Station

Smolenskaya, Arbatskaya


27 Sivtsev Vrazhek Lane, Moscow


Museum Opening Hours / Ticket Office Opening Hours

Tu: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5.30 p.m.)
We: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5.30 p.m.)
Th: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. (ticket office till 8.30 p.m.)
Fr: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5.30 p.m.)
Sa: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5.30 p.m.)
Su: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5.30 p.m.)

Days off


Ticket Price

From 100 to 200 rubles depending on visitor's category and programme of visits.
Photographing without a flash is included in the ticket price.

Visiting Rules



Silhouette portrait of N. P. Ogarev, candle holders, bell, stamp with the handle shaped like a bust of Schiller
Sivtsev Vrazhek Street before the Russian Revolution of 1917
Coat of arms of the Yakovlevs
Glove of Kolya, Herzen's son, who died in a shipwreck
Natalya Aleksandrovna, Herzen's wife
Herzen House Museum. People of the 1840s
Small living room
Luiza Ivanovna Haag, Herzen's mother
Herzen's study. Over the sofa hangs the portrait of I. A. Yakovlev, Herzen's father
Natalya Herzen's pincushion. A gift from her son Nikolay
Ivan Alekseyevich Yakovlev, Herzen's father
Herzen House Museum today
Herzen House. An old photo
Living room. Over the sofa hangs the portrait of Alexander Alekseyevich Yakovlev, Herzen's uncle
Herzen with his children Alexander, Olga and Natalya (Tata). 1856
Alexander Herzen
Alexander Herzen. 1836
Inside the Museum
Inside the Museum
Redwood sculpted casket that belonged to Natalya, Herzen's wife
Herzen House Museum. Facade. 1990s
Tata (Natalya) and Olga, Herzen's daughters. Ivory daguerreotype
Herzen's study
European City. Detail
Trubner's Shop
Herzen's books
Portrait of Alexander Herzen with his son
Left Right

Featured reviews

Visitor rating:   4.5

January 2017
The museum is interesting. Thanks to the fact that Herzen lived in this estate, we have an opportunity to see how the life of the nobility was organized in the middle of the 19th century. Here everything is real, and thus it is of great modern value.

November 2016
The museum is small, the exposition mainly consists of books, letters and engravings. Fans of history will like it.

April 2016
I was there with a tour and a large group. The apartment is not adapted for a large number of visitors, so I listened the guide from the next halls and then I had to hurry after the group and to look fluently at the exhibits along the way. The exposition is engaging, but visiting on your own would not be so interesting. There are few halls and the most informative is the last one, but thanks to the detailed story of the guide I had the full impression about Herzen and his family. The visit took an hour and a half and the whole group was tired.

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