St Petersburg

Brodsky's balcony

Until his departure from the USSR, Joseph Brodsky lived with his parents in a communal apartment at Liteyny prospekt, 24 (the 'House of Muruzi'). As he writes in 'In a room and a half' in Less than One, New York (1986),
"Our room and a half was part of a huge enfilade, one-third of a block in length, on the northern side of a six-story building that faced three streets and a square at the same time. The building was one of those tremendous cakes in so-called Moorish style that in Northern Europe marked the turn of the century. Erected in 1903, the year of my father's birth, it was the architectural sensation of that period, and Akhmatova once told me that her parents took her in a carriage to see this wonder. On its western side, facing one of the most famous avenues of Russian literature, Liteiny Prospect, Alexander Blok had an apartment at one time. [...] It was from our room and a half's balcony that the larva-like Zinka shouted abuse to the revolutionary sailors."