"We have moved now to our town house, an Italianate construction of Finnish granite, built by my grandfather circa 1885, with floral frescoes above the third (upper) storey and a second-floor oriel, in St Petersburg (now Leningrad), 47 Morskaya (now Herzen Street)."


Like most streets in Russian cities, Morskaya ("Naval") Street was renamed by the Soviet authorities after the 1917 Revolution, and became Herzen Street. Morskaya Street in Nabokov's time was a street of palatial townhouses, embassies and banks. It was also home to the Fabergé shop at number 24, selling the eggs and jewels that Nabokov so loved to hate.  Nowadays, it is home to boutique hotels, luxury stores, and the imposing Hotel Astoria, which was built in 1912, five years before the Nabokovs fled St Petersburg.  The house is now the Nabokov Museum