In the footsteps of famous artists and thinkers…
Students’ Cultural Center, Belgrade, where some of the first performances by Marina Abramović took place, such as Rhythm 5 (1974)
The Museum of Ivo Andrić in Belgrade operates in an apartment where the writer lived from 1958 until his death in 1975. Nevenka Urbanova, a famous Serbian actress, also lived in the same house.
This house on Leoforos Eleftherias in Florina featured in The Beekeeper (1986) by Theodoros Angelopoulos.
The scene where a huge marble hand is lifted from the sea by a helicopter in Landscape in the Mist (1988) by Theodoros Angelopoulos was shot in the Port of Thessaloniki.
House on Via San Maurelio 10, Ferrara, where young Michelangelo Antonioni lived in 1918-1929
Michelangelo Antonioni Square, Ferrara
Claudia (Monica Vitti) and Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) in the bell tower of the Church of Saint Charles Borromeo, overlooking the Noto Cathedral, L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
Claudia waiting for Sandro on a square below the stairs of the Monastery of the Holy Saviour in Noto, surrounded by groups of ogling men, L’Avventura
San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina, where the famous last scene of L’Avventura was shot
Vittoria (Monica Vitti) meets Piero (Alain Delon) at the Rome Stock Exchange, Temple of Hadrian, L’Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962)
Urban landscape of L’Eclisse: the Mushroom Tower and houses near the junction of Viale della Tecnica and Viale del Ciclismo in the EUR district of Rome
The Mirabeau Bridge in Paris, which inspired one of the most famous poems by Guillaume Apollinaire (1912)
Viale Orlando Furioso in Ferrara is named after the romance epic (1516) of Ludovico Ariosto, who lived in the city.
The first apartment of Ingeborg Bachmann in Vienna was located on Beatrixgasse 26. She lived here in 1946-1949. It is located not far from the Ungargasse – the centre of the world of the main character in her novel Malina (1971): ‘Mein Königreich, mein Ungargassenland, das ich gehalten habe, mit meinen sterblichen Händen‘.
House on Via Bocca di Leone 59, Rome, where Ingeborg Bachmann lived in 1966-1971
Hotel on Quai Voltaire 19 in Paris, where Charles Baudelaire wrote the The Flowers of Evil (1857)
Ludwig van Beethoven was a regular guest at the Brunswick Palace in Martonvásár after 1799, as the piano teacher of Thérèse and Josephine Brunswick, with the latter of whom he was in love. The current Gothic Revival building is later. It now hosts the Beethoven Memorial Museum.
House of birth of Vincenzo Bellini (1801), Palazzo Gravina Cruyllas, now Bellini Civic Museum, Catania
House on Villagatan 22, Stockholm, where young Ingmar Bergman lived since 1920
Home of Hayim Nahman Bialik (1924-1934), Bialik Street 22, Tel Aviv; with beautiful Bezalel school tiles in the reception room
This plaque, located on a wall on the Fondamenta Zattere allo Spirito Santo, is a reference to Watermark (1992), a contemplative essay about Venice, by Joseph Brodsky.
Anton Bruckner played organ at the Church of Saint Nicholas in Bad Ischl, to celebrate the birthdays of Emperor Franz Joseph I or the marriage of his daughter Marie Valerie in 1890.
In 1819 George Gordon Byron stayed at the Hotel Imperiale in Ravenna (now Biblioteca Casa di Oriani, via Corrado Ricci 26).
A street flanking the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania is named after Maria Callas, who sang Norma here in the early 1950s.
Statue of Miguel de Cervantes, Plaza de Zocodover, Toledo
House of Mahmut on Başkurt Sokak 19, İstanbul, in Distant (2002) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Ostrogski Palace in Warsaw houses a museum dedicated to Fryderyk Chopin.
This street was named after Dante Alighieri, who, according to some unverified sources, studied at the University of Paris, located nearby, in the early 14th century.
Strudlhof Steps, Vienna, a focal point of Heimito von Doderer‘s eponymous novel (1951)
Dedication from The Strudlhof Steps, or Melzer and the Depths of the Years
Fyodor Dostoevsky visited Tallinn in 1843, 1845 and 1846. A memorial plaque on Uus 10 commemorates his stay. He wrote parts of The Double (1846) here and initially conceived Tallinn as the setting of Demons (1871-1872).
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach spent her summers in 1889-1898 in St. Gilgen.
House where Sergei Eisenstein was born and grew up (1898-1916), Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 6, Riga
Statue of Desiderius Erasmus (Hendrick de Keyser, 1622) on Grotekerkplein in Rotterdam
This house, located in Burgazada, İstanbul, belonged to the family of Sait Faik Abasıyanık, the greatest Turkish short story writer, since 1938. He spent most of his time and conceived many of his short stories here in the last years of his life (died in 1954). The house now operates as the Sait Faik Abasıyanık Museum.
Bust of Sait Faik Abasıyanık near the port of Burgazada
A square named after Federico Fellini in front of the Porta Pinciana in Rome, at the end of Via Veneto, where much of La Dolce Vita (1960) was shot
Gustave Flaubert was born in the house on Rue de Lecat 51 in Rouen. The Museum of Flaubert and the History of Medicine now operates here.
On the walls are some quotes by Flaubert.
Avenue Gustave Flaubert, which leads to the Flaubert Museum from the old town of Rouen
Statue of Gustave Flaubert (by Léopold Bernhard Bernstamm, 1907; copy 1965) on Place des Carmes, Rouen
Berggasse 19, Vienna, where Sigmund Freud lived and worked in 1891-1938, now Sigmund Freund Museum
This square in the Södermalm district of Stockholm was named after Greta Garbo, the most famous student of the nearby Katarina södra skola, which she graduated with good grades in 1919.
At the corner of Jono Basanavičiaus and Mindaugo streets in Vilnius there is a statue of Romain Gary, who was born and spent his childhood here. The statue was inspired by a scene from his autobiographical novel Promise at Dawn from 1960.
Via del Corso 18, Rome, where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed during his Italian journey from 1786 until 1788, now Casa di Goethe
Goethe, who famously described Sicily as the key for understanding the entire Italy, stayed in a wing of the Palazzo Butera in Palermo during his visit in the spring of 1787.
Nikolai Gogol lived in the house on Via Sistina 16 in Rome in 1838-1842 and wrote Dead Souls here.
This street in Beyoğlu is named after Ara Güler, the famous İstanbul photographer, whose café (Kafe Ara) also operates here.
Knut Hamsun stayed at the Hotel London on Atoneli Street in Tbilisi during his visit in 1899.
Staircase of the former Hotel London
Park benches in the shape of open books – a monument dedicated to Nâzım Hikmet Ran, Caddebostan, İstanbul
The rock formations off the coast of Aci Trezza in Sicily are believed by some to be the stones thrown at Odysseus by Polyphemus in Homer‘s Odyssey.
Scylla and Charybdis – other monsters from the Odyssey – dwelled in the Strait of Messina.
The sacred grove of oak trees in Dodona is the oldest known Hellenic oracle. Its first mention is from Homer.
‘King Zeus-Pelasgian Zeus, lord of Dodona’s holy shrine,
dwelling far away, brooding over Dodona’s bitter winters!
Your prophets dwelling round you, Zeus, the Selli
sleeping along the ground with unwashed feet…’
(Homer, Iliad, Book XVI)
‘But Odysseus, he made clear, was off at Dodona then
to hear the will of Zeus that rustles forth
from the god’s tall leafy oak: how should he return,
after all the years away, to his own green land of Ithaca—
openly or in secret?’
(Homer, Odyssey, Book XIV)
Henrik Ibsen‘s last home (1895-1906), now Ibsen Museum, Oslo
This multimedia plaque at the corner of Mārstaļu and Peitavas Streets in Riga was made by Kirils Panteļejevs in 2004 on the occasion of Otar Iosseliani‘s 70th birthday and reads: ‘Otar Iosseliani, honorary guest of the International Film Forum Arsenals, walked by this building, stopped, and drank a glass of akhasheni‘. It looks like a bird’s cage, a reference to Iosseliani’s film Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird, and originally played a song three times a day.
Statue of James Joyce (by Nino Spagnoli) on Via Roma, overlooking the Grand Canal of Trieste, placed here in 2004 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Joyce’s arrival to the city
House on Via Giovanni Boccaccio 1, Trieste, where Joyce lived from February to July 1906
From September 1912 until June 1915 Joyce lived in the house on Via Donato Bramante 4 in Trieste. It was here that he finished A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and started to work on Ulysses.
Joyce Museum, Trieste
House where John Keats died in 1821, today Keats–Shelley Memorial House, Rome
Street named after Omar Khayyam, Haifa
Street named after Danilo Kiš in the Grbavica neighbourhood of Novi Sad
Road leading to the Hohensalzburg Fortress bears the name of Oskar Kokoschka, who established the ‘School of Seeing’ in Salzburg in 1953, the later International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.
Bust of Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, one of the founders of the Gödöllő Artists’ Colony (1901), a school of Hungarian Art Nouveau, near the Town Museum of Gödöllő
A plaque at the Balaton Pantheon commemorates the stay of Gyula Krúdy in Balatonfüred in the spring of 1927.
Giacomo Leopardi stayed with Antonio Ranieri in the house on Via dei Condotti 81 in Rome from November 1831 until March 1832.
Ferenc Liszt spent five weeks in 1847 in İstanbul, where he gave private concerts to Sultan Abdulmejid I as well as numerous public concerts. He stayed in a flat on Nur-i Ziya Sokak 11 in Pera.
Ferenc Liszt Street in Lviv
This statue was designed by Emil Wikström in 1902. It depicts Elias Lönnrot, the author of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, with god Väinämöinen and maiden Impi. It is located in a small park on Lönnrotinkatu in Helsinki.
House where Yuri Lotman lived in 1970-1989, Veski 63, Tartu
House where Yuri Lotman lived before his death in 1993, Laulupeo puiestee 7, Tartu
House of György Lukács (1945-1971) on Belgrád rakpart 2, Budapest
Gustav Mahler stayed in the building known as the House of the Golden Pike, located between Ztracená, Michalská and Mahlerova streets in Olomouc, in 1883.
Mahler lived in the house on Teréz körút 7 in Budapest in 1888-1891, when he was the director of the Hungarian Royal Opera.
Thomas Mann stayed at the Grand Hotel des Bains in the Lido of Venice in 1911, which provided inspiration for his Death in Venice (1912). The film based on the novella by Luchino Visconti was also shot here (1971).
Thomas Mann and his wife Katia made a trip to Nida, Lithuania in 1929. They were so impressed by its shifting sand dunes and the Mediterranean-like scenery that they decided to build their summer house here. The Mann family spent three summers here, until the ascent to power of the Nazis forced them to leave. The building now houses the brilliant Thomas Mann Museum.
Adam Mickiewicz lived in 1822 in the house on Bernardinų Street 11 in Vilnius (now his memorial museum)
Adam Mickiewicz was deported to Russia from this house on Didžioji Street 22 in Vilnius on November 6 (October 24), 1824.
House at the corner of Serdar Ömerpaşa Caddesi and Tatlı Badem Sokak, İstanbul, where Adam Mickiewicz died on November 26, 1855
This memorial plaque was placed on the external wall of the Church of Saint Bartholomew in Drohobych in 1998 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Adam Mickiewicz.
A staircase leading to the Old Town of Vilnius is dedicated to Czesław Miłosz. There are fragments of his poems on the steps.
Hauenschild House, Olomouc, in which young Wolfang Amadeus Mozart stayed with his parents and sister in 1767
Mozart Fountain (Carl Wollek, 1926) in St. Gilgen, a city which he never visited but where his grandfather, mother and sister lived
Trajan Square (Trajansplatz, Piaţa Traian) in Timişoara – a prominent location in The Land of Green Plums (Herztier) by Herta Müller (1994)
House of the Two Suns, Nerudova 233/47, Lesser Town, Prague, where the young Jan Neruda lived.
Monument of Sergei Parajanov on Bambis Rigi Street in Tbilisi, his native city, by Vazha Mikaberidze (2004)
Collage ‘Parajanov in Prison’ at the Sergei Parajanov Museum, Yerevan
Passageway named after Sergei Parajanov in the Armenian Quarter of Lviv
Reconstruction of the bedroom of Fernando Pessoa, in his last house, where he lived in 1920-1935, now Casa Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon
The bronze statue of Fernando Pessoa by Lagoa Henriques (1988) in front of the Café A Brasileira, which he frequented
One of the houses where Luigi Pirandello (born in 1867) lived during his childhood, Via Luigi Pirandello 14, Agrigento
The House of Aunt Léonie in Illiers-Combray, where young Marcel Proust spent his summers in 1877-1880, thoroughly described in the first volume of À la recherche du temps perdu; now Marcel Proust Museum
Swann’s way, Combray
Guermantes way, Combray
The Loir, portrayed as the Vivonne in À la recherche du temps perdu, Combray
A fragment of the fresco cycle by Giotto at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (1305) depicting the Charity, which Proust compared to his pregnant kitchen maid in Combray in Swann’s Way
Boulevard Haussmann 102, Paris, where Proust lived in 1907-1919 and wrote most of his À la recherche du temps perdu
Marcel Proust’s bedroom with original furniture from his three Paris apartments, as recreated at the Musée Carnavalet
I have described my Proust pilgrimage in Venice here (in Estonian).
House of birth of Salvatore Quasimodo (1901), Via Posterla 84, Modica
House on Jodenbreestraat 4, Amsterdam, where Rembrandt lived and worked from 1639 until 1656 (now Rembrandt House Museum)
Many indoor and outdoor scenes of Last Year at Marienbad by Alain Resnais (1961) were shot at the Schleißheim Palace in Munich.
Some scenes of Last Year at Marienbad, like this famous shot, were filmed at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich.
The Hall of Mirrors of the Amalienburg hunting lodge in the park of the Nymphenburg Palace featured at the end of the opening sequence of Last Year at Marienbad.
In 1912 Rainer Maria Rilke visited Princess Marie Thurn und Taxis at the Duino Castle north of Trieste. The visit provided inspiration for his famous Duino Elegies (1923). The trail on the cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea near the castle, where he claimed to have heard a mysterious voice pronouncing what later became the opening lines of the first elegy – ‘Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen?‘ –, is named after him. The terrace where he wrote the first drafts of the elegies is also marked in the castle.
In 1918-1919 Rainer Maria Rilke lived in the house on Ainmillerstraße 34, Munich. The plaque is by Eberhard Luttner (1973).
In 1877 John Ruskin stayed at the La Calcina pension, in a room overlooking the Giudecca Canal in Venice.
On the façade of the building on Aspazijas bulvāris 34 in Riga there is a plaque from 2012 honouring Shota Rustaveli. It was a gift of the city of Tbilisi to Riga as a symbol of friendship, also indicated by the quote ‘Who seeks not a friend is his own foe!’.
Statue of Umberto Saba (Nino Spagnoli, 2004) at the junction of Via Dante Alighieri and Via San Nicolò, Trieste
Libreria Antiquaria Umberto Saba, Via San Nicolò 30, Trieste, which the writer owned since 1919
Monument of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (by Volodymyr Tsisaryk, 2008) on Serbska 7, Lviv, the city where the writer was born
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (1984) by José Saramago is full of beautiful descriptions of Lisbon. The most evocative passages for me are those describing the rainy Terreiro do Paço (Praça do Comércio).
José Saramago Foundation, Casa dos Bicos, Lisbon (since 2012)
In Nida, overlooking the Parnidis Dune, there is a bronze sculpture of Jean-Paul Sartre, who visited Lithuania with Simone de Beauvoir in 1965. The sculpture, by Klaudijus Pūdymas in 2018, was made on the basis of a photograph of Antanas Sutkus.
Arthur Schnitzler often spent his summer vacations in Bad Ischl and stayed at the Hotel Kaiserkrone, Salzburger Straße 8.
House on Judengasse 8, Salzburg, where Franz Schubert stayed with singer Johann Michael Vogl in August 1825
House on Bednarska Street (now Yuriya Drohobycha 12) in Drohobych, where Bruno Schulz lived in 1910-1941
The building on Tarasa Shevchenka 38, Drohobych, is known as Villa Bianca, after ‘Spring’, one of the stories that make up the Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass (1937) by Bruno Schulz.
The villa houses the Drohobych Museum, of which three rooms are dedicated to Bruno Schulz.
The most interesting part of the exposition is Schulz’s drawings, especially those with masochistic themes.
‘…even more unclear were the cats. Their perfection was unsettling. Closed in the harmony and neatness of their bodies, they knew no fault, nor deviation. Having descended but for a moment, to the bottom of their being, they became motionless in their soft fur, gained a fearsome and solemn gravitas, while their eyes became round like moons, pulling sight into their fiery canals.’ (‘The Brilliant Epoch’, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass)
A plaque in the pavement near the building on Tarasa Shevchenka Street 6 indicates the place where Bruno Schulz was shot dead by a Gestapo officer in 1942 while walking back towards the Drohobych Ghetto with a loaf of bread
Street named after William Shakespeare in the Liman neighbourhood of Novi Sad
Pilies Street 10, Vilnius, where Taras Shevchenko lived in 1829-1830
A relief plaque on a building of the Vilnius University commemorates Taras Shevchenko, who studied here in 1829-1831.
Theatre Square, Sarajevo, named after Susan Sontag, who staged Waiting for Godot in the besieged city in 1993
Monument of Baruch Spinoza (Nicolas Dings, 2008) on Zwanenburgwal in Amsterdam
Stendhal, who took part in Napoleon’s Russian campaign, stayed in the house on Didžioji Street 1 in Vilnius in December 1812.
Johann Strauss II spent his summer holidays in 1855-1899 in Bad Ischl and was a regular customer at Café Ramsauer.
Bertha von Suttner lived in the house on Queen Tamar Street 15 in Kutaisi in 1877-1878.
Statue of Italo Svevo (Nino Spagnoli, 2004) on Piazza Attilio Hortis, Trieste
Rabindranath Tagore, who was treated in the cardiac hospital of Balatonfüred in 1926, planted a linden tree here. The main promenade of the town along the lake is named after him.
Piazza dell’Indipendenza 5, Rome, where Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa died in 1957
Lesya Ukrainka stayed for a few days in the house on Kastani 65, Tartu, in the winter of 1900.
Location of The Little Street (1657-1658) by Johannes Vermeer, Vlamingstraat 40 & 42, Delft
Location of View of Delft (1660-1661) by Johannes Vermeer, Hooikade, Delft
Statue of François Villon (Marius van Beek, 1964) on Achter de Dom near the Cathedral of Saint Martin in Utrecht
Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi in Palermo, where the ball scene of The Leopard by Luchino Visconti was shot (1963)
House of birth of Elio Vittorini (1908), Via Vittorio Veneto 138, Syracuse
Antonio Vivaldi was baptized at the Church of San Giovanni in Bragora, Venice, in 1678.
Otto Wagner‘s last home (1912-1918), Döblergasse 4, Vienna
The house on Riharda Vāgnera iela 4 in Riga was built in 1782 as the Riga City Theatre. The young Richard Wagner was its chief conductor in 1837-1839. Other famous people who worked here were Ferenc Liszt, Clara Schumann, Anton Rubinstein, and Hector Berlioz.
Wahnfried, the residence of Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, in which he moved in in 1874
The Bayreuth Festspielhaus was established by Richard Wagner and dedicated to the performance of his own operas. It was opened with the premiere of Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle in 1876.
Richard Wagner died in Ca’ Vendramin Calergi in Venice in 1883. The palace now hosts the Wagner Museum.
Stefan Zweig spent many summers in Bad Ischl. In September 1895 he stayed with his parents in this house on Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Straße 16.
From 1907 until 1919 Zweig lived on Kochgasse 8 in Vienna.
A road leading up to the Kapuzinerberg in Salzburg is named after Stefan Zweig, who lived in a villa nearby from 1919 until 1934.
Entrance to the Cinecittà Studios, the largest film studio in Europe, where many great Italian films were produced, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. Parts of it are open to the public within the framework of the initiative Cinecittà Shows Off.
A part of the Cinecittà museum is entirely dedicated to Federico Fellini.
Swedish Film Institute, the central institution of Swedish film industry
On the Arkhivna Street in Lviv there are signs with the names of famous film firectors like the Ukranian Yuri Ilyenko, but also international names such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, François Truffaut, and Charles Chaplin. This was a side project of the local film festival, which honoured a particular filmmaker every year and added a new plate with his name on the wall at the street corner.
Portraits of the great voices of fado in the Mouraria neighbourhood of Lisbon (by Camilla Watson, 2013). These musicians were either born here, grew up here, or Mouraria played an important part in their lives.
I have, unfortunately, no photos of my pilgrimages in honour of Franz Kafka in Prague, Péter Nádas in Budapest, Bolesław Prus in Warsaw, and Orhan Pamuk in İstanbul. Other pilgrimages that I would like to make include Joyce’s Dublin, Dostoevsky’s and Gogol’s Saint Petersburg, Bulgakov’s Moscow, Krúdy’s Budapest, Tanpınar’s İstanbul, Rodoreda’s Barcelona, Cavafy’s Alexandria, and Bergman’s Fårö.
Please also check my page with photos of the graves of famous artists and thinkers.