It is well known that Kolmogorov published in 1933 his ground-breaking work on probability theory Grundbegriffe der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung usually known to English speakers as Foundations of the theory of probability.

Numerous sources also claim that much of his mathematical discussion and work took place in his dacha at Komarovka a small village outside Moscow.

My question

I am sure I remember reading many years ago that he was inspired to write the monograph because the roof of his dacha needed repairing. This is such a strange story that I cannot imagine I made it up but it may, of course, be an urban legend. Can anyone confirm this either way?

My research

I have done internet searches for Kolmogorov dacha, and for Kolmogorov Komarovka without finding anything which adds much to what I summarise above. I also tried Kolmogorow Datsche in case there was anything in German, the language of the monograph. I am afraid my grasp of Russian is non-existent. Adding roof to the search or Dach to the searches just adds people anxious to quote me for the repair of my roof.

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    $\begingroup$ According to homepages.cwi.nl/~paulv/papers/kolmogorov.pdf , he published the paper in 1933 and bought the dacha in 1935. $\endgroup$ Jan 31, 2022 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Have you read this? $\endgroup$ Jan 31, 2022 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @kimchilover do you want to post that as an answer so I can accept it and close the thread? $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Jan 31, 2022 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @mdewey No. Something has come up that makes this inconvenient for me. Why don't you write up the answer, or edit your question to fit the new evidence. $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2022 at 1:33
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    $\begingroup$ This question reminds me of a quote by Michael Caine concerning his appearance in the awful 1987 movie Jaws: The Revenge. He said “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” $\endgroup$
    – KCd
    Oct 30, 2022 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


User kimchi lover noted in a comment that this can be answered from the article


The relevant text is "In 1935, Kolmogorov and Aleksandrov acquired (initially part of) an old manor house at Komarovka [the former Stanislavskii dacha], with room for a large library and several guests. "

Authored by Paul M. B. Vitányi and translated by Harold H Mc Fadden the article entitled "Remembering Kolmogorov" was published in Metascience (2011) 20:509–511 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9540-6. In it we find that Kolmogorov and his friend Aleksandrov only purchased (part of) the dacha in 1935 so obviously my memory must be a false one since by then Grundbegriffe der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung was already two years in the past.

User Rodrigo de Azevedo also pointed out this fact.


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