House with chimeras

House with chimeras
Bankovaya str., 10

This remarkable building decorated with the fabulous figures of animals and chimeras like as they were took from peaked roofs of Notre Dame de Paris can be easily called the most unusual Kiev building. On the roof of the building are sitting good-natured toads with nereids, heads of rhinos and antelope are built into walls, drain pipes look like snakes and elephant trunks. Constructed on a steep slope house astonishes by one more details — from the front side it has only 3 floors and from back side whole 6!

House with Chimeras history

This building was constructed by the architect Gorodetskiy in 1903 — on the former bank of drained swamp. This place was prohibited for building up by Kiev house-building society. Many people at that time considered construction on the steep slope to be the sheer madness. That’s why the house was primordially cloaked in legends: it is said that Gorodetskiy started building because of bet with other architects who contended that it’s impossible to build something in that place. Nevertheless the house was built in record time constraints — only for 2 years.

Italian sculptor Elio Sala decorated the front of the building by fantastical figures of sea monsters and exotic animals being taken from the sketches of Gorodetskiy. There is a legend that sea monsters are an architect tribute for his drown daughter.

In newly build house architect occupied one floor, other apartments he let out. Despite of very expensive cost there were no end of clients. There were personal ice-box, laundry, wine-cellar in the house, and a pair of cows in the yard in order lodgers to get fresh cream for morning coffee.

In 1913 Gorodetskiy sold his house and next years it has changed its owners. Finally the house was nationalized by Workers’ and Peasants’ power after the October revolution. For some time there were communal flats and hospital.

In 2003-2004 «The house with chimeras» was restored. Its cost was 30 million dollars. The house interiors were completely restored including parquet floor and wall-paintings. After that the house became the small mansion-house of the President of Ukraine (main mansion-house is Mariinskiy palace. Here guests of foreign delegations are received.

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Golden Gate


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