Ancient Lipki Mansions
The magic attractiveness of the Kiev bourgeoisie.
I invite you to take a virtual walk along the streets of Lipki – the historic district of Kiev, which has long gained the glory of the “nest” of the Kiev elite and the residence of the highest local administration. This is the most prestigious area where live representatives of the higher society since the Soviet times. “The upper crust” settled here a long time ago to be closer to the royal palace. Mariinsky palace, the houses of the governor-general and the civilian governor were located in this area.
In the late 80’s – early 90’s of the 19th century in Lipki area were erected stone mansions, palaces of the bankers, entrepreneurs. Given the fact that Kiev was the “sugar capital” of the Russian Empire, it is not surprising that the most luxurious Kiev mansions belonged to sugar entrepreneurs. Nowadays Lipki is also the center of political life, where the Administration of the President, the National Bank of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada and other government institutions are located.
- Klovsky Palace
It was planned to allocate here the residence of the Lavra high clergy, and in special cases, during the visits of Empress Elizabeth Alexeevna to Kiev, it was supposed to keep apartments for her here. Almost simultaneously with the Klovskiy Palace, the Mariinsky Palace was hastily erected nearby. The sovereigns preferred the Mariinsky Palace to the Klovsky Palace. In the palace, rejected by the empress, were located the Lavra printing house, the hospital, the women’s school of theology and, then, different other organizations and institutions.
- Bunge Municipal primary school
- “Arab house” or Kowalewski mansion
Following the tastes of his time, the architect gives the mansion the appearance of a medieval castle, with the predominance of elements of Romanesque style in the decoration of the facades. Noticeably is the influence of the church architecture of South Caucasus, which Aleshin visited shortly before the designing of the mansion. One of the rooms of the mansion is very original, it was designed and decorated completely imitating a railway compartment, as Mr.Kowalewski met with his wife in the train.
- Rental house of Merchant A. Bubnov
Arseniy Bubnov built a house in the Renaissance style in 1908. The merchant’s family occupied one apartment in the house, and the rest of the apartments were leased. The enterprising merchant decided to encourage customers with the help of a richly decorated facade in the Renaissance style. There appeared heads of lions with open mouths, balconies, pilasters in the form of pseudo-columns, framed by arches of windows. Among the customers who rented apartments from Bubnov were many scientists and professors.
- “Chocolate house”
The history of the “Chocolate house” goes back to 1899, when the merchant of the first guild and a well-known patron of art, Semen Mogilevtsev, purchased a part of the estate with an area of 321 square meters. Later, on this place, the famous Kiev architect Vladimir Nikolaev built a luxurious two-story “Chocolate house”, accomplished in the spirit of the Renaissance palazzo.
Of course, this house is chocolate only architecturally – its external facade is richly brown with numerous sculptural ornaments which very much like a bar of tasty refined chocolate.
- “Gingerbread house” or “Pink house”
The first owner of the “Gingerbread House” was Baron Ikskyul von Gildenband. Do not be mistaken that the baron was a certain German nobleman. His name was Vladimir, and he was a native Kievan, an officer of the Pechersk fortress from the well-known Russified dynasty of Germany. He decided to build a rental house looking like an awesome mansion – a relatively small, luxury, with expensive apartments. One of the apartments in such rental mansions was usually occupied by the owner. The famous Kiev architect Nikolai Vishnevsky created this Gothic palace with lancet arches, turrets, spiers, balconies, and stunning medieval doors. The Baron’s family owned another homestead in Kiev, where nowadays is located the building of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine.
- National Bank of Ukraine
The modern premises, which we see now, began to be built in 1902. The appearance of the National Bank impresses with its splendor. Stained-glass windows, towers, balconies and twisted columns, marble columns, rizalitas, masks in the form of lion’s heads, mythical griffins – all of this is breathtaking. According to its artistic qualities, the building of the National Bank is considered to be one of the best among the Kiev buildings of the 20th century.