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05.01.12
acquablue11, Тель-Авив, Израиль
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
The building is nice enough and certainly worth seeing but the statues are so high up one can't see them all that way. It would have been nicer if there were fewer statues but bigger ones.
29.12.11
TheMetalTraveller, Париж, Франция
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
Das Haus mit den Chimären hat eine hervorragende Lage in einer ruhigen Straße vor der Ukrainische Präsident Büro. Die Architektur ist definitiv seltsam. Aber erwarte nicht Wasserspeiere oder Sphinx, sonder gibt's Elefanten, Nashörner und andere Tiere.Das Haus war geschlossen, so ich konnte nicht den Innenraum besuchen.
16.11.11
Victoria K, Petrivske
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
It's old and full of secrets..=)Besides, it's situated in front of the President's Administration and the view from this hill is just awesome!If go down from it by stairs you'll get to the National Theatre of Ivan Franko and a nice park next to it. The center (Khreschatyk Str. is in 10 min by feet from here)
12.09.11
trippingferret, Графство Кент, Великобритания
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
Very weird and unexpected building - and gives a sense of the wealth of the time (pre-revolution)... It was snowing when we were there, and it's not obvious from the town map that the house is on quite a hill...but fun to see!
18.08.11
Cora_v, Kyiv
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
Isn’t it always the hardest to review the places we love?..Gorodetski House aka the House with Chimeras, designed in Decorative Art Nouveau style, is one of the most impressive and legendary buildings in Kyiv and an ambitious masterpiece by famous Kyiv architect of Polish origin Vladislav Gorodetski (pl. Leszek Władysław Horodecki). It has always been my top favourite in Kyiv, ever since I had my first lucky chance to drop inside, back in the old days when it hosted the polyclinics of the Communist Party of Ukraine Central Committee. But only a few people are aware it is possible to visit this House even today, when it’s used by the Administration of the President of Ukraine for the official receptions, ceremonies and negotiations that the President takes part in. And although this is not the cheapest pleasure, compared to other Kyiv sights, I don’t regret a single hryvnya spent on it! Guided tours are presently available on Saturdays only, provided there are no official events scheduled there, and must be arranged through a tour company. Most companies combine the visit to the Gorodetski House with a walking tour around Lipki area of Pechersk district, famous for its mansions of XIX-early XX. This package presently costs UAH 130-150 (about USD 16-20) per person, depending on the company. Typically a group of no more than 10 people is allowed inside the House at a time. Don’t forget to take your passport. At the entrance to the House each visitor’s documents are checked, and everyone passes through the metal detecting frame and is required to leave cameras and cell phones with the security officers. Photography inside the House is absolutely not allowed these days. Visitors are guided around one level only (1st floor from Bankova St. and at the same time 3rd floor from Franka Sq.), the one where Vladislav Gorodetski’s family apartment used to be. The other levels of this commercial apartment building were for rentals. The interior has been carefully restored on the basis of the archive documents and testimony of eyewitnesses, in particular those who lived in the House after the 1917 Revolution, when it was turned into a communal multi-apartment building. It still boasts original stucco works, many on the hunting theme, and few pieces of genuine frescoes and wall paintings, while the furniture and most elements of décor (chandeliers, sculptures, paintings etc) are either replicas or exhibits borrowed from the national museums. Unlike the House façade, featuring live animals, its interior is richly decorated with various hunting trophies (i.e. dead animals), embedded in plaster and cement. The eagle-claw-footed balustrade and the festoon of partridges by the staircase, a floor lamp of two giant catfish with twisted tails and huge octopus hurling down from the ocean-themed hall ceiling, also “the grocery basket” on the ceiling of the small banquet hall were among the most impressive elements. My heart only sank once, when I saw that Gorodetski study was turned into a cloakroom. Quaint interior of this mysterious House just sinks into your imagination! But even if you don’t get inside the House, its unique location and fabulous exterior make it worth seeing anyway. The entire feasibility of this construction on a very steep slope was an object of the bet taken by Gorodetski and won. The House seems to only have three compact floors from its front, facing Bankova Str., while from the rear side, facing Ivan Franko Theatre, it is a large six-storey building. And though the exterior design of the rear side is boring, do take the steps running from the House’s left down to Ivan Franko Sq. to better appreciate the architect’s genius. The House was specifically projected of concrete to fit into the slope; one part of the foundation was made of concrete piles, and the other as a continuous foundation. That was a unique solution found by Gorodetski, the then co-owner of the cement factory, aimed at demonstrating the concrete/cement capabilities and potential as a construction material. This is why the house is sometimes semi-ironically called the largest promo-campaign of the century. It is also often called and is known by Kyivans as the House with Chimeras. Although in fact there is not a single chimera you can find there! The cement statues by Elio (Emilio) Sala that generously decorate this otherwise not too sophisticated construction are all of the existing creatures. Gorodetski was a passionate hunter and had inspired Sala with hunting themes. Elephants, rhinoceroses and antelopes, frogs and catfishes, lizards and snakes, an eagle and a crocodile, - the “residents” of the exterior are all real but hypertrophied. Even the girls on the roof, often mistakenly called mermaids, have legs and sit on catfishes that raised their tails. It takes a telelense or a good zoom to see it. No matter if you succeed getting a tour to the House or not, its “wild” exterior, unique location, and ample legends make Gorodetski House a must-see in Kyiv, even if from the outside. Very well lit at night, it can be seen any time of the day.
11.08.11
rih2010, Huddersfield, England
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
The outside of the building is decorated with ugly heads of animals such as frogs, fish and rhinocerouses. It is a unique building and well worth a few photos (see photos), right opposite the president's offices. Apparently it houses some government offices.
01.08.11
krustikas, Deutschland
Киев, Банковая улица, 10Крещатик
Das "Haus mit den Chimären" liegt im Regierungsviertel von Kiev. Metro-Haltestelle Kreschatik und dann knapp fünf Minuten in östliche Richtung laufen. Sollte eigentlich nicht zu verfehlen sein. Der Präsidentenpalast befindet sich nämlich direkt gegenüber auf der anderen Straßenseite. Das Haus selbst ist kleiner als man es von Fotos her erahnen könnte. Es ist nahezu komplett grau gehalten und steht einzeln an einem Abhang (der allerdings nach hinten weg geht). Was ansich bereits "gespenstisch" wirkt. Das Haus besteht aus mehreren Klötzen und Turmansätzen die "eigenartig" zusammengebaut wurden. Viele Säulen und vor allen Dingen auf dem Dach unendlich ineinander verwobene Tierfiguren und Fabelwesen. Eine Besichtigung der inneren Räumlichkeiten war (zumindest bei meinem Besuch) nicht möglich, weil das Haus für Empfänge des Präsidenten der Ukraine genutzt wird. TIPP: Bei einem Kiev-Besuch ist dieses Gebäude ein Pflichttermin den man nicht versäumen sollte.
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