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Kyiv Gaudi – Vladyslav Gorodetsky


Vladyslav Gorodetsky was born June 4, 1863 in the village of Sholudki, Vinnitsa region. He studied in Odesa, and later at the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg. In 1891 he moved to Kyiv, and for almost 30 years of his life Gorodetsky devoted to city’s architectural decoration. His works are still hallmarks of the city, and we will talk about them today.

The House with Chimeras

One of the architect's most famous creations is the apartment building where he also lived with his family. The house of the early twentieth century made of cement – a rather expensive material at that time. The building is generously decorated with sculptural compositions – hunting trophies. Gorodetsky was a persistent hunter, that is why you can see here skulls, horns, stuffed animals and birds. Sculptural decoration was made by the workshop of famous Italian Elio Sala, with whom Gorodetsky cooperated repeatedly on his projects.

It's interesting that there are no chimeras neither on the facade, nor inside the house. However, the inhabitants of Kyiv got used to calling the house that way.

Art Museum

The project of the city's first museum was designed by Peter Boitsov. Gorodetsky continued the project and supervised the construction work. The museum building is in the ancient Greek style with a magnificent facade. At the main entrance, visitors are greeted by two huge sculptures of lions - they and other sculptural decorations were also made by Elio Sala.

On August 5, 1899 in five halls of the unfinished museum was opened archaeological exhibition dedicated to the XI Archaeological Congress held in Kyiv. The official opening and consecration of Kyiv Art and Industry and Science Museum named after Emperor Nicholas II took place on December 30, 1904.

St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church

As in the case of the museum, the winner of the tender for the design of the church was another architect.

As he was a student, the committee decided that he had no experience, so the architect Vladyslav Gorodetsky, who was already famous at that time, was put in charge of the project.

The works lasted for 10 years, because of the problems with the soil caused by the Lybid river. Then, for the first time in Kiev, the soil was reinforced with powerful concrete piles. The opening and consecration of the temple took place in 1909.

Until recently, the building of the church was shared between the worshippers and the National House of Organ and Chamber Music of Ukraine. On June 1, 2022 the church was handed over to the religious community of the Roman Catholic Church.

Karaite kenasa

Gorodetsky received the proposal to design the kenasa in 1989 from Solomon Cohen, tobacco king and head of the Karaites community in Kyiv. The building was built in 4 years in the Moorish style. And the famous sculptor Elio Sala had his hand in decorating it. However the stuccoed dome of the kenasa was dismantled during the reconstruction of 1968.

After the kenasa ceased to function, Roman Catholic services were held in the premises. Later there was a puppet theater and a cinema, and for more than 40 years the building has been occupied by the House of Actors.