1/15 Shovkovychna Street

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About the place

The revenue house at the corner of Pylyp Orlyk and Shovkovychna Streets is known as the Arabic House, Kovalevskyi Mansion or the Castle of Sighs. It was built in 1911–1913 in the Romanesque style by the famous architect Pavel Alyoshin by order of the official Mykola Kovalevskyi. The House has many architectural features. Specifically, mascarons in the form of cat’s snouts that decorate the façades, are believed to resemble Alioshin’s style. Inside the mansion there is a small room decorated in the style of a railway car compartment of the early 20th century, to remind the owner of the place where he met his beloved wife. Apart from the rich interiors, made with the use of milica, marble, and inlaid parquet floors, the manor also had good technical equipment. There was an elevator and a heating system. Today, only the ballroom with mirrors and stained glass remains of the authentic decoration.

In 1919, the Kovalevskyi family moved out of the House. With the advent of Soviet power, the estate was looted. Later, the premises were leased to various state organisations. Once there was even a prison there. In 2000, the House was restored and handed over to Leonid Kuchma’s Ukraine Foundation.


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