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What secrets are kept by the 10 most beautiful buildings of Russian Art Nouveau
What secrets are kept by the 10 most beautiful buildings of Russian Art Nouveau

The beauty of our world lies not only in art and natural objects, but also in architecture in particular. As a rule, the architecture of Russia is undeservedly deprived of attention, and therefore today we will correct this and tell you about the ten most influential buildings in the country, which were made in the style of Russian Art Nouveau.

1. Yaroslavsky railway station

Yaroslavsky railway station, Moscow, Russia. \ Photo:

Yaroslavsky railway station is one of nine railway stations in Moscow. It has the highest traffic flow among all Moscow railway stations serving mainly eastern directions, including the Russian Far East. Yaroslavsky railway station is the starting point of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest in the world. The railway station was named after the ancient first large city of Yaroslavl, located along this railway.

Fyodor Shekhtel, details of the decoration of the Yaroslavsky railway station, 1904-1910, Moscow, Russia.\ Photo:

An old photograph shows the first building of the Yaroslavl railway station, built in 1862. Later it was replaced by the Shekhtel building, erected in the style of the neo-Russian Renaissance in 1902-1904. The new railway station has undergone several renovations and some changes. And despite the fact that he partially managed to preserve the main features of Russian architecture, he is a mixture of fairy tale and Art Nouveau style.

2. House of Stepan Ryabushinsky

Mansion of Stepan Ryabushinsky. \ Photo:

This is the first building of Fyodor Shekhtel, a master of Moscow Art Nouveau, in which his individual style was fully manifested. It was built for Stepan Ryabushinsky, one of the richest Moscow merchants.

Staircase in the house of Stepan Ryabushinsky, 1900-1903, Moscow, Russia. \ Photo:

The mansion is a vivid example of a new type of dwelling. Despite the abundance of intricate decorations, it is distinguished by elegant simplicity. The wide strip of mosaic frieze depicts flower orchids. Apparently, Shekhtel himself chose this motive. And these giant orchids resemble a huge strawberry on the facade of the Yaroslavsky railway station. Despite its impressive size, the image becomes clear only when you get closer. From a distance, the image looks like an ornament of multicolored spots, creating a shimmering effect. In addition, there are pieces of gold smalt in the mosaic, thanks to which the shimmer and shine are enhanced in sunny weather.

Decor elements. \ Photo:

As soon as you enter the lobby, you are greeted by a breaking wave pattern of the floor, continuing the theme of the facade. In the very center of the house is the main staircase: a powerful, curving sea wave, above which a lamp in the form of a rainbow jellyfish rises, giving the house the atmosphere of a magical underwater kingdom.

3. Hotel Metropol

Hotel Metropol, 1899-1905, Moscow, Russia. \ Photo:

It was Savva Mamontov who planned to build this first-class European hotel and combine it with a multifunctional cultural center. He decided to combine in it a mixture of shops, a large art exhibition hall, halls for masquerades and dance evenings, a winter garden with an ice rink, a Russian chamber restaurant and the Bolshoi Opera House. As a result, the hotel now exhibits a brilliant synthesis of art under one roof and under the open sky.

Princess of Dreams, Mikhail Vrubel. \ Photo:

Majolica panels appeared on the facades of buildings at the end of 1900-1901. The largest of them is Mikhail Vrubel's "Princess of Dreams". The theme of the panel is taken from a poetic play by Edmond Rostand. It is a fitting choice that reflects the general mood of modernity: a beautiful princess appears before a dying knight.In her light silhouette, we see the features of Vrubel's future wife - Zabela, who often looks at us from his paintings.

In 1901, panels by Alexander Golovin decorated the hotel. We see both Greek and Egyptian motives. Golovin was a theater artist, and one cannot fail to notice the playful, almost carnival style of his panel, which fits perfectly into the building.

Alexander Golovin, Orpheus, majolica panel, 1901, Metropol hotel, Moscow. \ Photo:

Previously, the building was surrounded by a dark majolica strip with the words of Friedrich Nietzsche:. Unfortunately, only part of this inscription can still be seen.

4. House of Arseny Morozov

Victor Mazyrin, house of Arseny Morozov, 1895-1899, Moscow, Russia. \ Photo:

This mansion is a fusion of Art Nouveau and Portuguese Neo-Manuelin. Arseny Morozov, Savva Mamontov's nephew, received a plot of land for a house as a gift from his mother. The architect of this project was Viktor Mazyrin. He created this building in the Russian style. But Arseny resolutely rejected it. Moreover, the future owner could not decide what he wanted in any way. As a result, the client and the architect had to go on a long journey through Paris, Madrid and Portugal. As a result, "the most unusual house in Moscow" was created.

"House of the Fool". \ Photo:

Apparently, Mazyrin borrowed the shells on the facade from the main attraction of the Spanish city of Salamanca - the famous house with shells - Casa de las Conchas, which belongs to the Gothic style. And the patio mosaic gives it a rather antique look.

In the end, Mazyrin's contemporaries laughed at the mansion and called it "the house of a fool." There is even an urban legend that when Varvara Morozova, the owner's mother, saw the building for the first time, she concluded:. However, these days, many people stop to take pictures of the house while walking around the city.

5. Pertsov's apartment building

Pertsov House, 1907-1908, Moscow, Russia. \ Photo:

Pertsov's apartment building is one of the most famous buildings in Moscow. The house is the embodiment of modern and neo-Russian style. From a distance, it seems extremely fabulous and complex. The Pertsov couple, Peter and his wife Zinaida, built it primarily for themselves and in accordance with their tastes and needs.

The facades of the Pertsov house are a set of symbols and ornaments. The panel depicts the sun, a bear fighting a bull, giant fantastic flowers and birds. Some of the drawings almost literally repeat the drawings of the Finnish artist Akseli Gallen. These majolica panels serve as part of the decor and serve the purpose of making the home look fabulous.

6. Vitebsk railway station

Vitebsk railway station, 1900-1904, St. Petersburg, Russia. \ Photo:

Vitebsky is the very first railway station in Russia. The one-story wooden building appeared in 1837 and became the first railway in Russia, connecting St. Petersburg and Tsarskoe Selo (the place of study of Alexander Pushkin).

Interiors of the Vitebsk railway station, 1900-1904, St. Petersburg, Russia. \ Photo:

The Art Nouveau style appeared in the years 1900-1904. The project included architecture that was unusual for that time, including an abundance of metal. All walls are richly decorated: on the left side there is a clock tower, on the east there are relief owls, as well as columns in the Roman style.

The station building is one of the first public buildings in the Art Nouveau style. Its opening was greeted with enthusiasm, and it still remains one of the city's main attractions.

7. St. Petersburg Mosque

Saint Petersburg Mosque, 1909-1920, Saint Petersburg, Russia. \ Photo:

The Muslim population of St. Petersburg has existed since the first years of the city's founding (1703). However, it was not until the 19th century that the authorities gave the community permission to raise funds for the construction of a mosque. Another quarter of a century passed before these plans became reality.

Ornaments of the St. Petersburg Mosque, 1909-1920, St. Petersburg, Russia. \ Photo:

The architect Nikolai Vasiliev used the Gur-E-Amir Mausoleum in Samarkand (early 15th century) as a prototype. As a result, of all the Art Nouveau structures in St. Petersburg, the Cathedral Mosque is the most prominent architectural accent.

An unusual silhouette with a turquoise dome and high minarets decisively bursts into the panorama of the banks of the Neva. The dominant composition is the dome with its glittering porcelain blue ornaments, and the intricacies of details simply defy description, making the building truly unique.

eight.House of Alexey Nuychev

Alexey Nuychev's apartment building, 1904, Samara, Russia. \ Photo:

The architect of this building, Mikhail Kvyatkovsky, received an order for the house in 1902 from the Samara contractor Alexei Nuychev. The building housed an educational institution - the gymnasium of the Kharitonov sisters. Today it is a technical school. The building was richly decorated with flowers, butterflies, curly ribbons, various curls and even elephants.

In the late 1980s, restoration of the house began, and a large number of decorative elements were removed and sent for renovation (including almost all of the elephants). However, the project ran into difficulties and all these details were lost. Unfortunately, no one continued the restoration.

9. Grand Hotel Samara: Zhiguli

Grand Hotel Samara, 1907-1909, Samara, Russia. \ Photo:

The first version of the three-storey hotel "Grand Hotel Samara: Zhiguli" was built of bricks and had a plastered facade typical of the late 19th century. It appeared in its present form in the Art Nouveau style in 1909. At the request of its then owner, merchant Elizabeth Subbotina, the facade and interiors were reconstructed in the Art Nouveau style by Mikhail Kvyatkovsky (the same person who is responsible for the project of the A. F. Nuychev's Profitable House).

Interesting fact: Fyodor Chaliapin, a famous Russian opera singer, stayed at the hotel in 1909 and since then, there is a room named after him.

10. Gambling house of Alexander Troitsky

Gambling house of Alexander Troitsky, 1907, Nizhny Novogrod, Russia. \ Photo:

People called this building "the chess house". It was the first and for a long time the only Art Nouveau building in Nizhny Novgorod. The owner of the house, Alexander Troitsky, loved gambling, but preferred to bet exclusively on chess. Once he lost all his savings to the famous Russian chess player, grandmaster Mikhail Chigorin. However, acting nobly, Chigorin returned everything to Troitsky to the last penny, but took from him a promise to stop playing chess.

Unknown author, augurs of the gambling house of Alexander Troitsky, 1907, Nizhny Novogrod, Russia. \ Photo:

In memory of Chigorin, Troitsky ordered to build a sculptural composition of two augurs with lion heads on the roof of the house. Heads seem to be bowing over the chessboard, pondering their next move.

The porch is shaped like a horseshoe. Troitsky considered him a talisman for the players, bringing them good luck. In addition, the windows of the gambling hall were facing west for the convenience of the chess players, so that even in the evening they could enjoy the daylight.

Today this historically valuable example of Russian Art Nouveau is in critical condition. Therefore, it will have to be demolished and rebuilt. So, only time will tell if the new Chess House will be an exact copy of the original.

Russia is a country with a rich history, containing many secrets, intrigues, historical monuments and significant places. However, it also boasts a stately architecture that evokes delight, surprise and a hundred questions. Was not an exception and rainy Petersburg with its century-old pompous housebuilt for the elite.

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