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Bezobrazovs’ manor house to become culture and office center

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Bezobrazovs’ manor house to become culture and office center

The stately home that is a cultural monument has been empty and out of use for several past years. The new renter is considering renovating the building.

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The Bezobrazovs’ manor house in St. Petersburg is a bright example of the classicist style in architecture. The estate with a pond overgrown with weeds reminds of the gentry life in Turgenev’s novels.

There are very few such stately homes remaining in St. Petersburg. This one was designed by Giacomo Quarenghi in the 1790s for actual state councilor Gavrila Donaurov.

According to Natalia Stolbova, local history researcher, the park is quite unusual. It used to have all the attributes of an end of the 18th century parks with gazebos band birch pavilions. Now, there are just remnants of these to be found here.

The estate was sold to new owners many times, but remained predominantly a summer residence. The last owners of the manor were the Bezobrazov family, whose name the estate bears now. 

After the revolution in 1917 the stately home was robbed like many other such places. In 1938, a hostel for the Okhta saw-mill workers was opened in the house. Two decades later, it was decided to preserve what was left of the luxury of the previous centuries. Then, the wall and ceiling paintings were restored.

The walls are plastered and painted to imitate marble, explains Natalia Stolbova. Three colours are used, terracotta, emerald green, with central plafonds and putty figures in wreathes and with floral ornament in the corners. 

Only two interior premises have been preserved more or less intact, the central hall and the bedroom. All the other rooms lost their initial décor, the doors were dismantled thus destroying the enfilade, and the stoves broken.

The last time restoration was carried out here in the 1980s. During the forty years that have passed since the paintings and the stucco molding started deteriorating, and there appeared mold on the walls. 

After the design bureau that rented the building moved out the house has been neglected. The new renter is reported to intend to use the Bezobrazovs’ manor house as a culture center and an office space.

In the near future, a restoration plan is to be developed. If the St. Petersburg Committee for the state preservation of historical and cultural monuments approves of the plan, there will be one more point of attraction in the Okhta vicinity. 

Photo: St. Petersburg TV channel

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